The goal of the M.F.A. in Scenic Design is to prepare you for participation in professional theatre and associated disciplines. The M.F.A. is a three-year, sixty credit hour curriculum including scenic design, scenic painting, property courses, allied skills, technology courses, dramatic literature, history and criticism courses.
The M.F.A. in Scenic Design combines a strong curriculum with diverse opportunities for realized design work: these are the foundation for training. Working professionals offer intensive instruction in both classroom and studio settings. You also participate in one-on-one tutorials with their major professor.
You receive instruction in the use of both traditional and contemporary visual communication tools as they relate to the theatre and allied fields. You gain experience in drawing, painting, and model building in both hand drafting and computer aided design (CAD). Script analysis is emphasized, too, as is research and its interpretation in scenic design.
Coursework is equally balanced and enhanced with participation in production work, in an atmosphere of healthy collaboration and effective communication.
To ensure a deep understanding of related fields, you also earn a minor in Costume Design, Lighting Design, Theatre Technology, Sound Design, or successfully complete an approved sequence of courses from at least three of these areas.Learn more about requirements in our Student Portal
Our M.F.A candidates are assigned at least four productions to design during their tenure in the program. As part of your assistantship (20 hours/week), you receive hands-on professional training in the scenic studio with the building, painting and prop acquisition of the department’s shows.
Our Scenic Design candidates also take on positions of leadership with assigned scenic charge artist or property master positions under the guidance of the Properties and Scenic Paint Supervisor. In addition, candidates supervise undergraduate stagecraft students and may assist faculty designers.
One production in the third year will be designated as the M.F.A. thesis project, which will be documented and then evaluated by the Thesis Committee.
You will complete the M.F.A. with a diverse portfolio of realized designs, highly developed research, collaborative and communication skills, a mature professional process, production leadership experience, and a rich understanding of the breath and depth of scenic design.
You are admitted into the program after proving competency as shown by your portfolio, statement of goals and required onsite interview. Judgments of portfolio, writing quality and professional potential are made by members of the Design and Technology Faculty Committee.