The Theatre School > Conservatory > Graduate Conservatory > Directing > How to Apply

How to Apply

Due to the structure of the program, we admit new students only once a year and all new students begin in the fall. Applications should be completed no later than December 15. Finalists are typically selected in mid-January and the finalist interview day takes place at The Theatre School in February. 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 upload your photograph and resume, as well as complete several writing prompts (see below). The application fee ($75) is paid by credit/debit card when submitting the online application.

MFA Directing applicants should be prepared to answer the following written statements as part of the online application:

  1. Based on your personal experiences to date, please write a personal statement in which you discuss what you feel are your strong points, where you feel you need more development, and exactly what it is you hope to get from this program and for what purpose(s).
  2. Create a one-page directorial analysis of Far Away by Caryl Churchill. Please include answers to the following questions: What is the play about to you? What kind of play is it? (Feel free to personalize this directorial response, e.g. Three Sisters might be a slapstick carnival in your production or Hamlet might be a political tragedy.) Who is the protagonist? (e.g. whose action drives the events of the story?) What is the protagonist’s driving action? (e.g. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus’ driving action may be to find the slayer of the king.) What are the major conflicting forces at work in the play? How do you imagine the world of the play? How would you describe the acting style of the play in your production?
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.
The resume will be uploaded as part of the online application. The resume should list your theatrical experience and/or any related experience (employment, internships, activities, 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 decision 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.

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.

Finalist Interview

Finalists are typically selected in mid-to-late January and will be invited to spend the day with us on our Chicago campus. Finalists will have the opportunity to tour The Theatre School and meet current students and faculty, in addition to completing their finalist interview during the visit day.

If selected as a finalist, applicants must attend the our MFA Directing finalist interview day in order to receive a final decision. Expenses for travel, lodging, etc., are the responsibility of the applicant. The audition/interview for finalists will consist of two parts – a directing exercise and an interview with directing faculty.

For the directing exercise, you will be asked to direct Scene 1 from Far Away by Caryl Churchill. You will be provided actors (either current Theatre School students or alumni) who will be memorized. You will also be provided some standard rehearsal furniture (e.g. chairs, tables). You will be given up to 30 minutes to direct the scene under the observation of the directing faculty. The expectation is to see you in the process of directing a scene “on its feet,” however there is not an expectation to see a “performance ready” piece by the end of the process.

You will also interview one-on-one with the faculty. We believe that during the interview, the questions you have for us are as important as the questions we have for you. There is no fixed format or schedule of questions for the interview but the faculty member who conducts the interview may be interested in your theatre experiences, academic record, personal achievements, professional experience and plans for your artistic future.

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. Please allow at least three weeks from the time you send in your materials before requesting a status check.

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 ApplicationCheck Your Status: MFA Application Portal