MFA in Scene Design

Our Master of Fine Arts in Scene Design program provides developing theatre professionals with the opportunity to cultivate their artistic identities while refining and enhancing their craft.

Our program seeks to:

  • Enhance artistic expression and communication skills through hands-on, mentored design experience within a wide range of production opportunities and classroom instruction.
  • Explore creative collaborations with directors, actors, technicians, and playwrights.
  • Develop a thorough understanding of professional working methods and standards.
  • Create new forms of theatrical expression for the next generation.

MFA Design students are being prepared for substantive careers as theatre artists. Training includes a rigorous curriculum, production design opportunities, and collaboration with professionals through our Professional Theatre Initiative. Students are mentored by working professional faculty and advisors.

Financial aid is available to some students in the form of scholarships, living stipends, or teaching assistantships. Admission is highly selective, with the School of Theatre admitting one to three students each year into each of the Scene Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Sound Design MFA programs.

Curriculum Highlights

  • In-depth classroom instruction in artistic, practical, and skills applications of design to the art of theatre.
  • Production opportunities to design in multiple venues and multiple genres.
  • Preparation and execution of a Thesis that represents the culmination of three years of study.
  • Opportunity to work on productions with companies through our Professional Theatre Initiative (PTI).

Program of Study

(minimum of 60 credits)

First Year 1st 2nd
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 697 & 698 Production 2+ 2+
CFA TH 677 & 678 Figure Drawing 1 1
CFA TH 755 & 756 History of Period Styles 1 & 2 2 2
CFA TH 653 & 654 Master Class 2 2
CFA TH 665 & 666 Scene Painting 1 & 2 2 2
CFA TH 663 & 664 Scene Design Studio 1 & 2 3 3
CFA TH 683 & 684 Lighting Design Studio 1 & 2 3 3
Total 16 16
Second Year
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 553 & 554 Colloquium 1 1
CFA TH 797 & 798 Production 2+ 2+
CFA TH 675 & 676 Costume Design Studio 1 & 2 3 3
CFA TH 855 & 856 History of Period Styles 3 & 4 2 2
CFA TH 765 & 766 Scene Painting 3 & 4 2 2
CFA TH 545 & 546 Directed Study: Drama Criticism 1 1
CFA TH 559 & 560 Scene Design Studio Lab 1 & 2
CFA TH 763 & 764 Scene Design Studio 3 & 4 3 3
Total 14 14
Third Year
CFA TH 591 Internship 4
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
CFA TH 898 Production 1
CFA TH 950 Grad project 3
Total 4 4