Graduate Degree

Item 4

Master of Arts (MA) Degree

MA Acting Unit Requirements
Major 30 units
Major Electives 3 units
Graduate Liberal Arts 3 units
TOTAL 36 units

MA Acting Degree Requirements

  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum grade of C in all required 36 units

Additional Information

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree

Academy of Art University’s MFA Acting program blends a conservatory approach with a contemporary eye towards the demands of the professional world. Beginning with a rigorous immersion in the Meisner Technique, students are trained in voice, speech, body, script analysis, audition technique, and camera. Taught by an esteemed faculty of working professionals and equipped with a polished demo reel and a unique resume, graduates leave the university fully prepared to embrace the unlimited possibilities of the working actor.

MFA Acting Unit Requirements

Major 27 units
Directed Study 18 units
Graduate Liberal Arts 12 units
Electives* 6 units
TOTAL 63 units
*Per director approval

MFA Acting Degree Requirements

  • Successful completion of Final Thesis Project
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA
  • Minimum grade of C in all required 63 units

Additional Information

MFA Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:


  • Demonstrate skills in a variety of media: film, television, theater, voiceover, improvisation and musical theater
  • Demonstrate focus in a scene
  • Develop a playable objective to use the other person as a driving focus in a scene
  • Communicate nuanced meaning and depth in a scene by striking a personal connection to the meaning and stakes of a character and a script
  • Establish an organic and truthful emotional life in a scene, as appropriate to the script
  • Bring the necessary energy to deliver dynamic performances appropriate for the performance medium


  • Demonstrate the ability to bring spontaneity to a scene and utilize improvisation as an integral part of the rehearsal process

Artistic Collaboration

  • Make performance choices that affect and are affected by other people in a scene
  • Successfully make specific adjustments based on direction

Speech & Movement

  • Demonstrate vocal range, resonance, breath control, and appropriate vocal power
  • Use the body as a tool to build character
  • Use the lines as an effective tool for verbal and physical action

Professional Readiness

  • Complete a demo reel that showcases the student’s most dynamic and marketable material
  • Demonstrate professionalism and preparedness (scripts analyzed and memorized, punctuality, respect for another actor’s creative process in rehearsal, a strong work ethic, attitude, full commitment)

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.


Explore our course catalog and take classes based on your interests in our world-class facilities in San Francisco.

Graduate Degree Breakdowns

The MFA degree provides advanced study for students pursuing a career in Acting. Studio courses focus on the techniques necessary to develop and master technical skills. Graduate Liberal Arts courses promote the expression of ideas and effective communication utilizing visual, oral and written presentation skills. The program culminates with an independent final project. Students will graduate from the program equipped with a portfolio of work and prepared for professional opportunities in the field of Acting.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)
Master of Arts (MA)
Gainful Employment Information

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Diane Baker

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