Pre-College Programs

Pre-College: Design/Technology for Stage & Screen

The Design/Technology for Stage & Screen program is now running its 12th season online. This program was one of the first of its kind to teach aspiring designers how to develop a complete creative process, from original concept to creation of the design presentation.

An important objective for our online setting is to initiate and nurture the warm artistic community that naturally develops among our students. Students and teachers will engage each other through whole class sessions, small group collaborations, and exercises in pairs. There will be scheduled critiques where participants submit work for peer feedback and advice. The teachers will meet with students one-on-one as well, to provide additional individualized attention.

Each year on the last day of the program, students present their design packages to an audience of family and friends. This year students will create digital portfolios from their work in the course, and as always, will also receive coaching on interviewing and presenting their work, both in person and online.

Design/Technology for Stage & Screen is offered as a noncredit program.

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Program Dates and Costs


  • July 5 – August 7, 2020 (including required orientation)
  • Design/Technology for Stage & Screen showcase: August 7, 2020

Costs per student:

  • Design & Technology for Stage & Screen Tuition: $3,395
  • Non-refundable program application fee: $60

Pre-college programs are not eligible for Emerson college's tuition benefits.

Learning Outcomes

As a student in the Design/Technology for Stage & Screen program, you will:

  • Analyze a script and translate its ideas into visual images
  • Build and improve your knowledge of the principles, functions, and elements of scenic, lighting, costume, mask and makeup design
  • Learn programs theater and set designers use, such as Lightwright, SketchUp, and Vectorworks
  • Exhibit, present, and discuss your designs
  • Create a portfolio for college interviews and applications


The Design/Technology for Stage & Screen schedule will be a combination of synchronous (Zoom or Google Hangouts) and asynchronous (content review, discussion board, etc.) formats.

Design/Technology for Stage & Screen Showcase

On the final day of the program, you will present your work to an audience of family, friends and peers. A Virtual Final Presentation Showcase is scheduled for August 7, 2020.

Required Materials

Participants are expected to provide their own art supplies. A list of items will be provided.

Emerson College reserves the right to change any provision of this program at any time. The College specifically reserves the right to change its tuition rates and any other financial charges. The College also reserves the right to rearrange its courses and class hours, to drop courses for which registration falls below the minimum enrollment, and to change instructor assignments.

Application Guidelines

Who Should Apply

The Design/Technology for Stage & Screen Program is designed for students who want intensive training in the elements of theatrical and cinematic design, have respect for the design process, and understand how to manage their time and complete assignments both in and out of the classroom.

Students entering grades 10, 11, and 12 during the 2020–2021 academic school year and who have the desire and maturity to receive constructive criticism about their work and give helpful feedback to others during the program are encouraged to apply.

Application Materials

Each candidate for the Design/Technology for Stage & Screen Program must submit the required online application, a non-refundable $60 application fee, and the following documents:

  • Student Statement of Purpose: In one or two pages, please describe:
    • what you hope to achieve during the Pre-College Program
    • an event you feel has prepared you for Emerson's Pre-College program.
  • Essay: In one or two pages, discuss the following: a theatrical production, film or visual artwork that you believe has most influenced or inspired you and your design work.
  • Teacher Recommendation: Please submit at least one recommendation, completed by a teacher who knows your work. If possible, the teacher should know your work in the field to which you are applying.
  • Resume of your theatrical, visual art, or design experience.
  • Creative Portfolio: photos of your work, show paperwork, or other items that highlight your skills and accomplishments.

International Student Applicants

Visit international student information to learn about additional required application materials and find out more about applying to pre-college programs.

Application Deadlines:

  • Priority Deadline: February 1, 2020.
  • International Student Deadline: April 3, 2020.
  • We will accept applications through May 15, 2020.

Admission to Emerson College's Arts and Communication Pre-College Programs is on a rolling basis. We suggest applying early, as space is limited. Admission decisions are made frequently.

For questions, please contact: