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For the second year in a row, UT has received national recognition for its Master of Fine Arts in theatre.

The Hollywood Reporter ranked the program 16th among the 25 best MFA acting programs in the United States and the United Kingdom. The program was ranked 20th last year.

“Last year the Hollywood Reporter updated the methods they use to evaluate MFA programs,” said Jed Diamond, head of acting at UT. “They continued to improve their research this year, and as a result we moved up four places. This is a more accurate reflection of all we offer here at UT.”

In the training studio, MFA graduate students analyze and practice the elements of art and craft. They are then able to apply this training alongside established professionals before a live audience in UT’s Clarence Brown Theatre. Students have the opportunity to perform in up to 11 mainstage productions during their three years of training and earn an Actor’s Equity Association membership card along the way.

Notable alumni of UT’s program include Conrad Ricamora (2012) of How to Get Away with Murder and Tramell Tillman (2014), who has a featured role in AMC’s new Dietland,which premieres June 4.

In addition to creating accomplished actors, the MFA program sets students up for success by allowing them to graduate free of debt. The eight actors accepted into the program every other year—from more than 700 who audition—all receive a full-ride scholarship plus a stipend.


Amanda Womac (865-974-2992,

Lindsey Owen (865-974-3993,