Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting

Develop and refine your voice as a writer—and gain the skills you need to sustain a life in the arts—with the Master of Fine Arts in Playwriting at Temple's School of Theater, Film and Media Arts. With the vibrant Philadelphia theater community as a backdrop, students in the Playwriting MFA program undergo rigorous training in the craft of storytelling for the stage. Graduates of this immersive program primarily go on to careers in theater. The MFA in Playwriting is a 60-credit program that can be completed over the course of three years.

With small class sizes and individualized instruction, candidates for the MFA in Playwriting are trained to deepen both the quality of their self-expression and the social purpose of their work. To that end, students are encouraged to engage with outside research areas, such as African American Studies, Anthropology, Art History, Film, Music and Women's Studies. In addition, the program emphasizes collaboration with other theater professionals across different disciplines.

The final product of the program is the thesis—a completed full-length play. The curriculum emphasizes the diversity of playwriting forms, with course selections that allow Playwriting MFA students to explore creating work in genres like 

  • adaptation,
  • docudrama and
  • musical theatre bookwriting.

Students in the program are mentored by full-time faculty, many of whom have led some of the most successful productions in American theater. Students can also take advantage of Temple's affiliations with the numerous professional theaters in the region, particularly those with new play programs.

Person looking at a printed theater script.

Program Format & Curriculum

The curriculum for the Theater-Playwriting MFA is designed to allow writers to explore areas of interest both within the School of Theater, Film and Media Arts, and outside of it, to explore a particular project or idea.

The following courses are required for the program.

  • Adaptation
  • Biz of the Biz
  • Design
  • Docudrama
  • Playwriting
  • Seminar in Dramatic Literature
  • Teaching Playwriting

Learn more about Theater-Playwriting MFA courses.

Related Graduate Degrees

Related Graduate Certificates

Tuition & Fees

In keeping with Temple’s commitment to access and affordability, this Master of Fine Arts offers a competitive level of tuition with multiple opportunities for financial support.

Tuition rates are set annually by the university and are affected by multiple factors, including program degree level (undergraduate or graduate), course load (full- or part-time), in-state or out-of-state residency, and more. These tuition costs apply to the 2023–2024 academic year.

Pennsylvania resident: $1,169.00 per credit
Out-of-state: $1,565.00 per credit

You can view the full Cost of Attendance breakdown on the Student Financial Services website.


You can focus on Theater-Playwriting or you can take one of the following concentrations.

  • Playwriting

Additional Program Information