The M.F.A. in Scenography is a three-year integrated program of study leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree, the terminal degree for professionals working in design for theatre, dance, film, and television. Scenography classes take an engaged practice based approach to theatre design to prepare students in areas of technical production such as costume, lighting, and set design. Our core curriculum provides students with the tools that they need to develop a portfolio in a wide variety of theatrical and performance genres. Students will execute realized designs in both the large Crafton-Preyer proscenium stage, the William Inge Memorial theatre (black box) as well as studio and site specific spaces. Students learn new technologies in theatre, lighting and costume design, including new innovations in Virtual Realities. 

Please visit the Department of Theatre and Dance’s Graduate Resource page for more information. 

Admission to Graduate Studies

An applicant seeking to pursue graduate study in the College may be admitted as either a degree-seeking or non-degree seeking student. Policies and procedures of Graduate Studies govern the process of Graduate admission. These may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Please consult the Departments & Programs section of the online catalog for information regarding program-specific admissions criteria and requirements. Special admissions requirements pertain to Interdisciplinary Studies degrees, which may be found in the Graduate Studies section of the online catalog.

Graduate Admissions

Our holistic application evaluations are based on several criteria: grades, the strength of recommendation letters, written or portfolio samples, previous experience and the fit of your interests with our program. A full list of application materials and deadlines is available on The Department of Theatre and Dance's admission pages. The Department of Theatre and Dance does not admit new students for the Spring or Summer terms. 

The completed application should be submitted online.

Contact Information

Graduate Administrative Associate
University of Kansas
Department of Theatre & Dance
356 Murphy Hall
1530 Naismith Drive
Lawrence, KS 66045
Phone: 785-864-3511


M.F.A. in Theatre Design with a Concentration in Scenography Degree Requirements

Scenography classes are at the core of the curriculum. While in the program, students will design at least 4 realized productions in the University Theatre program. They will do at least 1 lighting, 1 costume and 1 scenic design, and preferably a combination of 2 or all design areas for 1 production. Design assignments, made by the scenography faculty, will be based on the students' experience and interests (i.e., a student with little experience in lighting design will be given a less challenging project in the smaller theatre).

Students work with the KU Theatre's professional staff in the realization of their designs. Successful scenography students at the University of Kansas have come from a variety of backgrounds, including theatre, art and design, illustration and architecture. Students with deficiencies in theatre production, theatre and/or art history, and painting and drawing may be required to take undergraduate courses in these areas, which could result in a longer program.

To complete the M.F.A., the student must sustain a grade-point average of 3.0 or higher through 60 graduate credit hours. The following guidelines govern the distribution of hours:

Core Requirement
THR 703Directed Readings in Theatre3
Concentration Requirements
THR 518Scenography and the Classic Script3
THR 519Scenography and the Modern Script3
THR 618Scenography and the Musical Theatre3
THR 619Scenography and the Contemporary Script3
THR 620Scenography and the Experimental Production3
THR 719M.F.A. Production Seminar6
THR 801Professional Development Seminar1
THR 819Advanced M.F.A. Production Seminar (3-credit course taken twice.)6
THR 898Investigation and Conference (for Master's Students)6
THR 899Master's Thesis1-6
Electives: no limit, but a minimum of 15 hours for a total of 60 hours. Courses in Theatre are recommended, specificially THR 520, 521, 525, 526 or 599 as needed.