Master of Fine Arts - Lighting Design

The Hilberry Lighting Design program focuses on the production of theatre in combination with individualized coursework that develops each student as an artist. Working in both the Hilberry and Bonstelle Theatres, students design for multiple productions during the program. They also have the opportunity to undertake Sound Design for a number of productions.

These opportunities are combined with classes that are kept small enough to address the particular needs of each student. This combination provides a solid experience in both the theory and practice of lighting design, preparing students for careers as designers in the entertainment industry.

The following selection of courses is typical for lighting designers:

  • Foundation of Graduate Design
  • Advanced Lighting Design
  • Professional Lighting Design I & II
  • Design Studio I-IV
  • Technical Theatre Problems
  • Intro. to Scenic Painting
  • Play Direction
  • Development of Drama
  • Theatre Aesthetics
  • Theatre Costuming
  • Stage Design
  • Teaching Internship Option
  • Repertory Theatre (design practicum)
  • MFA¬†Exit Project

Application requirements

  • A resume
  • 3 or 4 letters of recommendation
  • unofficial transcripts
  • samples of design work (submitted electronically)

Interview requirements

Candidates for each of the design programs must bring a design portfolio. The portfolio should convey information about the ability of the candidate to express artistically, to be sensitive to the dramatic materials, to work with space, and to use color, form and research materials. Each piece in the portfolio must be marked with the candidate's name, the name of the play, the date of the piece, and whether it was realized in production.

Admission is based off audition and/or interview and you must also be admitted by The Graduate School at Wayne State University.

To apply, please visit the Graduate School Application Portal.

Financial Package

  • Stipend: 2019-2020 $19,967
  • Full Tuition Waiver
  • Insurance: Medical/Dental/Vision (employee contribution)