Dramatic Writing, MFA

College of Fine Arts

Program Description:

The MFA in Dramatic Writing at the University of New Mexico is a three-year program requiring 60 hours to complete the degree.

The program offers continuing opportunities for producing new work from writers working in the MFA program. These opportunities create an environment where students are either preparing scripts for submission to our annual new works festival called Words Afire, submitting material for production to the local theatre community, or for the season of plays selected by students that is presented in our black-box, Theatre X. TheWords Afire Festival presents new work over three weeks in multiple venues on and off campus. Five students in our writing program have won national playwriting awards for the plays presented in this festival four of them from Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.

Completing this program means you will have created a portfolio of a minimum of 6 scripts (3 full length stage plays, 1 full length screen play, 1 short screen or stage piece, and dissertation work). This work will have emerged from the courses in the Writing Core taken by all the MFA Writing students. It involves four intensive semester-long writing seminars that confront the principles and craft of dramatic writing, the resources of the writer’s world, and a way of thinking about dramatic work.

Perhaps what characterizes this department is the wide variety of work we do and the hunger for doing it which keeps graduate students busy very soon after they arrive on campus. You will not be idle. We will press you for scripts, rewrites, more rewrites and always want to know what have your written for us lately. We will upset you, praise you, challenge you, inspire you and then want even more.

New Mexico is a rare place for the arts, a place artists, in all disciplines, where you can find a way to see the world from a special perspective, one that is both new—science that has changed our world was created here—and ancient.


Admission Requirements:

All questions should be directed to: (505) 277-4332
(your call will be directed to appropriate advisor)

FAX (505) 277-8921
e-mail: theatre@unm.edu or dance@unm.edu 

Admission Deadlines  
Semester   Domestic ApplicantsInternational Applicants
Fall:February 15May 1
Spring:None accepted 
Summer:None Accepted 

If you wish to be considered for financial aid the deadline is February 1.

To receive an early response, applicants are encouraged to submit a complete application as early as possible.

International applicants require additional materials and are processed through The University of New Mexico’s International Admissions Office. Call (505) 277-5829 or e-mail: goglobal@unm.edu for more information.

Programs in the Department of Theatre and Dance are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD).

To enter the program, the student should have completed an undergraduate major in theatre or dance or have taken a minimum of 24 hours in Theatre and/or Dance, including History, Criticism, Dramatic Literature, Directing, Playwriting, Choreography, Technical Theatre and Performance. However, students with undergraduate degrees in other disciplines are eligible for admittance. Contact the Department for information.

The student applying for admission should obtain a Self-Managed Application from the Office of Admissions:
Call: (505) 277-4332
Online application form: http://ogs.unm.edu (click forms)

Other application materials required by the department:
• Three letters of recommendation
• Academic/scholarly writing sample

For the M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing–
• A full-length script (stage, screen television play; drama or comedy or two one-act plays)

For the M.F.A. in Dance–
• A resume of educational and professional dance experience
• A 12-minute VHS videotape or DVD of recent choreography or dance performance work


Contact Information:

Sarah Lentz: Department Administrator
(505) 277-2737
slentz@unm.edu