Design for Stage and Film (MFA)

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Program Description

Through a series of carefully orchestrated classes students develop their individual voices as designers and artists over the course of the three-year Master of Fine Arts program.  Students focus on one primary design area of design - set, film, costume, or lighting and are encouraged to make connections throughout the Tisch school and within other areas of design in our department to develop their design thinking and build lifelong collaborative relationships .

Art courses and classes that build and strengthen myriad technical skills related to theater and film designing are important for the design student but the program's priority is on the design process. In the classroom students are encouraged to explore, in depth, the text, character, music, history, and psychological elements of their work and are challenged to apply their creativity in new and imaginative ways. Emphasis is placed on storytelling, rapid prototyping, and collaboration with shops and artistic collaborators, all which create a rigorous approach to the design process.

In the Design Department the craft is in the art and the art is in the craft.  Students work with rigor and depth to articulate their unique point of view, understanding that design is a core visual component of modern storytelling.


All graduate applicants to the Tisch School of the Arts are required to submit the General Graduate Application, as well as a department-specific portfolio or creative supplement. Each of these can be submitted online.

See Graduate Admissions for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.

For international applicants, see International Applicant RequirementsApplicants with international credentials should be sure to check to see if their credentials are equivalent to an American Bachelor’s degree before applying.