Master of Fine Arts in Theatre, Design

About the Program

This intensive three-year program in design with a solid grounding in craft and collaboration offers candidates a comprehensive pre-professional study in Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design, or as a Multi-Disciplinary Artist. Candidates earn their Master of Fine Arts degree upon completing 60 hours of coursework, including a core curriculum, a studio series, prescribed elective courses, internships, and multiple creative projects.




TXST production of She Kills Monsters

She Kills Monsters, 2023

Scenic design by Michael Gault (MFA '25)
Lighting design by Paige Blackwell (MFA '25)
Costume Design by Kelly Connaughton (MFA '25)

Program Highlights

All MFA Design students receive full tuition scholarships plus paid Graduate Instructional Assistantships (GIA) and/or Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA).

From fully produced musicals, plays, dance, and opera, you will have the opportunity to design 3-6 realized productions on our three stages during your degree.

The opportunity to work as an assistant or associate designer with faculty and professionals at regional theatres nationwide, including Orlando Shakes, Great Lakes Theatre, Idaho Shakespeare Festival, Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival, ZACH Theatre, Cincinnati Ballet, Kansas City Ballet, and Colorado Ballet.


We have devised our core curriculum to strengthen the foundation of storytelling, research, collaboration, and professionalism in a series of eight courses shared by each new group of MFA designers and directors. In addition to the MFA core, designers take a series of courses with their cohort of scenic, lighting, and costume design students that focus on the development of the craft and the designer's point of view. Each spring, discipline-specific classes focus on allowing each designer to develop their craft further.

TXST production of Into the Woods

Into the Woods, 2022

Scenic design by Max Debardine (MFA '23)
Lighting design by Rachel Aho (MFA '23)
Costume Design by Angelica Hadiwibowo (MFA '23)


Students must submit an online application and be accepted into the Graduate College. You must pay $55 nonrefundable fee to submit your application. Click below for more information about how to submit your official transcripts, statement of purpose, portfolio, and two letters of recommendation.
TXST production of Big Love

Big Love, 2023

Scenic design by Michael Gault (MFA '25)
Lighting design by Jennifer Gonzalez (MFA '24)
Costume Design by Sarah Rosenkranz (MFA '24)


All MFA candidates at Texas State University receive exceptional financial support.

All incoming MFA students in Design and Directing receive full tuition scholarships plus Assistantship stipends throughout their training. We are proud of the funding we offer graduates to enable them to focus on their training, and we believe that equal support creates the best basis for collaboration and artistic growth.


Prospective students who have completed an application for admission are encouraged to apply for the Graduate College Scholarship before February 1, 2024. The Graduate College also provides several different merit-based scholarships annually; for more information on all Graduate College scholarships, visit The Graduate College website. 

El Nogalar at TXST

El Nogalar, 2021

Scenic Design by AnnDee Alvidrez (MFA '22)
Lighting Design by Rachel Aho (MFA '23)
Costume Design by Rossina Lozoya (MFA '22)

Spring Awakening at TXST

Spring Awakening, 2021

Scenic Design by Erin Lavespeare (MFA '21)
Lighting Design by Andrew McDaniels (MFA '21)
Costume Design by Will Ward (MFA '21)


Graduate Instructional Assistantships (GIA) and Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) assignments are made each term and range from Instructor of Record, Teaching Assistant, and production support staff, based on each student’s skills and interests.

Each student is awarded two 25% assistantship positions (10 hours each) for a 20-hour commitment per week.

To remain eligible for scholarships and assistantships, students must hold a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher and remain in good standing

For additional information, visit the Graduate College Website.

The numbers below are based on the 2023-2024 school year rates.

1st Year
Full Tuition Scholarship
Assistantship $14,300
based on classification and assignment

2nd Year
Full Tuition Scholarship
Assistantship $14,715-$15,325
based on classification and assignment

3rd Year
Full Tuition Scholarship
Assistantship $15,160-$15,940
based on classification and assignment

MFA Degrees

Scenic Design

Lighting Design

Costume Design

TXST production of DeMaskUs

DeMaskUs a.k.a. Running, 2023

Scenic design by Cheri Prough DeVol
Lighting design by Emma Hansen Bayless (MFA '25)
Costume design by Aaron May (MFA '25)
Projection design by Brydon Lidle (MFA '23)

At Texas State, we provide a hands-on, holistic approach to the expansive entertainment industry. We offer students multiple realized design opportunities, with access to industry-standard technology and professional connections through exciting faculty, guests, and alums.

Our commitment to the art of storytelling prepares our students to be versatile artists. We stress the importance of telling stories from all voices through thoughtful research, shared experiences, and collaborative discovery.

In the classroom and on our stages, we practice an experiential philosophy, creating opportunities to design both intimate and large-scale projects. Our four performance venues in the College of Fine Arts and Communication are home to a variety of performance disciplines, with new works, plays, musicals, dance, and opera filling our diverse production season.

Texas State University’s Design Faculty, comprised of world-class working designers, connects you to the profession and the broad spectrum of theatrical and non-theatrical disciplines. Our present and attentive mentors teach an extensive curriculum focused on sharpening your aesthetics and expanding your technical and collaborative skills.