MFA - Design/Technology


As You Like It: Masquer Theatre, Fall 2003

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in Design/Technology is a three-year program that combines intensive professional training and production experience. Students choose to specialize primarily in scenery, costuming, or lighting and also select a secondary area of study. Each program is under the direct guidance of a full-time faculty member with the support of a professional staff, allowing close individual guidance for each student. Students are expected to design or make significant technical contributions to two or three productions a year, in addition to working to support all seven to twelve School shows. Opportunities also exist for the graduate students to design for the Montana Repertory Theatre.
The curriculum is designed to develop each student’s technical skills and artistic abilities to the fullest. Course sequences are offered in all design areas and supported by advanced classes and independent study in the student’s area of concentration. Students are expected to complete coursework in at least two areas of theatrical production. Graduate students are encouraged to teach undergraduate students as a part of their academic training.
Each MFA candidate in scenic or costume design/technology must complete a two-part Final Creative Project in the student’s area of emphasis. For designers, the FCP consists of the design and realization of a mainstage production, and the design for a non-realized major dramatic work. For technicians, the FCP consists of major technical responsibilities for two mainstage productions. Each MFA candidate in lighting design must complete the design of two major mainstage productions during his/her final year of study. All MFA candidates are required to write a culminating paper describing the designer’s process, script analysis, and production outcome for each of the two shows.
In addition, the program develops students as teachers and utilizes teaching and the development of teaching pedagogy to further develop the student’s understanding of his/her own craft and theory. Teaching assistantships are available to qualified applicants who have been admitted to the graduate program. These are awarded annually on a competitive basis and are renewable depending on the candidate's progress and job performance and the instruction needs of the program. All applicants are considered for these awards. Students need not apply under separate cover. Teaching assistants are required to register for nine credits each semester.

Each emphasis will normally accepted a new MFA candidate every one to two years as funding is very limited. There are currently two second-year students in costuming and one final-year student in lighting. Applications will be accepted for the 2018-2021 rotation beginning Fall 2017: visit for details on how to initiate the application process.


Area of Specialization in Design/Technology

501-Intro to Graduate Studies
507/508-Graduate Production Assignment (repeat three times)

531-Grad Seminar: Theatre History

545-Graduate Design Seminar I

546-Graduate Design Seminar II
556-Graduate Rendering Techniques

540/550/560-Design class in primary emphasis (repeat twice)

540/550/560/565-Design class in secondary emphasis

542/552/562-Problems in primary design emphasis

542/552/562/567-Problems in secondary design emphasis

609-Design Project (repeat once)

645-Graduate Design Seminar III

646-Graduate Design Seminar IV
Electives approved by advisor (15 credits)