Design

Application Requirements

M.F.A. and Certificate

The Design application (costume, lighting, projection, set and sound) includes a required statement of purpose, résumé, one letter of recommendation, in addition to the name and address of two other references, and an academic transcript and the submission of a portfolio. If specified below, applicants should submit a digital portfolio through the online application. No video or other digital imagery will be accepted as part of a set design applicant's portfolio. All such materials will not be reviewed.

The portfolio is not an advertisement and should not be "dressed up" to "sell" oneself. Please avoid mats, acetate covers, superfluous graphics, and other forms of "eyewash." Binders are discouraged. Plots and paperwork should be printed full scale and folded if necessary.

Costume Design

The Admissions Committee prefers that a costume applicant submits a digital portfolio through the online application process. Qualified applicants are invited to interview after the Costume Design Admissions Committee reviews the applications and portfolios.

A costume design applicant, who is unable to submit a digital portfolio, should mail the portfolio to the Design program by February 1. (Design Program, David Geffen School of Drama, PO Box 208244, New Haven CT 06520)

Lighting Design

The Admissions Committee prefers that a lighting applicant submits a digital portfolio through the online application process. Qualified applicants are invited to interview after the Lighting Design Admissions Committee reviews the applications and portfolios.

A lighting design applicant who is unable to submit a digital portfolio should mail the portfolio to the Design department by February 1. (Design Program, David Geffen School of Drama, PO Box 208244, New Haven CT 06520)

Projection Design

We invite all applicants in the Projection Design program to schedule a conversation with the Projection Faculty, in person or online. Graduate school is a time for exploration within your field and to invest in your growth as designer. We recognize each student is unique in their lived experience, career ambitions, and pedagogical needs. We feel a conversation, as part of the application process, allows us to experience a greater understanding of the individual and their work, than the portfolio and personal statement alone. We encourage our applicants to research multiple Projection Design programs to find the best fit between the institution and individual as each program and faculty is unique in its personality and strengths.

Please schedule a conversation with the projection faculty by contacting the Design program at 203.432.1579 or kate.begley@yale.edu.

Set Design

NOTE: Set design applicants can submit a digital portfolio through the online application process. Set design applicants should should self-schedule an in-person interview and must bring their portfolio to the interview. Applications must be complete at the time of an in-person interview.

Set design applicants, who are unable to appear in-person for an interview, should upload their digital portfolio through the online application process or mail their portfolio to the Design department by March 1. (Design Department, David Geffen School of Drama at Yale, PO Box 208244, New Haven CT 06520)

Set design applicants should self-schedule an in-person or zoom portfolio review by contacting the Design Program at 203.432.1579 or kate.begley@yale.edu.

Sound Design

There are many people who assume they are not ready to apply to Yale. The Sound Design faculty encourage applications to the Sound Design program, and venture to say, “Don’t be afraid to apply!” Please email mikaal.sulaiman@yale.edu to schedule a preliminary phone interview. An honest assessment of an individual’s readiness to apply for admission is provided. At the conclusion of a successful preliminary phone interview, qualified applicants will be invited for an on-site interview between January 5 and March 1.

Earlier on-site visits or interviews can be arranged on an as needed basis. Alternate arrangements, including internet video conferencing, can be made for international applicants, or for applicants who are unable to travel during the personal interview period. NOTE: A site visit is extremely valuable.

The on-site interview generally consists of an introductory meeting; a tour of the facilities; introductions to faculty, students, and staff; the portfolio review; a listening evaluation; an opportunity to see a play in rehearsal or performance; opportunities to sit in on classes; and a summary discussion. A two-day visit is recommended, but the process can be truncated to accommodate an applicant’s schedule.

An applicant is urged to submit their application as early as possible. No application is considered after February 15. The applicant provides a resumé, a statement of purpose, an official undergraduate transcript, three letters of recommendation, and a photograph (non-professional acceptable) that is used only to relate the applicant’s application to the portfolio. Professional associates, mentors, professors/teachers, or persons who can provide relevant character references may submit letters of recommendation. General references may be considered, but professional references are preferred. At the formal interview the applicant should be prepared to present their portfolio even though it was submitted digitally. No media is returned that is left after an interview.

Applicants to the Sound Design program submit their applications electronically. The portfolio should include any material that defines the applicant’s creative process. It can include excerpts from productions, projects, sound art, broadcasts, recording projects or any creative venture that honestly expresses what the applicant can do. Portfolio submissions may include any or all of the following: audio and video files, drafting, still images, text files, music notation (compositions/arrangements), spreadsheets and database reports from recent design work in dramatic theater, musical theater, performance art, radio, video or mixed media. For each production or project submitted, applicants should provide a written description of the work that provides some performance context to help the admissions committee understand the manner in which the work was designed/executed. Applicants submitting a reinforcement design for a musical should include any or all of the following documentation: full line drawings of the reinforcement system, a detailed equipment list, a microphone plot for the orchestra (or band), a radio frequency (RF) microphone schedule, cue sheets, photographs or other supporting paperwork or research. In general, presenting a comprehensive view of a complete production process (large or small) is of most value when evaluating an applicant. Showing range of experience is also important. Contact Mikaal Sulaiman mikaal.sulaiman@yale.edu; 203.432.8825) with any questions.