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Southern Oregon University

Ashland Center for Theatre Studies

Theatre Teacher Training - Master of Theatre Studies
Frequently Asked Questions

Eligibility

Question:
I am not currently teaching theatre. May I still participate in your Master of Theatre Studies program?
Answer:
Because the Master Degree requires significant work at your school during the school year, to participate in the program you must be currently teaching theatre in a program that actively produces plays. If there is room in one of our 3-credit Elective/Professional Development courses, you may be accepted to an individual course.

Question:
Is there any way for a teacher with only one year of experience to participate in your Master of Theatre Studies program?
Answer:
Unfortunately, we do not accept applicants into the Master of Theatre Studies program who have less than two years of experience. If there is room in one of our 3-credit Elective/Professional Development courses, you may be accepted to an individual course. Credits from these courses may transfer to our Master of Theatre Studies Degree when you are accepted.

Question:
You say I must have taught for at least two years. Does this mean I can't apply until the middle of my third year of teaching?
Answer:
You may apply during your second year of teaching theatre. This means you will have completed two years of teaching by the time the summer residency portion of the curriculum starts.

Question:
You say I must have taught for at least two years. May this be in any discipline or does it have to be two years of teaching theatre.
Answer:
It must be two years of teaching theatre.

Question:
Are middle school theatre teachers eligible for the Master of Theatre Studies program?
Answer:
The Master of Theatre Studies requires significant production work at your school during the school year. Most middle schools do not have a theatre program or production facilities necessary to support participation in this program. Generally we consider only high school or community college teachers. If you believe that your middle school program might be an exception to our criteria, please contact ACTS with specific details. If there is room in one of our 3-credit Elective/Professional Development courses, you may be accepted to an individual course.

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The Master Degree application process

Question:
Should my letters of recommendation be sent along with my other application materials? If so, do they need to be in sealed envelopes? Or should they be sent by the writer?
Answer:
You may send your letters of recommendation along with your resume and statement of purpose to Dr Levin by January 15. They need not be in separate sealed envelopes. If you choose to send them separately, please include with your materials to Dr Levin, a note that the letters are coming.  Mailing address for Dr Levin:  Southern Oregon University Theatre Arts, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd, Ashland OR  97520

Question:
What should my letters of recommendation contain?
Answer:
Your letters of recommendation should contain an assessment of your teaching, artistic and/or craft-related abilities. They should address your potential for completing the program as well as for making significant continuing contributions as a teacher.

Question:
What should be included in my resume?
Answer:
The resume should include all your teaching experience and any professional or volunteer experience related to theatre and the performing arts. You should also include a section on what productions (plays, dramatic readings, etc.) you have done with your students and include the scope of your theatre program (number of classes, participation in theatre societies, extra curricular clubs related to theatre, etc.). Under the section on education, please include any noncredit education related to theatre and the performing arts.

Question:
What information should my Statement of Purpose contain?
Answer:
The Statement of Purpose should be a short paper (two pages maximum) discussing why you are applying for this program and how you believe the curriculum and degree will support your educational philosophy, professional goals, and the goals you have for your theatre program.

Question:
Do I need to take the GRE?
Answer:
No, we do not require GRE scores for you to be admitted to our Master of Theatre Studies program.

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Fees and financial aid

Question:
What are the criteria to qualify for financial aid?
Answer:
In order to receive financial aid, you must fill out the FAFSA for the current year (summer 2014 is the final term of the 2013-14 year). This will determine if you are eligible for financial aid and if so, how much. You also must have completed the graduate application form, and be admitted as a graduate student to SOU. Since this is a master's degree, only federal loans (not direct grants) are available. Alternative loans (loans that the Oregon University system gives to students) may also be available. Information about financial aid and the FAFSA is located on the SOU financial aid Web site.

Money is dispersed in late June.

Financial aid is not available for individual Elective/Professional Development courses unless you are part of the master's program.

Question:
When will I have to begin to pay back the financial aid borrowed for this program?
Answer:
When one takes financial aid for their first summer, there is a six month grace period before having to begin to repay the loan.  Following the second and third summers, there is no grace period.  However, once a student registers for the second or third summer, they may fill out a "full time student deferment" which will last from their registration date to the end of the term in early August.  For more information contact the SOU Financial Aid office: financial aid Web site.

Question:
Is there a different fee structure for out-of-state students?
Answer:
No. Out-of-state students pay the same amount as Oregon residents.

Question:
The graduate program is a three summer program.  Unless I register for an online academic year course, I will only be registered as a student for each summer term.  Will student loans be due and payable while I am enrolled in this program?
Answer:
Once you are out of school for 6 consecutive months (including those months between your summers of SOU enrollment), your loans go into repayment.  An In-School Deferment can be done once you are back in school at least half-time.  Once you are registered for the Summer Term, go to the SOU Enrollment page and under "Quicklinks"and click on "Enrollment Verification" to get instructions for the "In-School Deferment" process. 

If you had previously been in repayment status, your loan payments resume immediately after the end of summer term, until you are again attending a school at least half-time.

Since interest continues to accrue during any deferment period, many students simply continue to make their monthly payments even during the summers they are enrolled.

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The program

Question:
What type of electives are acceptable to fulfill the additional 9 credit hours required for the Master of Theatre Studies?
Answer:
The 9 elective credits must be from 500-level theatre related courses. Your 9 elective credits come from any of our 3-credit Elective/Professional Development or approved online courses. You may petition the program to accept 6 credits from an appropriate previously completed graduate degree.

2014 Winter Online Elective Course

Workshop/Dramatic Literature/Modernism   January 6 - March 21, 2014

2014 Summer Elective Courses

July 7-11, 2014
Staging the Musical:  Work with a professional theatre director to develop and/or refine your skills for directing a musical.  Study the director’s role, preproduction planning and the rehearsal process:

July 28 - August 1, 2013

Costume Crafts: Patternmaking Develop the skills and confidence to generate useful patterns from which to make costume pieces for your productions.

Microphone Intensive:  Take a deeper look at microphones and how best to use them: exploring mic technique for band/orchestra reinforcement, as well as vocals. Examine the differences between common microphone types and learn the best way to use a particular mic. Master recording set up and techniques, and learn how to create and record your very own sound effect library.

Question:
How many credits may I use for the remaining required 9 credit hours from my previous graduate work?
Answer
:
You may use up to 6 graduate level credits from courses taken that are assigned to a currently held graduate degree in an appropriate discipline. All courses must be approved before they can be included. Once you are accepted you will meet with an advisor to go over your additional coursework and determine what is and is not applicable.

Question:
May I 'test out' of certain aspects of the curriculum?
Answer:
No. Rather than distinct courses in, for example, lighting design, all elements of the curriculum are integrated in the concentrated 2-week summer sessions. We do offer different levels of projects in some of the hands-on build portion of the summer sessions. For the research and applied projects in your school we encourage you to focus on areas of greatest potential growth.

Question:
Are the 12 credit hours SEMESTER or QUARTER credit hours?
Answer:
Quarter credits.

Question:
Do I have to stay in the SOU residence halls?
Answer:
No, you do not have to stay in on-campus housing.

Question:
Are there options for meals other than those offered from University Housing?
Answer:
Yes, there are many local options for dining in close proximity to the campus; restaurants and grocery stores, etc.

Question:
Can I get an MFA in this program?
Answer:
No. The degree that we offer is a Master of Theatre Studies in Production and Design. This is a degree for people who are already teachers and want more education that is geared toward helping them teach their students about the technical and design aspects of theatre.

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For more information contact Emmy Graham at acts@sou.edu or 541-552-6346.