Home page

Theatre Design and Technology


Programs in theatre design and technology prepare people to work on plays and other live dramatic productions.

In theatre design and technology programs, students learn practical skills, including how to:

They also study:


Several community colleges offer associate degree programs in theatre design and technology. An associate degree program at a community college usually takes two years of full-time study to complete.

Many colleges and universities offer a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree program. A BFA degree usually takes about four to five years of full-time study.

Many universities offer graduate degrees in theatre design and technology. A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree typically requires two years of study beyond a bachelor's degree. Doctoral (PhD) degree programs usually require two or more years of study beyond the master's degree.

See schools that offer this program.

Related Educational Programs

Related Careers

Careers Directly Related to this Program of Study

Other Careers Related to this Program of Study

Program Admission

You can prepare for this program by taking courses in high school that prepare you for college. This typically includes four years of English, three years of math, three years of social studies, and two years of science. Some colleges also require two years of a second language.

While not required, most schools recommend that you participate in the production of your high school plays and musicals. In addition, many programs require you to submit separate application materials in addition to your general college application. Usually you have to complete preliminary theatre design courses, write a personal statement, and demonstrate basic design, drawing, and painting skills.

Below is a list of high school courses that will help prepare you for this program of study:

Graduate Admissions

Admission to graduate programs is competitive. You need a bachelor's degree, good grades, and good test scores.

Additional requirements at some schools include:

Typical Course Work

Program Courses

This program typically includes courses in the following subjects:

Most programs require you to submit a portfolio of class projects and actual theatre work at the end of each course or academic year. Portfolios often consist of story boards, sketches, renderings, set plans, and models. Portfolios are reviewed by faculty to ensure that your skill level and production responsibility is increasing.

Graduate Program Courses

Graduate study in theatre design and technology typically includes:

Things to Know

In this program, hobby skills are valuable, especially in theatre or music production, set design, costume production making, and acting. Knowledge of sewing and woodworking are especially useful.

Even though its focus is mainly on live theatre, this program also offers skills you can use for television and film productions.

Independent art and theatre schools often focus more intensively on practical arts and career preparation, while colleges and universities tend to require more in the way of general studies.

Often, theatre design and technology programs are combined with film or dance programs. In addition, some theatre design and technology programs are called sceneography.

During your undergraduate studies, you are expected to take more responsibility with each stage production. By the end of your degree, you should be a stage manager, designer, or set director for at least one production. This is especially important if you are considering graduate school.

Some programs (especially graduate) allow you to specialize. You can concentrate on costume, sound, lighting, or set design. You can also specialize in technical production, stage management, or another related area.


King-Snohomish Area

Cornish College of the Arts

North Seattle College

Seattle Pacific University

Shoreline Community College

University of Washington - Seattle

Spokane Area

Gonzaga University

Whitworth University

Tacoma Area

Pacific Lutheran University

West Side Area

Vivaluxx School of Makeup Art