Costume Design (MFA)

Costume Design (MFA)

The MFA Costume Design program provides graduates with key technical skills and opportunities to practice their craft at an advanced level in active production environments. By combining a rigorous sewing program with industry specific design courses, the students will be equipped for success in any number of positions in either theatre or film. Graduate students will have opportunities to design costumes for short and feature length films, collaborating with the director, fellow designers and the actors to create costumes that support the needs of the film. Graduates will have excellent problem solving skills and advanced success in sewing, pattern drafting, draping, and specialty construction skills like millinery, tutu, and jewelry making. Each graduate student will produce a final thesis project and portfolio that showcases the range of their talents in design and construction of garments and specialty items.


Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree

Available Online

Major Classes

FSH 601 3D Design 1 Major/3
FSH 603 3D Design 2 Major/3
FSH 640 Fashion Drawing Major/3
FSH 661 Costume Design for Theater Major/3
FSH 662 Experimental Costume Design Major/3
FSH 663 Costume Design for Film Major/3
FSH 664 Advanced Costume Design for the Film Industry Major/3
FSH 665 Costume Design Production Major/3
FSH 676 Cosplay Crafts Major/3
FSH 740 Portfolio for Costume Design Major/3


Unit Requirements

Major Coursework Units
Major Coursework 30
Directed Study 18
Electives 6
Graduate Liberal Arts 9
Total 63

Degree Requirements


  • Successful completion of Final Thesis Project.
  • Minimum grade of C in all required 63 units.
  • Minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA and the following Academic Study requirements:
    1 Art Historical Awareness & Aesthetic Sensitivity course
    1 Cross Cultural Understanding course
    1 Major Designated Graduate Liberal Arts course

Additional Information

Program Learning Outcomes

Graduate students will meet the following student performance criteria:

Costume Design Thesis

  • Create a body of work that will be built into a portfolio, representing an advanced level of achievement, targeted towards the film industry or other performance arts productions
  • Conduct research to develop creative concepts and build a visual story
  • Demonstrate a consistent level of design quality from pre-production through the shooting of the film or rehearsal process of a live production
  • Conduct specific research based on a given script that shows a clear understanding of the costume needs for the story
  • Design costumes that support the needs of the story and characters
  • Communicate design ideas 2-dimensionally using traditional and digital media
  • Develop a 2D design concept into fully realized 3D costumes for a production
  • Apply advanced 3D design techniques to create clothing to a professional standard


  • Collaborate effectively to produce creative projects

Professional Readiness

  • Create a relevant and original portfolio and collateral materials which can be used to market themselves to the industry

Academy of Art University Learning Outcomes
Graduates of the Academy of Art University will demonstrate the ability to:

  1. Produce a body of work suitable for seeking professional opportunities in their chosen field of art and design.
  2. Solve creative problems within their field of art and design, including research and synthesis of technical, aesthetic, and conceptual knowledge.
  3. Communicate their ideas professionally and connect with their intended audience using visual, oral, and written presentation skills relevant to their field.
  4. Execute technical, aesthetic, and conceptual decisions based on an understanding of art and design principles.
  5. Evaluate work in their field, including their own work, using professional terminology.
  6. Recognize the influence of major cultural and aesthetic trends, both historical and contemporary, on art and design products.
  7. Learn the professional skills and behaviors necessary to compete in the global marketplace for art and design.
  8. Engage with a variety of communities beyond the classroom through internship opportunities, study abroad programs, athletics, student interest clubs as well as collaborative, civic and pro bono projects.

*Semester plans are subject to change at any time. Semester breakdowns displayed are suggested and additional options are available to help customize your educational experience. Speak to an admissions or student services representative for more information. Please see our catalog for more details at:

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