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MFA Theatre - Lighting Design

Illinois State University

Illinois State's Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Lighting Design program is dedicated to the development of individual students to reach their professional goals within the field of theatrical lighting design.

The three-year Lighting Design program is an intensive blend of theory and practice. Students can expect to design up to six fully produced shows during their MFA studies. They collaborate alongside a team of creative colleagues and foster working relationships which serve as the foundation for future internships and professional designs.

Illinois State provides unique teaching opportunities and training alongside a comprehensive curriculum. It provokes intellectual curiosity and demands articulate communication of intangible design solutions. The program fuses theatrical design theory with a fresh perspective on contemporary psychological and physiological lighting science.

Studying alongside professional designers and directors, students will leave this program with extensive portfolios and introspective comprehension. They will be prepared for a variety of professions within the field of lighting design. Learn more about design opportunities in the Lighting Design program.

Graduates of the program work successfully in regional, commercial and university theatres nationwide.


The plan of study for graduate Lighting Design candidates is tailored to meet the needs of the individual student. Learn more about the Lighting Design curriculum.

Professional Practice

The Illinois Shakespeare Festival offers MFA students the opportunity to assist accomplished professional designers from around the country. Graduate students may also seek out internship opportunities in professional theatres and shops nationwide. Students are encouraged to pursue professional work during the summers to gain new insights and to build networks.

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Listed below are the documents required to apply for this course.
$23,440 Per Year

International student tuition fee

2 years


Jan 2025

Start Month

Dec 2024

Application Deadline

Upcoming Intakes

  • January 2025
  • January 2026

Mode of Study

  • Full Time