Graduate Programs
Video & Media Design

The School of Drama Graduate Video and Media Design Option is a conceptually rigorous, hands-on and innovative three-year program, which teaches advanced technical skills in a critical context, leading to a Masters of Fine Arts.

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 critical making, experimentation, and collaboration.

Graduate Video & Media Design students participate fully in the ambitious School of Drama production schedule across 3 theaters and non-traditional theater spaces. All CMU productions are student designed and produced, with close faculty and staff 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.

The 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.

For more information, feel free to contact Nica Ross or Lawrence Shea directly.

What You Will Learn

The School of Drama Video and Media Design Option is an intensive three-year course of study providing a solid theoretical grounding in the history and contemporary issues surrounding media technologies and extensive practical experience through class-work as well as participating in the School of Drama’s vibrant production schedule.

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.

Graduates leave with a wide range of skills and our alumni work across many performance and entertainment disciplines, including theater, film, television, dance, opera, game design, extended reality, immersive experience design, concert design and live events.


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

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.

In addition, all Video & Media Design 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.

What You Will Become

Video & Media Design is a rapidly growing and exciting area at the intersection of science, art, culture and society. Graduates from the program will be leaders in this burgeoning industry. The range of experiences and skills acquired at CMU, as well as its well-established Alumni network, ensure graduates will be placed at the forefront of this exciting field.

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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