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Indiana University Bloomington
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Master of Fine Arts, Costume Technology

Linda Pisano Heather Milam
Head of Costume Technology
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The M.F.A. in Costume Technology program will not be recruiting students for fall 2016. Our next recruiting class will be for fall 2017 admission.

The M.F.A. in Costume Technology program at IU is a three year program primarily focused on draping, patternmaking skills, dressmaking and tailoring. The exploration of pattern development technique is at the core. Costume technology students will have the opportunity to be lead cutter/draper for at least four productions in their three years. They will work in the costume shop as first hands and stitchers on many others. Technology students are treated as equals in design and production meetings and collaborate with their team from concept meetings through to the stage. In their final year they will complete either a research based or production based thesis project. The goal of the program is to prepare the student for participation in professional theatre and associated disciplines.


Students are admitted into the program after proving competency as shown by their portfolio, statement of goals, and required onsite interview. Judgments of portfolio, writing quality, and professional potential are made by members of the Design and Technology Faculty Committee.


Each year students are invited to continue in the program after the faculty has assessed a student’s academic success, artistic growth and professional development. A 3.2 GPA or higher typically indicates academic success. The student’s faculty advisor provides an interim evaluation at the end of each Fall semester, and at the end of the first and the second year, students are required to present their portfolio with an oral interview to the Design and Technology Faculty Committee. At this time the committee will determine whether a student shall be advanced in the program. Weaknesses in the areas of academic success, artistic growth and professional development will be identified and may result in a probationary semester or dismissal from the program.

Program Specifics

Costume technology students are assigned as cutter/draper on at least four productions during their tenure in the program. Students also receive production experience by being first hands, stitchers, or crafts people on the departmental productions. MFA Costume technology students must successfully complete and MFA Thesis project that is defined by the student and faculty advisor. This may be either production based (One production in the third year will be designated as the MFA thesis project which will include written documentation) or research based (topics could include new applications of existing materials and technology, exploration of new materials or technology, creation of a specific solution to a problem, or other topics that clearly show original though in costume technology). The MFA is a sixty-hour curriculum including costume technology courses, costume history, costume design, dramatic literature, history and criticism courses.


The successful student will complete the three year MFA degree program with an extensive and diverse portfolio of realized production work as well as class project work in all genres of theatre, exploring various scales and scope of productions. Additionally students will demonstrate a comprehensive portfolio of skills. The graduate from Indiana University will be well prepared for a career in the professional or academic environment. Emphasized skills include; productive methods of research, effective collaborative and communication, a mature professional process, and a rich understanding of the breadth and depth of costume technology, both historical and current.

Financial Aid

Graduate students in the Design and Technology MFA programs are typically awarded an assistantship which includes a tuition waiver covering most fees, in addition to a stipend (currently a minimum of $13,400) for working 20 hours a week in their area of expertise. Academic merit fellowships and research/creative activity travel grant opportunities are also available on a competitive basis.

Student Academic Appointees and Fellowship Recipients are automatically enrolled in the student insurance plan and the cost of the student premium is paid by the university. The plan also includes dental, mental health and prescription drug benefits. Eligible students may also insure their dependents. Eligible dependents are the spouse/same-sex domestic partner (residing with the Insured student) and unmarried children under the age of 24.

Learn more about the Student Academic Appointee Health Insurance Plan

Additional benefits include a "green conscious" campus with free buses, free Adobe and Microsoft products, and a ubiquitous wireless internet.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many students are in the program?
We have graduate students in all design and technology areas. There are five Scenic Designers, five Costume Designers, four Lighting Designers, and four Theatre Technology (TD) students. There will eventually be four costume technology students. When combined with MFA Acting, Directing, and MA and PhD students, the Department of Theatre and Drama has roughly 55 graduate students and approximately 250 undergraduate majors.

Are teaching opportunities available?
Yes. There is a course set up for the teaching of the undergraduate costume technology class. If teaching coincides with the students professional goals, opportunities exist to gain college-level teaching experience through both laboratory instruction and classroom lectures.

What types of financial aid are available?
To supplement departmental financial aid, various scholarships, fellowships, and loans may be available through the University Graduate School or the Office of Student Financial Assistance.

Does the program offer assistantships?
Yes, all MFA students accepted into the program are offered graduate assistantships which provide a full tuition waiver, plus a competitive stipend, for each of their three years of study. Some fees cannot be waived.

What styles of shows do you do?
The department takes pride in offering a wide range of theatrical genres to students and audiences. Two musicals are produced each season in combination with six plays which are presented in diverse styles.

How do I apply to the program?
You can find information on the admissions process here.

What types of job placement services are offered?
Students are mentored into their respective professions by the major professor in their area (Lighting, Costumes, Costume Technology, Scenery, or Technical Direction) with the purpose of meeting each individual student’s professional goals.

Where do the faculty instructors work professionally?
All Design and Technology faculty maintain active professional careers. Please see individual faculty profiles for more details.