Starkle Dream Up. Stephens College

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Costume Design

The Stephens College B.F.A. in Costume Design program develops professionals who are well prepared to take on their next role – whether that is a position with a major national or regional theatre company, fashion design firm, a competitive apprenticeship, a fellowship or a prestigious M.F.A. program.


  • Accelerated B.F.A. program – three years/two summers (eight-semester program) 
  • Collaborations with students in Technical Theatre and Stage Management, Fashion Design and Digital Filmmaking programs – for a more comprehensive learning experience 
  • Varied production schedule across a wide range of styles and genres; includes a professional summer stock theatre experience and theatre for young audiences
  • Significant schedule of nationally and regionally recognized guest actors, directors and designers
  • Individualized career preparation 


  • Students start working in their major from their first semester and are challenged with immersive workshops, master classes, technical coursework and focused instruction. Students also hone their sewing, cutting and design abilities.
  • The program offers significant cross-disciplinary opportunities to study in Stephens’ renowned Fashion Design program. The 75-year program is ranked among the “Best Fashion Schools in the World” by Business of Fashion, London and is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA). The College also maintains a historical costume archive of 400,000+ pieces available for study.
  • The program emphasizes career preparation; students receive personalized feedback from mentors and advisers starting their first semester. 


  • A robust production schedule provides varied opportunities to hone technical and leadership skills.
  • The program features two summer intensives at Stephens’ College Okoboji Summer Theatre, a professional summer stock theatre company in the beautiful lakeside community of Spirit Lake, Iowa. OST offers an extensive production schedule. Producing 13 shows in 10 weeks, students work with professional costume designers and guest artists on a wide range of productions.
  • Note that advanced students who are interested in pursuing a competitive internship or fellowship at a comparable theatre or fashion design program in lieu of their second summer at OST are allowed to do so with faculty adviser approval.

Application and Portfolio Submission

A portfolio submission is required for the B.F.A. in Costume Design program. Learn about the portfolio submission process. Please note that all new students interested in the program must first apply to Stephens College using our free Stephens College application or the Common App. Students must apply to the College BEFORE submitting an audition or portfolio. 


More to Explore

Students in the B.F.A. in Costume Design program are part of the Stephens College School of Creative and Performing Arts. 


Program News

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Our Columbia, Missouri, performing arts stages have been welcoming guests for 72 seasons. Our Okoboji Summer Theatre has been welcoming guests for 63 seasons. We value the ongoing support of all our friends, supporters, patrons and donors, and look forward to seeing you at our next production. 

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