Graduate students in the M.F.A. playwriting program are typically awarded an assistantship that includes a tuition waiver covering most fees, in addition to a stipend (currently a minimum of $13,400) for working 20 hours a week, divided between teaching and administrative duties within the department. Academic merit fellowships and research/creative activity travel grant opportunities are also available on a competitive basis.
The standard graduate appointment is a 50% Full Time Employment (FTE) position requiring 20 hours of service per week or the teaching of three to four courses per academic year. Stipends for these graduate appointments are paid on a monthly basis and will have all appropriate taxes and deductions withheld. Students holding graduate appointments are eligible for fee scholarships that pay the cost of tuition for 24 credit hours of study during the academic year and six credit hours in the summer, with the exception of certain non-remittable fees.
Appointment of associate instructorships and graduate assistantships, as well as the awarding of fellowships, is contingent upon maintenance of a 3.2 academic average; satisfactory performance of duties of the appointment or fellowship; and enrollment in a specified minimum number of graduate hours.
There are two types of graduate appointments:
Graduate assistants work in various areas of theatre production (costuming, lights/sound, props, stagecraft, house management) or work in the departmental offices (audience development, production management, dramaturgy).
Associate instructors teach first year courses in acting, oral interpretation, and theatre appreciation. These appointments are open to M.F.A. students and Ph.D. students who have completed 30 hours of graduate work.
To supplement departmental financial aid, various scholarships, fellowships, and loans may be available through the University Graduate School or the Office of Student Financial Assistance.