UCLA TFT - Design for Theater and Entertainment (M.F.A.)

Degrees Offered
  1. 3 Year M.F.A.
  1. Production Design
Yearly Tuition
$20k to $30k
Application Deadline Details
December 1, 2020

Film School details

School Website
What is the Application Fee? $ 120
What is the official minimum GPA requirement? 3.0
Is a GRE required for admission? No
Is a portfolio required for admission? Yes
How many Letters of Reference are required? 3
Design for Theater and Entertainment is a three-year program offering advanced professional training in three artistic areas: scenic design, costume design and lighting design.

The faculty include internationally recognized theater artists with many years of design experience in theater, opera and other dramatic forms. The diverse professional backgrounds, aesthetics and teaching approaches of the faculty allow for a wide-ranging, flexible program that can be customized to address the talents, needs and interests of each student. The program is highly selective and admits just a few students each year, permitting small classes and individualized attention not available in other professional training programs. While the development of specific design skills is important, the design faculty believe that a good overall design sense, heightened dramatic sensibilities and critical thinking are the essential qualities a designer must cultivate in order to be prepared for any kind of future creative challenge. The program's goal is to produce artists who know how to think creatively, how to conceptualize, and how to find new ways of designing for the theater. Students frequently work as assistants to faculty members on their professional projects. There is a strong emphasis on helping the student build a professional portfolio that reflects the designer's unique individual style and approach as an artist in the theater.

The School offers designers outstanding production facilities, which include four professionally equipped theaters; a professional design studio with superior computer-assisted design facilities; a professional model shop; a lighting laboratory; and professional shops for scenery, lighting and costumes. All major theater productions in the School are designed by students and there are classes and design opportunities in film and television as well.

The master of fine arts degree is awarded on the basis of successful completion of the required courses and critical evaluation of student work. The Department expects consistent progress as well as attainment of professional skills. These and other factors will also influence the Department’s allocation of production resources including the number, scale, and scheduling of projects and productions.

Application Requirements

Design for Theater and Entertainment Portfolios must include a minimum of ONE realized or theoretical project based on a play, musical, opera, TV pilot script, or screenplay of the applicant’s choice. Clearly label final scenic/production, costume, and/or lighting design renderings with production title, scenic notes, character names, etc.

PART 1: Portfolio Breakdown

Submit a full list of the creative work, papers, etc. that will be included in the PORTFOLIO. Include: Project Name, Project Date, and how you were personally involved or collaborated in its creation.



  • Submit ONE or more Costume Design projects. Include supporting documents such as but not limited to script breakdowns, research style sheets, casting options, fabric choices, and costume fabrications.
  • Submit a one-page Written Statement articulating your design approach for ANY ONE of the submitted projects.

  • Submit a complete light plot package with full paperwork for TWO to THREE completed projects.
  • Submit a one-page Written Statement articulating your lighting design approach for EACH of the submitted projects.

  • Submit ONE or more Scenic/Production Design projects for the stage or production design for film / TV. Include supporting documents such as research, mood boards, storyboards, 3d model photographs, ground plans, drafting plates, concept sketches and concept renderings.
  • Submit a one-page Written Statement articulating your design approach for ANY ONE of the submitted projects.

  • Please feel free to include imagery of other relevant work. This might include; paintings, life drawings, portraits, sketch journals, photography, lighting installations or architectural design. The goal is to show technical skills as well as artistic abilities.

DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time it was last updated. PLEASE verify with the school ALL due dates and requirements as they may have changed since our last update. If any info on this page is incorrect please let us know and we will update it. We are not responsible for missed deadlines or rejected applications due to out of date information on this page. Please do your due diligence.

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