Deadlines and Requirements: Theatre Design/Technology

  • Deadlines

    Fall Application Only: March 1, 2022
    Portfolio Submission: March 5, 2022

    Application Requirements

    Portfolio Submission

    Once the students application is received from the Common App or from SUNY, students will receive an email with their Purchase Admissions Portal link which will have direct links to the Theatre Design/Technology portfolio submission and form.

    Interview Dates

    In-Person and On-Campus

    • January 29, 2022
    • January 30, 2022
    • February 8, 2022
    • March 8, 2022

    Students will be able to schedule their interview as soon as their portfolio has been officially completed and submitted online through their applicant portal.

    Portfolio and Interview Requirements

    For Fall 2022 admissions students should prepare a portfolio that includes examples of design and/or technical work that you have done in high school, community theatres, summer stock or at other colleges, including any digital or virtual projects you have collaborated on. Please present your Portfolio in a way that you feel best represents you in an organized fashion. Prepare your materials in a single document to upload in your Applicant Portal, once you have applied with (PDF files are preferred). You must also bring your actual portfolio materials with you to the interview.

    Portfolio Requirements Include:

    1. Head shot (does not have to be professional).
    2. Prepare a resume which includes a complete list of your theatrical experience. It should include titles of works, duties performed, locations of performances and the names of directors, designers, and stage managers with whom you have worked.

    3. In addition to the one letter of recommendation that is required with your application, please upload at least one additional letter of recommendation from a theatre professional, art teacher or anyone that can speak to your artistic abilities.

    4. Prepare a portfolio that includes examples of design and/or technical work that you have done in high school, community theatres, summer stock or at other colleges, including any digital or virtual projects you have collaborated on. 

    Your portfolio should reflect interest in one of the following potential areas of specialization: Costume Design, Costume Technology, Lighting Design, Scenic Design, Stage Management, or Technical Direction/Production Management. Although extensive portfolios are not required, please use the examples that follow as a guide, noting that these items do not need to all be Theatrical.

    Interview Requirements Include:

    1. Read Tennessee Williams’ play, “Night of the Iguana”. Questions about this play will be asked during the interview.

    2. Bring physical portfolio pieces to discuss.

    Example Pieces for each concentration:

    Costume Design & Costume Technology

    • Sample artwork, drawings, paintings, sketches, and garments that you have made. Any photos of produced shows or garments.

    Lighting Design

    • Sample artwork, paintings, drawings and/or photography, drafting, and Light Plots. Any photos of produced shows.

    Scenic Design

    • Sample artwork, drawings, paintings, still life or still life studies, and drafting. Any photos of produced works.

    Stage Management

    • Sample prompt scripts, cue sheets, ground plans, rehearsal notes, prop sheets, schedules, and run sheets. Any photos of produced shows.

    Technical Direction/ Production Management

    • Drafting samples, show paperwork. Photos and examples of objects that you have built.

    Admission Decisions

    Applicants will be notified of decisions within two to three weeks of their interviews. If you are offered admission, you will need to accept our offer in writing and you will be required to submit an enrollment deposit by May 1.

    For additional information about the Theatre Design Technology BFA program, visit the Conservatory of Theatre Arts.


Whether you just graduated high school or you’ve taken a gap year (or more), if you have not yet attended college you should apply as a freshman. Even if you’ve taken college-level courses in high school, Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) exams, you’re still a freshman.

Who We’re Looking For

It takes a certain nature to thrive at Purchase. While we seek to enroll academically qualified students with a consistent record of achievement in a challenging high school curriculum, we also seek students with grit—the determination to strive and succeed.

Successful students at Purchase are highly motivated, intellectually curious, and deeply engaged in our community as well as the world at large. Our students are passionate about their goals and persevere to achieve them. They are daring—willing to take calculated risks to achieve more when they create works of art, engage in research and scholarship, or take on internships. They are driven to succeed and exhibit an entrepreneurial spirit in creating that success for themselves. In addition, Purchase students are often socially aware and will take an active stand for what they believe in.

All candidates are encouraged to pursue a rigorous college prep curriculum throughout their entire high school career, enhancing their college preparation through honors and Advanced Placement coursework. The Office of Admissions maintains a holistic review process with a focus on the quality of your academic program, your cumulative academic average, your Think Wide Open Statement, and supplemental information. 

Typical Grades

Generally, successful freshman applicants have earned a GPA of 3.0 (or 85 on a 100 point scale).

Purchase does not require scores from the SAT or ACT exam (with exceptions), though applicants are given the option to submit them. It is recommended that test scores be submitted only if it is believed to benefit the application. For applicants who are considering submitting scores, we typically prefer the following:

  • SAT: 1170 total score
  • ACT: 24 Composite

Students who are required to submit test scores include:

  • Applicants who are homeschooled
  • International students, who will need to provide a TOEFL score
  • Applicants who attended secondary schools that provide only narrative evaluations rather than some form of grading scale

Think Wide Open Statement

Purchase College’s motto is “Think Wide Open.” It’s our way of learning, teaching and being and so much more. By choosing Purchase, students make a conscious decision to join an intense community with a deep respect for individuality and diversity and an unparalleled environment of creativity and innovation.

As an applicant, we want to know what Think Wide Open means to you. All students submit either an essay, video or other creative work (poem, song, visual artwork, etc.). It should be original and should connect to Think Wide Open broadly or specifically. Videos and creative works should include a brief introduction or statement that helps contextualize your submission for the viewer/reader.