Placeholder image for Sound Design

Sound Design, M.F.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 36 months
University rank #51 (BCR) Boston, MA, United States
Our Master of Fine Arts in Sound Design program at Boston University provides developing theatre professionals with the opportunity to cultivate their artistic identities while refining and enhancing their craft.


Our program seeks to:

  • Enhance artistic expression and communication skills through hands-on, mentored design experience within a wide range of production opportunities and classroom instruction.
  • Explore creative collaborations with directors, actors, technicians, and playwrights.
  • Create new forms of theatrical expression for the next generation.

MFA Sound Design students at Boston University are being prepared for substantive careers as theatre artists. Training includes a rigorous curriculum, production design opportunities, and collaboration with professionals through our Professional Theatre Initiative. Students are mentored by working professional faculty and advisors. Financial aid is available to some students in the form of scholarships, living stipends, or teaching assistantships. Admission is highly selective, with the School of Theatre admitting one to three students each year into each of the Scene Design, Costume Design, Lighting Design, and Sound Design MFA programs.

Curriculum Highlights

  • In-depth classroom instruction in artistic, practical, and skills applications of design to the art of theatre.
  • Production opportunities to design in multiple venues.
  • Preparation and execution of a thesis that represents the culmination of three years of study.
  • Opportunity to work on productions with companies through our Professional Theatre Initiative (PTI).

Learning Outcomes

The Sound Design program aims to develop a complete theatre artist by fostering a passion for theatre, storytelling, design, and the collaborative process. Through their required coursework and production assignments, Sound Design students will:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of theatre as an art form and the role sound can play in that art.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the role of the sound designer in the collaborative process in relationship to the director and to the visually oriented members of the design team.
  • Design sound that will communicate aurally, conceptually, and emotionally to an audience.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the functions and qualities of sound and music and the creative use of both to support storytelling and the theatrical experience.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the skills sufficient to obtain professional positions in the performing arts as a working sound designer, including, but not limited to, drafting, familiarity with sound technology and sound paperwork, and implementation of a sound design from the conceptual phase to opening night.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Matinee
  • Colloquium
  • Production
  • Master Class
  • Sound Design Studio

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 36 months
  • Credits
    60 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Get a free IELTS practice test
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®

General Requirements

  • Completed application for Graduate Admission to the College of Fine Arts.
  • Non-refundable application fee of $95.
  • Upload transcripts from all colleges and universities attended to your application
  • Résumé.
  • Letter of Intent
  • Completed Online Portfolio Submission ($10 fee)
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation from theatre professionals

Tuition Fee

  • International

    27386 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 27386 USD per year and a duration of 36 months.
  • National

    27386 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 27386 USD per year and a duration of 36 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Boston

  • 1560 - 3240 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Check your fit
Check your budget and academic fit with this study

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


Did you know you can compare your wishlisted programmes with our new Comparison tool?