De Paul or Rutgers?

Which one has better reputation in THEATER? I’m a transfer admitted by De Paul theater school theater arts BFA and Rutgers Theater Arts BA. I want to pursue a MFA in directing or stage management DIRECTLY from college. So I wonder which school can help me better. It seems that De Paul has a more rigorous course design but hard to finish in two years for a transfer student from non-theater major. Moreove, how could a BA student win BFA student when they both apply to MFA?

They’re both very good, though I’d probably give the edge to DePaul, just because it’s a BFA and you’ve indicated the Rutgers BA (Rutgers Mason Gross BFA would maybe beat DePaul BFA, if you’re playing rock-paper,scissors). As to how you outperform a BFA student after college, it’s pretty simple. Be better than they are at whatever you do.

Hi!! Sounds like we’re pursuing similar paths! I’m also going to be studying directing with the intention of obtaining an MFA.
I didn’t apply to Rutgers (my college coach just isn’t a fan of the program there for some reason, and we have similar priorities, so I didn’t really look into it), but I will be a BFA Theatre Arts student at DePaul starting this fall.
As far as MFA is concerned, my initial thought is that it would be difficult to gain entrance into those programs immediately out of undergrad no matter what you do. From what I hear, that process is even more selective, and you’ll be up against people who have already been working and have established themselves as directors. But I’m clearly no expert.
For me, attending a BFA program was imperative. What I liked about DePaul’s program is that I’ll have the conservatory intensity paired with flexibility that’s comparable to a BA program. And, I don’t know how the Rutgers program is structured, but DePaul allows for a specific concentration in Directing, which would probably aid you if you’re looking to go directly to MFA.
Again, I know nothing about Rutgers, and I’m pretty biased since DePaul is the program I went with! Let me know if you choose to attend - I’d love to get to know someone else in the same program before school starts!

Very few students go directly to MFA Directing programs right out of undergrad. I do not know much about either the DePaul BFA or the Rutgers BA program, but most graduate programs will not really care one way or another whether or not your undergraduate degree was a BA or a BFA. They will be interested in the experience you have had during undergrad and working in professional theatre, among other things…

In terms of Stage Management, many professional stage managers do not have MFA degrees, although some certainly do, and there are very good programs in MFA stage management. I have friends who have attended Yale for MFA Stage Management and felt like they truly grew exponentially through the program. Anecdotally, I believe it may be easier to enter an MFA Stage Management program right out of undergrad.

I would suggest looking at the curriculum for each program to see which interests you more, also which program may offer you the most undergraduate opportunities, and networking opportunities. You also want to take into consideration the amount of time it will take to complete your undergraduate degree, and finances if those is important to you.

If you search this forum you will find threads on admission to MFA Directing programs, and information from professional directors and stage managers.

Congratulations about being accepted to two strong schools!

I really appreciate all your help!

Jkellynh17: the biggest reason for considering Rutgers is that I can graduate on time and save some money. And it’s closer to New York, which has more opportunities in theater career, though Chicago is also a great theater city. Moreover, I’m an international student and Rutgers is a bit more famous than De Paul in my country, which might be better when looking for jobs.

HannahMTheatre: Yes, that’s why I love De Paul’s program! I think I will learn more in De Paul, but as there is less flexibility in the conservatory training, transfer student might start from the first year which means I probably spend 5~6 years for undergraduate study. Time and money will be both problems. If De Paul tells me I can arrange my course by myself, I will definitely go De Paul.

KatMT: Yale is my dream. As a foreigner, I can’t work in theaters for several years after college to gain enough experience for visa reason. I think pursue a MFA in stage management is better for me now, since in my country stage managers with international education background is rare. I can also work with famous directors and learn from them as a stage manager. But I wonder whether undergraduate major is important when applying stage management MFA. I know people pursue stage management BFA will learn lighting design or other highly professional design things, like in De Paul, stage management BFA will learn drawing in the first year. I don’t know whether I will be weak when applying stage management MFA if I didn’t learn design deeply.