The Theatre School > Admission > Graduate Admission > Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid


The Theatre School’s tuition is billed as a guaranteed package rate, meaning you pay one flat fee each year for all of your coursework and production work. You are billed the same rate each year you are in a program up to the standard length of the program. (In other words, your tuition rate is locked in at the tuition rate you pay in your first year of the program.) Students who entered ​an MFA program at The Theatre School in fall 2023 had an annual tuition rate of $38,773​.  For historical tuition rates and tuition rates for other programs at DePaul, please visit DePaul University’s Tuition page.


Most graduate students at Theatre School choose to live off-campus and do so in the neighborhoods nearest The Theatre School and the Lincoln Park Campus, such as Lincoln Park, Lakeview, Uptown, and Ravenswood. DePaul University does not offer on-campus housing for graduate students on the Lincoln Park Campus, but there is graduate housing is available in University Center Chicago on the Loop Campus in downtown Chicago.


Every applicant admitted to The Theatre School’s MFA program is awarded a Theatre School Scholarship. Acting ​student scholarships generally range from $14,000 to $17,000 annually. Arts Leadership students receive salary and benefits through full-time employment at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, plus an additional annual scholarship of $5,000 to $7,000; the salary and scholarship combined is generally equal to the cost of tuition. Scholarships are awarded in the admissions decision letter.

Financial Aid

To be considered for a need-based financial aid package, applicants must submit a valid Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). This is the only application required for need-based financial aid and is not required for consideration for a Theatre School Scholarship. Typically, need-based aid for graduate students is in the form of federal student loans. 

The FAFSA becomes available starting on October 1 each year and can either be submitted online at To have your FAFSA results reported to The Theatre School, enter DePaul University's FAFSA code, 001671, in the college section.

We suggest you complete the FAFSA by February 15. Submitting your FAFSA by this date will insure you receive full consideration for need-based financial aid. Financial aid packages are communicated separately from the admissions decision letter and are only sent to students after they have been admitted to The Theatre School.

Part-Time Work

All students, regardless of financial need or ability to file a FAFSA, are welcome to pursue part-time work (either on or off campus) during their time in the MFA program.​ Theatre School students can apply to any on-campus job, not just positions within The Theatre School. On-campus employment is limited to 25 hours per week during the academic terms for domestic students; international students are limited to 20 hours per week. To view the campus job board and learn more about on-campus jobs, please visit ​the Office of Student Employment.​