The Theatre School > Conservatory > Graduate Conservatory > Arts Leadership > How to Apply

How to Apply

Due to the structure of the program, we admit new students only once a year and for fall entry only. For consideration, please submit your application materials for the MFA Arts Leadership program by February 1​. Finalists are typically selected in mid-to-late March and asked to complete an interview. Significant consideration regarding the admissions decision will be placed on the finalist interview.

Required Application Materials

The first step is to complete the online application. As part of this application, you will be asked to complete several writing prompts and upload a copy of your resume. The application fee ($75) is paid by debit/credit card when submitting the online application.

MFA Arts Leadership applicants should be prepared to answer the following writing prompts as part of the online application:
  1. Write an autobiography of approximately 500 words that summarizes your life experience.
  2. Write a personal statement of approximately 500 words regarding your career goals and how the arts leadership program will help you to achieve those goals. Please also describe what you will bring to the arts leadership program.
  3. Write an essay of approximately 300 words in response to one of the following:
    1. What makes your an outstanding leader? What weaknesses prevent you from being a better leader?
    2. Describe an ethical dilemma that you faced in the workplace and how it was resolved.
    3. Describe a time when a colleague strongly disagreed with your views, ideas, or methods. How did this impact your working relationship? How did this impact the work or project? How did this impact your intent or motivation to complete the work?
The resume is uploaded as part of the online application. Submit a resume listing your theatrical experiences and any related professional experience (internships, employment, etc.)
We understand it can be financially and logistically prohibitive for some students, especially due to COVID disruptions, to send official transcripts as part of the application process. We are able to use unofficial transcripts when making an admissions decision. (An unoffical transcript is one that is sent to us by the student, rather than the institution that issued it.) Admitted students must submit official transcripts in order to confirm the admissions decisions and their eligibility to enroll.
International students should visit our international admissions page for additional instructions about submitting transcripts, as international transcripts must be sent through an evaluation company. Many evaluation companies require official transcripts.
A photograph is required for identification purposes and will be uploaded as part of the online application. Any photograph is acceptable provided it looks like you. A professional headshot is not required.

Request three letters of recommendation from individuals who are familiar with your desire to attend The Theatre School. You can electronically request a letter from a recommender through the online application by providing their information on the recommenders page, or you may simply have your recommender email their letter to

If you are a non-native English speaker who has not completed a bachelor's or master's degree in the United States, you will need to submit test scores from an English proficiency exam. Visit our international admission page for more information.

The GRE is NOT required for admissions consideration but may strengthen your application if your undergraduate grade point average is less than 3.0.

Finalist Interviews

Finalists will be selected in mid-to-late February to take part in a group interview day at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. The interview day is typically held in mid-to-late March and will include program leadership from both The Theatre School and Chicago Shakespeare Theater. Information about interview preparation will be communicated by email to the finalists. Expenses for travel, lodging, etc. are the responsibility of the applicant. Significant consideration regarding the admissions decision will be placed on the in-person interview.

Application Status Check

To check the status of your application materials, log into your DePaul application portal or give The Theatre School Admissions Office a call at (773) 325-7999. Application materials can be sent to us by email ( or they can be mailed to the following address:

The Theatre School Admissions Office
2350 N. Racine Ave
Chicago, IL 60614-8422

Start Your Application Check Your Status: MFA Application Portal