Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Dramatic Writing

Our Graduate Degrees

Program Overview – 60 Minimum Hours

Department of Theatre & Dance

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 Linnell Festival of New Plays, 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. The Linnell 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.

MFA Dramatic Writing Admission Requirements
  • To be considered for admission to any of our graduate programs, you must hold a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.*
  • For the MFA in Dramatic Writing, a specific undergraduate major is less important than a demonstrated and sustained commitment to creative writing.
  • We require a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0 (B) or better. Exceptions can be made to the GPA requirement, but it is extremely rare that we admit students whose undergraduate GPA in their major is below 3.0.

* Students may apply during their final year of undergraduate study; however, any offer of admission is contingent upon successful completion of the bachelor’s degree.

* In rare, extraordinary cases, students who have completed more than 100 hours of undergraduate coursework but do not have a degree may be considered for graduate admission based on a strong professional record.

  • Professional experience may compensate for uneven academic preparation. If you believe that your life experiences make up for gaps in your undergraduate training, you should make this clear in your letter of intent.
  • Please note, however, that professional experience in the performing arts is not by itself a substitute for a completed bachelor’s degree. All our Graduate Programs are academically rigorous, and require solid preparation in reading, writing, and research skills.
  • For students who do not own their own computers, the University maintains a number of free labs or computer pods where students can use Windows or Mac computers to write papers, access e-mail, etc.


How to Apply

Log on to the Admissions website at and apply online. Please follow all the directions provided. Be sure to include all the required materials.  Information can be found at the website listed below:

 Required Materials:

  • Select: College of Fine Arts; MFA Dramatic Writing
  • Letter of Intent clearly expressing your ability to undertake graduate study.
  • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • A full-length script (stage, screen television play; drama or comedy or two one-act plays)

*     One UNOFFICIAL transcript from each college you have attended. (Exception:  UNM transcript)

There are additional requirements for Applicants who are not U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents. Please contact:

  • Office of International Admissions

(505) 277-5829,

Please note that application materials will not be returned.

Deadlines for Applications:  APPLICATIONS WILL BE ACCEPTED SEPT 1 – FEB 1. Late applications will be accepted through April 1 but will only be considered if spaces remain.

Please note:

  • The MFA Programs do not admit students at mid-year.
  • Applicants from outside the U.S. are especially advised to submit their applications early, as processing of these applications usually takes longer than for domestic applicants.

For further information on UNM’s admissions policies and procedures at:

Submission and Review of Applications:

Your application submission will be sent to the Theatre and Dance Department where it will be reviewed by faculty members in your area of intended emphasis.

In certain cases, the faculty may contact you to arrange an interview (by telephone for out-of-state candidates). Applicants are strongly encouraged to visit the UNM campus and meet with faculty.

Notification of admission or rejection will normally be sent by March 1 (notification may be earlier or later depending on the volume of applications in a given year).

If, at any point in the process, you wish to inquire as to the status of your application, you may e-mail Angelica Chavez at

Dramatic Writing Area Advisor
Greg Moss

New students accepted Fall Semester only. Application Deadlines: postmarked no later than Feb.1 for financial aid and no later than Apr. 15 if spaces remain.

How to Apply

• All students must be admitted to the University, whether as an incoming freshman, transfer student, or non-degree student. Apply online through the Admissions Department at UNM

•After meeting all CFA admission requirements, students must apply to become a declared major.

Academic Advisement

The College of Fine Arts Student Success & Advisement Center is committed to serve the UNM community with compassion, guidance, and respect as we promote academic excellence.

To speak with a CFA advisor, please call (505) 277-4817.