School of Design & Production

School of Design & Production


Overview of School


Recognizing the importance of designers, craftsmen, and managers as collaborators in the performing arts and entertainment industries, the School of Design and Production (D&P) offers a unique and comprehensive program of instruction and practice in ten different concentrations in theatrical design, production, management, and theatre crafts. Students design and execute the sets, properties, costumes, lighting, wigs, makeup, and sound, and manage all production aspects for more than 20 productions and events each year. D&P partners with the schools of Dance, Drama, Filmmaking, and Music in mounting their productions and projects, including operas, musicals, plays, films, ballets and contemporary dance performances.

Essential to the development of young artists is both an exposure to the performing arts and a strong background in the liberal arts. Our students benefit greatly from living and working in a closely-knit community of artists from the Schools of Dance, Drama, Filmmaking and Music; our students’ education is enriched by a General Education liberal arts curriculum that is integrated in the School of Design and Production BFA program.

A. BFA Concentrations

Costume Design & Technology (Design Studio)
Costume Design & Technology (Technology)
Scene Design
Sound Design
Wig and Makeup
Scene Painting
Stage Management
Stage Properties
Scenic Technology

Bachelor of Fine Arts



A. Admissions Requirements

Admission to the BFA Programs in the School of Design and Production is by application, interview and portfolio assessment. Applications and portfolio submission are completed online. On campus or virtual interviews with program faculty are required, and are coordinated by the Office of Admissions. Interviewing as early as possible is recommended as all programs have incoming class size limits and interview slots may fill quickly.

B. Bachelor of Fine Arts Requirements

The BFA requires 120 - 126 credit hours of coursework depending on the specific program of study. This degree total includes 90 - 96 credits of coursework in Design and Production and other related arts areas; 42 - 44 of these credit hours are in Production. The BFA also requires a minimum of 30 credits of General Education Liberal Arts coursework. See DEP curriculum models (click on the "Bachelor of Fine Arts" tab above) for the outline of courses required for each concentration.

All students in the School of Design and Production must be able to artistically, intellectually and physically participate in all phases and activities of the concentration in which they are enrolled. In general, students in the School of Design and Production must possess the ability to communicate clearly with the faculty and other students in classes and production activities, and they must be able to watch and hear live productions and possess the ability to analyze and discuss them. The various professional fields of design and production have specific physical demands. The School of Design and Production embraces inclusiveness and will make reasonable accommodations for students showing professional promise and the ability to handle the rigorous work of the program and of the field. It is important to note that not all disabilities can be accommodated.

C. Transfer Credit and Advanced Placement

The School of Design and Production will consider transfer credit for arts classes taken at an accredited college or university on a case-by-case basis. Only courses that have received a grade of C or better will be considered. Advanced placement in arts courses for professional work will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the faculty of the student’s concentration. Transfer credit for General Education Liberal Arts courses will be considered by the Division of Liberal Arts (DLA). See the DLA section of the bulletin. An official transcript from the original granting institution must accompany all transfer credit requests. Any additional supporting documentation will be determined by the Dean's offices and/or the Registrar's Office.



A. Minimum GPA

Students in the School of Design and Production are expected to achieve and maintain a mandated minimum Grade Point Average (GPA) in two categories: liberal arts and arts courses. Failure to achieve and/or maintain these minimum GPAs will result in placement on probation and be subject to non-continuation in the program. Specific information about minimum GPA requirements, probation and non-continuation is available in the Institutional Policies Section of the Bulletin

B. Production Evaluations

Students enrolled in Production must participate in the Production Evaluation process at the end of each semester of enrollment. More specific information concerning the Production Evaluation process is available from the faculty of each concentration. All work covered in the course titled Production (DEP 1000 and DEP 5000) will be graded and evaluated at the end of each semester by the entire D&P faculty.

C. Continuation

Continuation from one academic year to the next in all programs in the School of Design and Production is based on several factors and is not automatic. Among these are: faculty assessment of professional potential, class grades, production assignment evaluations, growth in artistic and/or technical abilities as applicable, academic growth, professional demeanor and creative discipline. If a student is found to have interacted inappropriately with the UNCSA or School of Design and Production community, or to have failed to follow UNCSA or School of Design and Production policies and procedures, they will be subject to dismissal from the program. Please see Undergraduate Policy on Student Probation and Continuation.

D. Division of Liberal Arts (DLA) General Education Requirements

Design and Production students pursuing the BFA must complete a minimum of 30 credit hours of DLA General Education courses and earn a minimum overall 2.0 DLA GPA in order to graduate. It is recommended that students complete at least 12 semester hours in each of their first two years of the program in order to be on track to graduate at the end of their fourth year. Students wishing to submit college level coursework or AP test scores in fulfillment of General Education requirements should contact DLA for transfer equation evaluation. Additional information about the General Education program and requirements can be found in the DLA section of the bulletin.

E. Additional School of Design and Production Policies

Students must read and comply with all policies and procedures in the School of Design and Production Student Handbook. Students must sign a Student Agreement at the beginning of each school year verifying that they have read the Design and Production Student Handbook and yearly affirm they accept the policies and procedures contained therein.


Additional Costs, Materials, and Equipment

Supplies and Equipment

Students are personally responsible for obtaining their own supplies and equipment for all classes including Production (such as drafting equipment, shop hand tools, drawing and design supplies), as well as required (or recommended) textbooks for courses. Expenditures will be heaviest during the first year, as students make major investments in equipment that they will use for the rest of their professional careers. Students not already owning some of the necessary equipment and supplies needed should be prepared to spend $850 to $1200 or more during the early part of their first year. Respirator purchasing and fit-testing is conducted annually on-campus for programs that require respirators.

Computer Requirement

All Design and Production students are required to have a working computer and printer. The choice of Mac or PC, as well as hardware and software specifications may be specific to the student’s area of concentration. Please review the most current requirements by concentration below. Many software packages will be available to current students via University license agreements and subscriptions, but may have annual reacivations or cloud storage requirements. If your program is not detailed here or you have further questions, contact the Director of the program before purchasing computers, software, apps, or other specific elements.

Sound Design Student Requirements:

Apple MacBook Pro:

  • Thunderbolt Port
  • Ethernet port or Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter
  • 16 GB minimum system RAM
  • 70 GB or more of available storage space for Logic sound libraries
  • AppleCare Protection Plan

Software: Apple LogicX available via the Mac App Store

Thunderbolt Drive:

  • 500 GB minimum size
  • SSD preferred but rotational HDD acceptable
  • Thunderbolt cable
  • Bus Powered drive, highly recommended

Lighting Student Requirements:

Apple MacBook Pro (preferred) OR Windows 10 64 Bit:

  • I7 Processor
  • 16 GB minimum system RAM
  • Integrated Graphics w/ 4 GB memory
  • 512 GB SSD minimum

Recommended for C2, C3 and C4 Lighting Students:
iPad Air, Mini or Pro Tablet with Apple Pencil

Stage Management Student Requirements:

  • Apple or Windows LAPTOP with video conferencing ability
  • MS Word and Excel

Wig and Makeup Student Requirements:

  • iPad with Apple Pencil: recommended iPad 7thgeneration or newer, but iPad 6th generation, iPad Air, or iPad Pro will work. Another brand of tablet with digital pencil compatible with ProCreate is acceptable. If the student has a different preferred digital rendering program, please contact faculty.

Stage Properties Student Requirements:

  • Mac or Windows (laptop preferred)
  • 16GB minimum system RAM
  • 70 GM or more of available storage space

Costume Design and Costume Technology Student Requirements:

  • Mac or Windows laptop
  • MS Word, Excel and Powerpoint
  • Additional recommendation for Design students:
    • iPad with Apple Pencil
    • Scanner


Optional Internships, Apprenticeships, etc.

Students in their fourth year may, with the permission of the Dean and the approval of the faculty, receive credit for one or two semesters of arts courses for an internship with a professional company. These students continue to pay regular tuition to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.