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MFA Design Program


The MFA in Theatre degree at the University of Tennessee exists to identify, cultivate, and train individuals of diverse backgrounds who have the talent to contribute substantially to the art of design, to their profession, and to the national culture.

The Department of Theatre offers a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre with concentrations in Costume Design, Lighting Design, Scenic Design, and Sound and Media Design

MFA candidates undergo 3 years of rigorous training in the classroom, the studio, and designing in the professional “laboratory” context of the Clarence Brown Theatre.

All design students are on assistantships, including full remission of tuition, an annual stipend of about $16,000.00 and up to $1500.00 annual travel funding as approved by faculty.  Total average support over three years: more than $161,000.00

Seven to eight design graduates are recruited every other year for enrollment in the Fall of even-numbered calendar years:  two in costume design, two in lighting design, two in scenic design, and one or two in sound and media/projection design.

While in residence at UT, MFA designers have won more than 100 regional and national design awards since the inception of the program.

MFA designers travel extensively.  In recent years, they have visited Ireland, Thailand, India, Mexico, Vietnam, Prague, Amsterdam, New York, Istanbul, Wales, London, Bulgaria, Berlin, and Munich.  During these visits, students took master classes, worked with internationally renowned artists, showcased their work, and competed at conferences, while also seeing theatre, touring cities and museums, and absorbing world culture.

Our MFA programs are strong and growing stronger.  We are entering a period of increased revenues and facilities enhancement.

Have a closer look at all we have to offer by following the links below for each design concentration:

Costume Design Concentration

Lighting Design Concentration

Scenic Design Concentration

Sound and Media Design Concentration

Photos: King Charles III, the graduate lighting studio, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, A Lesson Before Dying. Photos by Kenton Yeager and Brynn Yeager.