MFA in Design & Technology

Values: Collaboration / Communication / Innovation / Hands-On Learning / Career Readiness 

Design & Technology at the University of Minnesota’s Department of Theatre Arts and Dance trains students to be the makers and dreamers of tomorrow. Woven into the heart of the Twin Cities theatre hub, the Master of Fine Arts in Design & Technology explores artistic and technical challenges in scenic, costume, lighting, and sound design. Through collaborative classroom and hands-on production work, our students develop essential 21st-century skills in interpersonal communication and real-world problem-solving, giving them the versatility they need to excel in their work and in their lives.


  • Design & build works spanning a wide range of styles including musical, plays, devised works, & world premier dance performances.
  • Work with artists with local & national reputations who order a direct connection to career opportunities.
  • Explore a secondary area of design or technology focus
  • Immerse in the design process & develop strong technology skills.
  • Collaborate as a design cohort with both the director & technical production teams.
  • Engage in Season Selection considering cultural, artistic, & educational relevance.

Full Requirements

+Design & Technology students are in constant demand by the large Twin Cities professional theatre and arts community, where internships and overhire opportunities are consistently available. UMTAD alumni are active in countless performing arts organizations locally and nationally. 

+The Rarig Center houses a proscenium, thrust and two black box theaters. 

+The annual University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theater BFA Acting Training Program main stage occurs at the Dowling Studio at the Guthrie Theater, a leading 21st-century arts organization.

+The annual BA Dance main stage Production features work by renowned Cowles Visiting Artists. Since 1987, through the generosity of Sage and John Cowles, the University of Minnesota Dance Program has annually hosted four to six dance professionals of international distinction in residencies ranging from one to ten weeks. The guests teach, choreograph new dance work, rehearse repertory, and develop new work for our main stage season.

+The UMTAD Professional Scene Shop Wing builds scenery for Penumbra Theatre, a nationally recognized theatre institution based in Saint Paul, MN, whose mission is to “illuminate the human condition through the prism of the African American experience.” 

+Our program partners with the Chemistry Department to produce Energy & U, an interdepartmental bi-annual event that teaches the 1st Law of Thermodynamics and world energy use. In January and May, more than 10,000 3rd through 6th grade students come to Rarig Center. Our goal is simple: to get elementary students excited about science, engineering, theatre, and going to college. In  May 2022, the program was expanded to reach underserved communities by offering some of the performances in Spanish.