First Semester Review
All first year students will go through an informal portfolio review in the first several weeks of their second semester to evaluate their programs and transition into the MFA program, identify student design assignments for the upcoming season, and discuss their topic assignment for the writing component and preparation for the proficiency/comprehensive exam.
Proficiencies (First and Second Year Students)
This review will be conducted near the end of the second and fourth semester of study. The first year proficiency forms a critical point of examination for first year students who must pass the profieciency in order to continue in the program. The actual proficiency exam has three primary components: a writing component (which forms the design area's comprehensive exam), a review of a student's portfolio, and progress/work in the classroom and production program. The proficiency exam primarily consists of a formal portfolio presentation and interview with the design faculty who are accompanied by several external guest reviewers. First year students will recieve a formal evaluation of this exam along with a notification of their passing for failing the exam. Second year students will recieve a formal evaluation that will become part of their permanent graduate record. The writing portion of the exam will consis of a written research assignment based on a topic (with student input) that is assigned to the student shortly after their first semester review and based on materials and topics drawn from the design area's reading list. The student will have the majority of the semester to work on this paper, which will be due approximately one week prior to the proficiency exam. Failure to pass a proficiency exam will result in a student being placed on probation or being dismissed from the program.
There is no formal comprehensive exam in the design area. The formal paper that is submitted as part of the proficiency exam replaces the comprehensive exam as a means of student evaluation.
Qualifying Design Assignment
All design students will complete a significant design assignment within their major discipline for a departmental or otherwise approved realized design/production. This assignment is completed under THEA 7560 (Projects in Theatre) and is advised and graded by the student's major professor. Upon satisfactory completion of this assignment, the student will be assigned to a thesis production.
Thesis Production/Creative Project
The creative project concentrates on creative work within the student's specialty area and is based on a realized design assignment to a major production within a student's specialty area. In addition to the accomplishment of the creative work itself, the student will be required to provide a written analysis and evaluation of the project. The written document must be presented in final form at an oral examination formed by a committee of the student's advisor and at least two additional thesis committee members. Two bound copies of the written document are required. A final oral examination on the project completes the process.
Deadlines for Graduating Students
Note: MFA students do not submit candidacy or advisory committee forms or an electronic thesis/dissertation. They do apply to graduate and submit a program of study (non-doctoral professional degree. They should plan to defend their thesis before the final defense date, submitting thesis title and advisory committee information to Dina two weeks before their scheduled defense.