Lighting Design

M.F.A. in Theatre and Drama (Specialization in Lighting Design)


The three-year MFA specialization in Lighting Design trains students in the art and craft of lighting design for theatre, opera, dance and other aspects of the entertainment business. The specialization is designed to give students skills that will enhance their growth as artists through a combination of studio classes, one-on-one mentoring and production assignments. Traditional design practices are combined with new technology and innovations to give the student the best preparation possible for work in the professional world. Emphasis is placed on presentation, communication and collaborative skills.

A working knowledge of the history and literature of the theatre, art history, and the other design disciplines is important to the development of an enlightened design aesthetic, thus additional course work in these areas is encouraged. Each student will have the opportunity to practice their craft by designing numerous productions and participating in all phases of the production process while attending the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Field trips, equipment demonstrations and visiting lecturers and guest artists also complement classroom study.

MFA Program of Study
Courses numbered 300 and above count toward a graduate degree. Courses numbered from 301-699 carry both undergraduate and graduate credit; courses numbered from 700-900 and up carry graduate credit only.

Minimum Required Credits for Graduation = 75 credits

Core Program Course Work Taken by All MFA Students = 33 credits

  • 06 Credits of Theatre History/Literature/Criticism
  • 03 Credits of Script Analysis
  • 03 Credits of Directing
  • 03 Credits of “The Business of Acting” or ”The Business of the Business”
  • 12 Credits of Production
  • 06 Credits of Thesis

Specialization Course Work

Lighting Design (42 Credits)

  • 09 Credits of Design
  • 03 Credits of Drafting
  • 06 Credits of Period Dress and Décor
  • 06 Credits of Collaborative Studio
  • 06 Credits of Skills Course Work
  • 12 Credits of Electives