The Theatre and Dance Department has an exciting graduate program for the theatre designers of tomorrow! The Theatre Design and Production MFA is a three-year program offered in Scene Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design and Technical Direction.
The Master of Fine Arts degree in Design at Tulane University offers an in-depth study of theatrical design areas with an emphasis on preparing the student for a career in professional theatre or as a teacher of a specialized field at the university level. Applicants to the program must have completed an undergraduate degree in theatre or have had equivalent training and experience.
The Master of Fine Arts degree in Design places concentration and emphasis on design as a collaborative process with equal emphasis on technical and creative skills as learned both through classwork and practical production.
The program is a three-year program. Two and a half years are spent in residence and one semester of the third year in an internship with a professional theatre. Students with an MA in design or production may, at the discretion of the faculty, complete their degree sooner. Normally, 48 hours of coursework are required for the completion of the degree. In addition, six hours are earned with the internship assignment and thesis production.
It is the philosophy of the design faculty that the design process is best taught through the realization of designs in actual production situations. Each year, the Department of Theatre and Dance provides a number of opportunities for such realized design projects. The department produces three to four mainstage productions and one dance concert each year directed by faculty or guest directors. Students in design and technical direction are assigned to these projects as their skills develop. The Third Year Thesis Project becomes the culmination of a number of realized projects. The selection of this production is intended to provide a showcase of each student's talents and skill. Each student's work is reviewed by the faculty on a semester-to-semester basis.
Tulane University requires that each graduate student commit 15-20 hours a week of service to the department in which the student is involved. This is required of a student regardless of acceptance or non-acceptance of a stipend. Any student offered an assistantship will be granted a full tuition waiver. Currently, all of our graduate students receive a stipend and a full tuition waiver.
TOTAL REQUIREMENTS FOR A DESIGN MAJOR = 54 HOURS
Core Courses for a major in Design
Scene Design Track
Costume Design Track
Lighting Design Track
Technical Direction Track
For more information on course descriptions please visit the course catalog. (Levels 600+)
Admission to the MFA Design program is highly selective and only a small number of candidates are selected every other year. This ensures each student considerable production experience as well as continual one-on-one contact with Theatre Design faculty. Our last class entered in the Fall of 2021. The next application intake opportunity will be Spring 2023.
Please note that while the university states a February 1 application deadline, the department traditionally recruits at USITT in March and allows for submissions through the end of April. Admission to the program is based primarily on consideration of the candidate's academic ability as evidenced by his/her undergraduate GPA, previous theatre experience, and portfolio. The GRE is no longer required.
Ideally, the design faculty would like the opportunity to look at the applicant's portfolio during an interview. However, if an interview is not possible, the department will request that the applicant send a portfolio of representative work for review. Please do not send your portfolio with your application; wait until it is requested by the department.
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