After the completion of 15 and before the completion of 24 semester hours, or one full academic year, whichever comes first, the student seeking an advanced degree from the Department of Theatre must apply for candidacy. In addition to maintaining a minimum 3.0 GPA, prior to applying for candidacy, candidates for the professional degree focus options in acting must have completed two roles, at least one with a faculty director (this requirement may be completed in part by the acting practicum required during the first year of matriculation); in directing must have completed one directing assignment (which may be an assistant to the director assignment and which may be accomplished in the directing practicum required during the first year of matriculation); in scene design must have served in a design position of substantial authority for at least one production (which may be accomplished in the scene design practicum during the first year of matriculation); in costume design must have completed two costume design classes and served in a position of designated authority (which position may be accomplished in the costume design practicum during the first year of matriculation). Candidates for the theatre pedagogy degree must have completed one assignment as well as completed the theatre pedagogy practicum in classroom observations.
In addition to the requirements listed previously for the various area specialties, the process of evaluation for advancement to candidacy may require the presentation of a portfolio and/or audition; written, oral and/or practical testing; and other devices deemed by the Department of Theatre to be serviceable measurements to determine the prospective success of the candidate at the advanced level in the program. Each candidate for the Master of Fine Arts in Theatre may stand for evaluation for admission to candidacy a second time if the initial evaluation for candidacy is unsuccessful. If after the second evaluation the student is denied candidacy, he or she is obliged to withdraw from the program. In special circumstances where unusual strength in another area is evidenced and when the student is acceptable to the graduate faculty, the student may be invited to transfer into another degree option. The completion of 18 semester hours is the latest point at which a student may transfer into another degree option without lost credits.