Undergraduate Programs
Costume Design

The School of Drama Costume Design Option produces innovative artists and critical thinkers for the stage, television and film industries.

Costume designers use fabric, texture, shape, color and line to support and inform the theatrical storytelling process.

Students receive hands-on instruction in drawing, painting, craft and sewing, as well as an intensive historical survey of clothing and costume production. Script analysis, production methods and sound and scenic design are disciplines also covered in coursework.

Intensive production mentoring is a focal point throughout the course of study and includes expert facility oversight in the areas of costume design, costume production, history of clothing, tailoring, draping, painting and figure drawing.


We value well-rounded citizens of the world, capable of bringing insightful interpretations of the human condition to the work they create.

Essential to the School of Drama Costume program is our philosophical belief that Costume Production be taught alongside Costume Design. Students not only gain important practical knowledge about how they can work with, and what they can expect from, their future production staffs, but also, they learn marketable skills in draping, tailoring, millinery, dyeing and painting, as well as a constellation of crafts.

Students learn and apply skills needed for a specialized career in the field. Students design several productions each semester throughout their program, including as many as three dance pieces, two to four short television scripts, two subscription season productions and an internship production.

Mentorship is a fundamental component of the costume program and includes expert facility oversight. Four full-time staff members (studio manager, draper, tailor, wardrobe and stock manager) augment classroom training in the costume studio. Faculty are distinguished, working professionals who provide mentoring academically, on productions, and professionally for students' career development.


With as many as 25 annual productions in the School of Drama—among them The New Works Series, devised work, traditional theater, musicals, opera, dance, television and film—students have ample opportunity to design. Partnerships with professional theaters in Pittsburgh provide additional experiences for advanced students.

Non-classroom opportunities such as Dance/Light and the Playground Festival provide costume design students with a myriad experiences to expand and hone their skills. Internships include assistantships and paid positions with Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, Pittsburgh Public Theatre, Pittsburgh Opera and City Theatre Company.

International and national visiting artists present workshops and portfolio reviews throughout the year as a part of the School of Drama’s Visiting Artists Program. Alumni return to the school to share their expertise and graduating students are invited to visit theaters, studios and shops 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.

Intensive production mentoring is a focal point throughout the course of study and includes expert facility oversight in the areas of costume design, costume production, history of clothing, tailoring, draping, painting and figure drawing.


Undergraduate Costume Design Curriculum


Mindy Eshelman

Susan Tsu

Brian Russman

Hugh Hanson

Barbara Anderson

News & Alumni

Notable Alumni

Graduates from the School of Drama Costume Design program work in a range of professional capacities such as designer, assistant designer, shopper, milliner, dyer-painter and teacher.

The acclaimed Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama Costume Design Program prepares students for careers in regional and commercial theater, opera, dance, film, television, devised, site specific and new forms of theater making.

  • Lalon Alexander: Embroidery House Owner: Elephantine Embellishments
  • Jen Baldauf Nichol: Costume Designer for Miami Magam, Super Sportlets, U/Gen-10, John Dunn's Last Run, The Routes of Wild Flowers
  • Jen Caprio: The 25th Annual Putman County Spelling Bee
  • Eduardo Castro: Costumer's Guild Lifetime Acheivement Award, Castle, Their Eyes Were Watching God, Century City, Bride and Prejudice, Pancho Villa as Himself, Ugly Betty, Judging Amy
  • Travis Chinick: Mac Haydn Theatre, La Mama Etc, Attic Theatre
  • Melinda Eshelman: Sorority Boys, Office Space, Sanchez Productions
  • Lydia Fine: Costume and Puppet Design for St. Anne's Warehouse
  • Becky Fry: Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, Conan O'Brien Show
  • Anne Roth: Julie and Julia, Doubt, The Good Shepherd, The Hours, Cold Mountain

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