MFA Costume Design

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in costume design at Boston University College of Fine Arts provides developing theatre professionals with the opportunity to cultivate their artistic identities while refining and enhancing their craft.

Degree Type

  • Graduate


  • In-Person


  • Full-Time


  • On-Campus
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Students in BU’s MFA in costume design program are prepared for a substantive career as theatre artists. Our MFA in costume design enhances artistic expression and communication skills through hands-on, mentored design experience within a wide range of production opportunities and classroom instruction.

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Graduate costume design students get to explore creative collaborations with directors, actors, technicians, and playwrights. They’re the creators of new forms of theatrical expression (and fashion) for the next generation. With an average class size of three students and a 5:1 student-to-instructor ratio, students receive one-on-one mentorship, working in state-of-the-art facilities, and showcasing their work in theatrical productions throughout BU’s Art District.

“The community is so creative and inspiring. The work brought to the table is always stunning! I feel like I’m really forging not only connections for my career path, but some really great friends, too.”

-Emma George (CFA’22) MFA Costume Design

Program of Study

Training includes a rigorous curriculum, production opportunities to design in multiple venues and genres, and collaboration with theatre professionals. Costume design majors are regularly mentored by working professional faculty and advisors through their weekly seminars, hands-on, in-process production advising, and end-of-semester conferences.

Students prepare and execute a thesis that represents the culmination of three years of study. Examples of courses include costume rendering, millinery, historical tailoring, and fabric dyeing, among others.

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Costume design students also participate in SOT’s annual Theatre Showcase that takes place in Boston or New York City. The event serves as a celebration of the graduating class and the group’s formal introduction to the professional theatre community. 

Laure | Photo by Jacob Chang-Rascle

Costume Shop in CFA Production Center | Photo by Daniel Bastidas

The Legend of Georgia McBride | Photo by Sarah Coleman


Costume design majors get to work in BU’s Joan & Edgar Booth Theatre and the College of Fine Arts (CFA) Production Center, a state-of-the-art multi-functional studio theatre and production facility with a full complement of support spaces and design labs for teaching and producing theatre.

Students are mentored by professional faculty members, whose work has been seen throughout the world, in regional theaters, on Broadway, and internationally. Costume design students have access to top theatres throughout the country for internships, summer stock, design, and production opportunities.

Networking through the School of Theatre’s onSET program, where guest artists come to BU and develop shows in our multitude of theatre spaces, giving our students more opportunities to work on a variety of shows. Personal design studio spaces are available for students, with inspirational sights nearby – museums and historical sites in Boston that can provide inspiration for costume research.

Rigoletto director Leslie Swackhamer (front right) invited Mickey (front left) to design the opera’s costumes. Behind them are the students Mickey brought with her: Duncan Michael (CFA’25) (from left), Gregg Wiggans (CFA’25), Yao Kuang Lee (CFA’25), and Dante Gonzalez (CFA’24).

CFA Costume Designers Help Swedish Company Stitch Together a New Rigoletto

School of Theatre director Susan Mickey and four BU students spent July in the countryside working with Opera på Skäret

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MFA Design & Production Theatre Graduates Present at National Design Portfolio Review

An introduction of talented, emerging designers to the industry included five BU MFA grads

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Featured Student Work

It’s all in the attention to detail.

Emma George (CFA’22)

Emma George (CFA’22)

Emma George (CFA’22)

Emma George (CFA’22)

Emma George (CFA’22)

Notable Graduates

Next Steps for Applicants

The best way to determine if BU is right for you is to explore our admission requirements, financial tools, and resources.

Fill out our request for info about BU theatre programs form to receive additional information about your program of interest and to send us any questions you may have.


We are happy to discuss your educational interests and career goals.



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