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Application Guidelines for International Students

University of Tennessee MFA in Theatre, Acting

International students are strongly encouraged to apply for the MFA in Theatre, Acting program. For fully detailed information on our program please  visit this link:

To learn more about the partnership between our training program and Clarence Brown Theatre, the professional theatre in residence at UTK, visit:

Our program has been ranked among the top-25 MFA performance programs in the U.S., U.K., and Australia for the past 5 years. Acceptance into the program is by audition and interview, followed by  an application process to the Graduate School. For information on requirements and deadlines for applying to the Graduate School, go to:

The application deadline for admission to the Graduate School in the Fall 2023 semester is February 1, 2023. There is a $60.00 application fee. 

However, applying to the Graduate School may not be necessary prior to auditioning. If you audition (by video or in person) prior to January 10, 2023, one of three things will occur: 

  1. You may receive an offer in January.
  2. You may be placed on a waiting list.
  3. You may be declined for admission.

If you receive an offer, you must then  apply to the Graduate School prior to the February 1, 2023 deadline.  If you are placed on a waiting list, you will still need to apply to the Graduate School before the deadline, though you may not ultimately be offered a place in the MFA program. If you are declined for admission, there is no need to apply to the Graduate School.

We advise all those who audition to be prepared to apply to the Graduate School and to plan for payment of the $60.00 fee prior to February 1, 2023, in case you are accepted into the program or put on a waiting list. 

International students may audition in person in Knoxville, New York, or by video submission. The final deadline for video submission is January 10, 2023. However, we strongly encourage international students to submit their audition videos as soon as possible, ideally before December 15, 2022.  Guidelines for the video are provided below. 

Your video submission will be reviewed by a committee of faculty. Applicants will be notified of rejection or scheduled for a virtual “callback” audition and interview. Additional virtual callbacks may be requested. A visit to UTK is not required for admission. Some visits may be possible, to be determined on a case-by-case basis. Applicants will be informed of their status when the audition and interview process is completed.

In person auditions in Knoxville can be arranged for December or early January.  Auditions in New York can be arranged for late January. Precise dates will be announced this September. Auditions in New York can either be arranged directly with our department or take place through the URTA (University Resident Theatre Association) audition process. If you are auditioning in person, you should still have a video audition prepared for review by the full faculty recruiting committee in case you are among those applicants receiving a callback/interview. 

For information about URTA, go to

To arrange an in person audition with the Department of Theatre, please email Professor Kathryn Cunningham at, and Professor Jed Diamond at

Audition Guidelines

You may submit your first-round video audition in December (preferred) or January, but no later than January 10, 2023.

What to prepare:

  • Two contrasting monologues, each under 2 minutes
    • your pieces should contrast in tone (comedic vs. dramatic) and period (classical vs. contemporary)
    • your classical selection should be in verse
  • Also, please consider preparing a brief excerpt of a song that you enjoy singing. We are not a musical theatre program, and being a singer is not required in your audition or for acceptance into the program. However, we often ask for a bit of song to learn more about you and your voice. There are casting opportunities in musicals in the Clarence Brown Theatre, as we typically produce one musical each season. Your song selection can be acapella or with recorded  No accompanist will be provided.
  • Please prepare at least one additional monologue, in case you receive a callback for an online audition and interview. You do not need to include this monologue in your video. 

Pleasure ensure that your video is of good quality – clear, well-lit, and with good sound

  1. Carefully attend to:
    • Background
    • Lighting
    • Sound
    • Clothing color and contrast
    • Editing for efficiency of viewing

Please also fully review your video before submitting, to be sure that you can be clearly seen and heard throughout.

  1. The video should begin with a brief introduction of yourself. Please clearly state:
    • Your first and last name, as well as any other names you may use
    • Your pronouns, should you choose to share them
    • What pieces you will be performing (character, title of play, and playwright)
  1. After the introduction:
    • Please film one of your monologues in portrait orientation so that you are visible from head to knees or feet.
    • For the remaining 2 monologues, you may choose full-length or chest-up framing. Please do not submit close-ups of your head and face only.

When submitting your video, please let us know of any additional recordings of your work that we could review.

Please upload your audition as a single video via either Google Drive or YouTube. Submit it to Professor Kathryn Cunningham at, and Professor Jed Diamond at Please ensure permissions are set appropriately. Be sure to include your headshot and resume along with a link to your online portfolio, should you have one.

Again, the video audition deadline is  January 10, 2023!

Contact Professors Cunningham or Diamond via email at any time if you have questions or concerns.

Thank you for your interest in the MFA in Theatre, Acting program at UTK.  We hope to hear from you!