Theatre (Stage Design)

Degree Types: MFA

The Masters of Fine Arts in Stage Design Program at Northwestern University prepares a select group of scenery, costume, and lighting designers for professional careers in the American Theatre, international theater and related design fields. Central to this three-year program of study is an emphasis on intensive collaboration between designers and directors, rigorous analysis of texts, thorough research and a fervent effort to nurture unique artistic voices. It is our belief that passionate, insightful artists immersed in a team-based environment, will generate bold, compelling theatrical works.

The first year of study emphasizes the importance of skills, training, and design process. The second year prioritizes collaboration, research, and imagination and serves as a transition from the activities and points of view of the entering student to the professional profile and attitudes of the graduating designer. The final year's activity concentrates on designing and the preparation of the thesis portfolio.

The MFA in stage design is a terminal degree program requiring thirty-three academic units over nine quarters during a three-year residency. The MFA degree is granted upon completion of the program with a minimum grade point average of "B" and successful presentation of a design thesis portfolio. The portfolio must show clear evidence of mastery of the full range of graphic and conceptual support skills in the student's major area(s) of concentration and an acquisition of fundamental skills in the secondary design area(s). Two additional years are allowed for the successful preparation, presentation and defense of the MFA thesis portfolio.

At the end of the first two years of study, each student is required to successfully present a portfolio to the faculty illustrating and articulating his/her development and vision as an artist and designer.

Please visit the M.F.A. in Stage Design website or view our Design Photos slideshow.

See Theatre Degree Requirements for specific classes and procedures needed to complete this program.