MFA in Scene Design

Our Master of Fine Arts in Design programs provide early-career professionals with the opportunity to cultivate their artistic identities and professional objectives while refining and enhancing their technical and artistic skills and range. Each School of Theatre MFA student receives extensive experience in collaboration with MFA Directing, Production, and Production Management students as well as working with talented BFA performance, design, and production students.

Our program seeks to:

  • Enhance artistic communication skills and hands-on design experience within the wide range of production opportunities.
  • Explore and enhance creative collaborations with directors, actors, technicians, and playwrights.
  • Consider the pragmatic aspects of the profession and envision possibilities for new artistic leadership in American theatre.

MFA Design students are prepared for substantive careers, either as resident or freelance artists, with special emphasis placed on understanding the American regional theatre and other not-for-profit venues. Training includes collaboration with advisors and instructors who are working professionals. Full-time students may complete the program in three years, including summers (two and a half years in residence with a sixth semester option spent in professional internship placement). Most students can expect to receive financial aid in the form of scholarship, living stipend, and teaching assistantships.

Admission is highly selective, with the School of Theatre admitting one to three students each year into each of the Scenic Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Sound Design MFA programs.

Curriculum Highlights

  • Production opportunities and leadership roles on two productions each year with additional experiences in supporting production on 12 to 15 produced shows per year
  • Preparation and execution of a Thesis that represents the culmination of three years of study
  • Opportunity to work on productions of the Huntington Theatre Company as well as other members of the Professional Theatre Initiative (PTI)
  • Internships with leading regional theatres, shops, and PTI affiliates

Program of Study

(minimum of 60 credits)

First Year 1st 2nd
Matinee 0 0
Colloquium 1 1
Production 2+ 2+
Figure Drawing 1 1
History of Period Styles 1 & 2 2 2
Master Class 2 2
Scene Painting 1 & 2 2 2
Scene Design Studio 1 & 2 3 3
Lighting Design Studio 1 & 2 3 3
Total 16 16
Second Year
Matinee 0 0
Colloquium 1 1
Production 2+ 2+
Costume Design 1 & 2 3 3
History of Period Styles 3 & 4 2 2
Scene Painting 3 & 4 2 2
DS—Drama Criticism 1 1
Scene Design Studio Lab 1 & 2
Scene Dsn Studio 3 & 4 3 3
Total 14 14
Third Year
Internship 4
Matinee 0 0
Production 1
Grad project 3
Total 4 4