Production Design

Columbian College of Arts and Sciences

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

**Please note: this program is not currently accepting applications for Fall 2020. **

The Theatre and Dance’s production design program aims to unlock students’ creativity and help them master the portfolio of practical skills essential for a career as a successful design professional. Part of the arts and humanities discipline in the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, the program connects students directly to the vibrant arts community of Washington, D.C.

The M.F.A. program offers courses that provide solid artistic training, experiential academic application and a direct opportunity to apply these skills in an intense professional environment. The faculty is composed of professionals with practical knowledge of how to develop a successful career in production design.

Each M.F.A. candidate works with the faculty to develop a customized three-year program that emphasizes production design for theater and dance as well as the related arts of film, television, exhibition design and special events. All programs include nine to 18 credits of full-time apprenticeship at a local professional theater, studies in secondary design areas and cross-discipline training in the allied arts. Concentrations include costume, scenery and lighting design.


Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

**Please note: this program is not currently accepting applications for Fall 2021. **

Fall – April 1 (February 1 for fellowship consideration)

Standardized Test Scores:

GRE is not required.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction. 

Minimum scores for the M.F.A. program are:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based;  or
  • PTE Academic: 53

Applicants to the Master’s program who do not meet minimum English language requirements may be eligible for our full-time Applied English Language program.

Recommendations required:

One (1) recommendation

Prior academic records: 

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If transcripts are in a language other than English, English language translations must be provided. The English translation alone should be uploaded into your application.

Statement of purpose: 

In an essay of 250 – 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study in your chosen field. Include your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans. Also discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned on the application. If you are applying for an assistantship or fellowship, you should also describe any teaching experience you have had.

Additional requirements:

Applicants must submit a design portfolio.

International applicants only: 

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW, and English language requirements.

For more information on the admission process, please visit the Columbian College of Arts and Sciences Frequently Asked Questions page.

Supporting documents not submitted online should be mailed to:
Columbian College of Arts and Sciences – Graduate Admissions Office
The George Washington University
801 22nd Street NW, Phillips Hall 107
Washington DC 20052

Contact for questions:
[email protected] ~ 202.994.6210 (phone) ~ 202.994.6213 (fax)
8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Monday through Friday