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The MFA in Stage Design is a terminal degree program requiring twenty-seven academic units over nine quarters during a three-year residency. The MFA degree is granted upon completion of the program with a minimum grade point average of “B” and successful presentation of a design thesis portfolio. The portfolio must show clear evidence of mastery of the full range of graphic and conceptual support skills pertaining to the student’s major area(s) of concentration and an acquisition of fundamental skills in the secondary design area(s). Two additional years are allowed for the successful preparation, presentation and defense of the MFA thesis portfolio.

The design faculty meets at the end of each quarter to discuss each of the program’s students. The faculty evaluates each student’s current artistic progress, academic standing, collaborative ability, and professional discipline. A member of the faculty communicates the results of these evaluations to each student. Unsatisfactory progress will result in a letter of warning, probation, or dismissal.

At the end of the first and second years of study, each student is required to successfully present a portfolio of design and artwork to the faculty illustrating and articulating his/her development and vision as an artist and designer. Students with deficiencies will be placed on warning or probation, or dismissed from the program.


The final activity to achieve the Master of Fine Arts degree in Stage Design is the successful presentation of a thesis portfolio revealing the graduating student’s vision of design through professional quality produced and theoretical designs, research, and accomplished graphic work. Beginning with Year III, the candidate will choose a primary area faculty advisor who will work with the student in preparation of the portfolio during his/her third year. If the student is presenting a secondary area of design, he/she will also choose a secondary area faculty advisor. The candidate may present their thesis portfolio at the completion the third year or any time within two years after completing course work.