Graduate Programs
Video & Media Design

The School of Drama Graduate Video & Media Design Program is a conceptually rigorous, hands-on and innovative three–year program that teaches advanced technical skills in a critical context.

Video & Media Design Graduates are expected to think critically about media technologies, their impact on individuals, relationships and society and to explore these issues in the form and content of their work.

This program is designed for dynamic artists working at the forefront of media technology and the arts. Course work is focused on experimentation and collaboration. The core classes, Decoding Media and Staging Media, challenge students to conceive of fresh, media-based theatrical experiences and the skills to realize them at a variety of scales. Future Stages—the flagship collaborative class—is where Graduate students from the Design and Directing programs work with the Senior Actors to devise new works exploring the rich potential of technologically savvy performance.


The School of Drama Video & Media Design Option is an intensive course of study providing a solid theoretical grounding in the history and contemporary issues surrounding media technologies and extensive practical experience through class-work and productions.

All students design a thesis production, which is fully mounted and technically supported as part of the School of Drama season.

The curriculum is designed to allow time for students to take advantage of the wide variety of resources at Carnegie Mellon University for in-depth study. From animation to robotics, 3D image capture to creative coding, students work with Faculty advisers to create their ideal curriculum.

Expanded Theater is a cross-disciplinary “Fusion Studio” (part of the IDeATe curriculum), where students explore a variety of new technologies and unusual platforms for theatrical experience with students & faculty from across multiple CMU Departments (Fine Arts, Engineering, Computer Science, Entertainment Technology, Robotics). The course explores domains ranging from site-specific and network-supported performance / interventionist practices, to pervasive social media technologies and their influence on interpersonal communication. The goal is to investigate contemporary languages that allow authors, actors and technologists to collaborate in ways that push beyond our present understanding of theatrical production and reception.

Special Topics in Media courses fill out the curriculum; these workshop-based classes explore the newest technologies and contexts. This Spring we are offering a course exploring Augmented Reality for site-specific performance.

This program is designed to leverage CMU’s advanced curricula in a variety of disciplines across the university to provide Graduates with an in-depth yet flexible course of study. Cross-departmental projects are enthusiastically supported; indeed, the ability to tailor your course of study toward your interests and career goals is a key asset to this program.


Graduate Video & Media Design students participate fully in the ambitious School of Drama production schedule. All CMU productions are student designed and produced, with close faculty support. Graduate students are involved in at least one production per semester, which range from one-act plays to full-scale main-stage productions and “devised” or experimental works.

Through professional internships with local and national theater and media production companies, students gain valuable experience in real world situations.

School of Drama alumni and visiting artists share their expertise with students through project work, visiting lectures, workshops and professional development seminars. As students ready themselves for graduation, alumni introduce them to the profession during Showcases in New York City and Los Angeles.

Unique Platforms

All School of Drama students have to opportunities to participate in the following:

Dance/Light is a performance opportunity for students across all disciplines to collaborate in the creation of original dance and movement pieces.

A Festival of Independent Student Work: Playground is the annual, School of Drama, three-day performance festival showcasing independent, student-produced work across multiple disciplines.

The Visiting Artists Program brings distinguished national and international guests to campus to work with students across all disciplines.

The School of Drama Showcase presentations in Pittsburgh, New York, and Los Angeles are designed to give graduating students from all disciplines the opportunity to meet with and present work to leading arts and entertainment professionals.

Graduate Video & Media Design students are encouraged to take advantage of the diverse range of expertise in the Carnegie Mellon University community to create a course of study and production experiences that suit their interests and goals.


Graduate Video & Media Design Curriculum


Nica Ross

Lawrence Shea

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