Costume Design

A Christmas Carol
             A Christmas Carol, Fall 2011

My experience in the design program as a costume design graduate assistant has been overwhelmingly positive. I have learned more than I ever imagined – not at a surface level, but in-depth, applicable skills that I will use in my future career. The faculty and staff have been patient and eager to assist me. They offer guidance and support while respecting my autonomy and offering me positions of increasing responsibility and artistic freedom. With every show and class I feel my confidence increasing and the depth of my knowledge growing.

- Holly Payne, M.F.A. Costume Designer, Midsummer Night's Dream, 2007 Season

Midsummer Night Dream
Midsummer Night's Dream, Fall 2006

Master of Fine Arts in Theatre: Costume Design

Developing a strong portfolio of fully realized designs with careful mentorship is a primary goal of the program, along with exploring non-traditional design opportunities through extensive studio course work. Practical opportunities abound in at least three theatre facilities. Students pursue a primary area: costume, scenery, or lighting, and are encouraged to explore secondary areas of design as well. 

The design curriculum is enhanced by courses offered in other University departments such as Art and Architecture. Designers are supported by well-equipped shops and shop staff employees. Designers are supported by well-equipped shops; the costume shop is staffed by a full-time professional manager and the scene shop is headed by an experienced full-time technical director.

For more information, please contact Patricia Martin at


Costume Design Courses Include:

THTR5213 Costume Design (Odd years, Fa) Advanced study of the art and practice of stage costume design. Emphasis on the expression of character through costume. Development of rendering and research skills. Portfolio development.

THTR5243 Costume Technology I (Odd years, Sp) Advanced methods of costume construction techniques and the practice of theatrical pattern drafting will be explored through project work.

THTR5253 Costume Technology II (Even years, Sp) Advanced study in methods of costume construction and pattern making techniques with emphasis on tailoring, draping, corsetry and costumes crafts as determined by student needs. Prerequisite: THTR 3243 and THTR 5243.

THTR5283 Costume Design Studio (Fa) Individual and advanced projects in designing costumes for various theatrical genres with emphasis on the design process involving text interpretation, character analysis, and research. Collaboration skills and advanced rendering techniques will be explored. Contributes to on-going portfolio development. Prerequisite: THTR 3213 or THTR 5213 or instructor consent.

THTR5293 Costume Technology Studio (Sp) Individual and advanced projects in costume construction and techniques with emphasis on flat pattern, draping, corsetry, tailoring or costume crafts as determined by student need. Contributes to on-going portfolio development. Prerequisite: Graduate standing or instructor consent. May be repeated for up to 9 hours of degree credit.

For a complete list of graduate courses, please visit the catalog of studies.