MFA in Musical Theatre

MFA in Musical Theatre

Are you Ready to Begin Act II?

The SDSU Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree in Musical Theatre has helped hundreds of students establish life-long careers as leaders in the world of Musical Theatre. Many of our graduates have gone on to teach in musical theatre programs in schools and universities worldwide, while others have gone on to become professional performers, directors, choreographers, music directors, producers, casting agents, and writers.

At SDSU, our students strive to master the professional world of musical theatre together with the academic world of the university. Our professional faculty works with the experience of the students, developing the skills needed to be successful and carry forward musical theatre to the next generation of theatre artists.

This program, which began accepting students in 1982 as the first MFA program of Musical Theatre, is unique in its integration of performance training with academic study. Its two-year MFA program is designed so that students can complete 60 units of study in four consecutive 15-week semesters, with one summer break, during which students complete a theatre internship.

It is our goal to nurture and train lifelong musical theatre artists who will advance the art form as theatre practitioners and educators, and preserve the history, heritage, and traditions of this world-renowned art form.

Review the Graduate Degree Learning Outcomes

How to Apply

The SDSU MFA Musical Theatre Program auditions every two years for a new class. The next application period opens October 1, 2023.

For prospective MFA Musical Theatre students, the application is a two-step process:

  1. First you need to apply to SDSU using the Cal State Apply application between October 1 - December 4. At the time of the application, select your Major as “MFA Theatre Arts (Musical Theatre).” Visit the Office of Graduate Admissions website for information about applying to the school. There is a non-refundable filing fee of $55 that must be paid at the time of your SDSU application.
  2. Next you need to upload a supplemental application through Acceptd between October 1- December 31.
    • Cover Letter (PDF file) - This should include a personal statement of your educational and professional goals and how an MFA in Musical Theatre will help you achieve them.
    • Headshot
    • Resume (PDF file)
    • Video Audition - Upload a short video (time limit 3 minutes) that includes two contrasting songs.
    • Three letters of recommendation
  3. By December 31, selected students will be invited to audition and interview in person on the San Diego State campus in February.

NOTE: The SDSU MFA Musical Theatre Program auditions every two years for a new class. The next application period opens October 1, 2023.


SDSU’s MFA Musical Theatre Program is an intensive 60-unit curriculum that is designed to be completed in two years, over four consecutive semesters, with one summer break.

- THEA 555B - Musical Theatre Movement/Dance, 8 units
- THEA 600 - Writing for the Theatre , 3 units
- THEA 620 A & B - History of Musical Theatre, 6 units
- THEA 622 A & B - History of Musical Theatre Lab, 2 units
- THEA 623 - Musical Theatre Script and Score Analysis , 3 units
- THEA 627 - Musical Theatre Studio , 16 units
- THEA 659 - Musical Theatre Stage Direction , 3 units
- THEA 630 - Private Voice Instruction , 4 units
- THEA 669 - Rehearsal Methods for the Musical Theatre Director, 3 units
- THEA 790 - Project Report, 3 units
- THEA 795 - Practicum in Theatre Arts , 6 units

For additional curriculum details, please consult the following:
Graduate Bulletin