MFA in Design

The MFA Program in Design is a professional training curriculum where student designers and technicians collaborate with professional faculty, staff and guest artists to stage exciting, contemporary theater for diverse audiences. Ideal applicants are aspiring designers who will pursue the intent of the play wherever it leads them and whose knowledge and skills are so various that they bring a rich theatricality to the worlds they create. The program combines intensive classroom work with full-scale productions to create well-rounded designers and technicians. Graduates of this program find work in many aspects of theater, including regional theater, educational theater and the entertainment industry.

The MFA Design Program is a three-year, full-time conservatory program. Students may specialize in one or more of the following areas: scene design, costume design, and lighting design. The department typical accepts three applicants annually.

Brigadoon (2014)

Course of Study

The completion of 60 credits is necessary for the MFA in Design. The degree can be completed over the course of three years excluding summers. Graduate assistantships are available.

Course Work Includes:

Seminar in Dramatic Literature

Drawing and Rendering

Theatrical Model Making

Projection and Media Design

History of Décor & History of Fashion

Scene Design

Costume Design

Lighting Design

The Job Market

All design and technical students must actively be a part of the Department of Theater's mainstage season. The production work is an extension of what is presented in the classroom and gives practical experience.

The master's thesis is typically a realized and produced production, executed by the department as part of its mainstage season. The underlying premise is to create and produce a professional design within a professional production.

A written thesis is required for completion of the degree.

Learn more about the curriculum in the Graduate Bulletin.

For discipline specific information please contact:

Marie Ann Chiment, Costume Design

Fred M. Duer, Scenic Design

Jason Norris, Lighting & Projections Design

Admissions Information

A complete application should include an application letter, three letters of recommendation, a resume, a portfolio and a copy of undergraduate transcripts. To receive most favorable consideration, we should receive your application no later than February 1, 2018. Once we have reviewed applications, we will contact select applicants for an interview. Information on application requirements and the audition process can be found under Theater Admissions. Accepting applicants in Lighting and Projections Design for Fall 2018.

If you have any questions about the program, please contact the Head of Design, Professor Fred M. Duer at

If you have questions about the admission process, please contact Paury Flowers at


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