Welcome to the MFA in Debate & Communication

The UAM Master of Fine Arts in Debate & Communication, non-residency and fully online, provides opportunity to talented and highly self-disciplined secondary and postsecondary debate coaches to earn an MFA tailored to fit their careers, interests, and goals at an affordable price relative to other degree programs and to develop their coaching, administration, and research skills to an exemplary level through study under successful and dedicated debate coaches and teachers from a range of backgrounds and competitive perspectives.

Contact Information

Mr. Jim Evans
Director of Forensics/Debate
Phone: 870-460-1589

University of Arkansas at Monticello
Arts and Humanities
562 University Drive
Monticello, AR 71656

Program Description

  • 48 Semester hours are required.
  • Each student must achieve mastery in three areas: coaching, administration, and research.
  • Up to 9 semester hours of graduate transfer credit may be accepted if the coursework has been completed in the past six years.
  • Graduate Assistantships are awarded a small number of qualified students who teach online sections of intro-level Communication courses. Blackboard training is required. Graduate Assistants are closely mentored by the Graduate Director.
  • Students can move through the MFA program at a pace they find comfortable, taking as few as 3 hours in an academic term or as many as 12.
  • A thesis and comprehensive exams are required for all MFA graduates.
  • Students must earn a C or better in all courses and maintain a minimum grade-point average of 3.0.

Application Checklist

  • Official Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate coursework with a degree in Communication or closely related field from a regionally accredited institution
  • Proof that the applicant is currently employed by a high school, college, or university as a primary or assistant coach of a competitive debate team
  • Writing sample demonstrating applicant’s suitability for graduate study
  • Personal essay
  • CV

Please wait to apply to the UAM Graduate Program until after you have received an acceptance into the MFA program.


A transcript showing a posted bachelor’s degree with a degree in Communication or closely related field from a regionally accredited institution. Unofficial transcripts are sufficient for the faculty’s review of your application, but official transcripts are required for admission.

Transcripts of any graduate coursework must be submitted separately. Applicants must submit transcripts from all colleges and universities attended regardless of whether a degree was obtained.

Essay Guidelines

Please submit a 2-3 page personal essay addressing the following:

  1. Applicant’s background in competitive debate coach
  2. Applicant’s goals and expectations for their graduate education
  3. How applicant’s work, family, or other obligations will accommodate devoting 20 to 25 hours per week to coursework and to the completion of other program requirements.
  4. Reasons why an online MFA program suits the applicant’s level of experience and goals for future development as a debate coach

Apply Now

Please apply to the University and then email: key@uamont.edu with the subject with the subject line "MFA Application" to apply.