Graduate Design Program

The Design Program for Theater is a professional training curriculum where M.F.A. designers and technicians collaborate with professional faculty, staff and guest artists to stage exciting, contemporary theater for diverse audiences. We are looking for aspiring designers who will pursue the intent of the play wherever it leads them, into any period or style, into any emotion or state of mind, and whose knowledge and skills are so various that they bring a rich theatricality to the worlds they create. The Design Program for Theater combines intensive classroom work with full-scale productions to create well rounded designers and technicians. Our graduates find work in many aspects of theater, including regional theater, educational theater, and the entertainment industry.

The MFA Design Program is a three-year, full-time conservatory program. Students may specialize in one or more of the following areas: Scene Design, Costume Design, and Lighting Design.

Request information about the program here.

Course of Study

Year One
Year Two
Year Three

For more information, please visit the Graduate Bulletin.

Application Process

1. Apply through the University/Resident Theatre Association
2. Apply Online to Temple University. Send additional application materials to:

Leah Dempsey
Assistant Director for Administration
Division of Theater, Film and Media Arts
1715 N. Broad Street
118 Rock Hall
Philadelphia, PA 19122

For more info, please visit The Graduate School Admissions Page.

Interview and Portfolio Presentation

Temple interviews design program candidates at the national University/Resident Theatre Association auditions and at the campus. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Department in Philadelphia, to attend classes and speak with faculty, staff and current students.

At the interview we are interested in learning as much as possible about you - your thinking and imagination, your vision, your sense of theater, your visual and graphic abilities. Portfolios should include examples of design and technical work: renderings, rough sketches, examples of drafting, working drawings and realized production work, or other work that demonstrates theatrical and graphic ability. If possible, present one complete set of designs from conception (rough sketches, notes, etc.) through renderings, plans, drafting or other drawings, through to photos of the finished work.

You can also include art work, photography or any material which you think shows your imagination and abilities. Include a concise statement about yourself and your goals.