Earn Your BFA in Costume Construction from the Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts

Webster’s Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Costume Construction offers technical production programs that focus on innovative solutions to technical problems. Students train with highly skilled professional mentors, have direct access to up-to-date equipment, and hone their practice working in three different performance spaces. Our technical programs demand the highest standards of operations and craft helping students to bring theatrical designs to life in a safe and efficient manner.

The BFA in Costume Construction relies on a holistic approach to the technical process. The first two years of the program parallel those of our design programs to ensure a balance of studio course work and practical application. The third and fourth years focus on specialization in the student’s major. Many students opt to study abroad or do an internship during their third or fourth year at Webster.

Three characters, smiling with their arms around each other’s shoulders, are dressed in red and black punk attire.

American Idiot, 2022

Three women dressed in ornate, early 20th century dress with empire waistlines are deep in discussion on a stage set with a red chaise lounge and chair.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, 2024

Two actors are dressed in Avant Garde, modern costumes. One actor wears sunglasses and the other has a beard made of pearls. Behind them, there is a leather chair and floating papers from floor to ceiling.

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, 2024

Three actors are dressed in clothing representing different eras. A woman holds an antique box with gold metalwork and wears a pink lace dress. The man standing by her is dressed like a genie. A third man dressed in black crouches behind them.

Myths and Hymns, 2023

A woman dressed in a white nightgown kneels on a red velvet bed with gold brocade pillows in the center of the stage. In the background are dimly lit stairways and arches.

Romeo and Juliet, 2023

An actor is dressed as a religious man holding a book. He is wearing an embellished cream and gold brocade gown.

Silence, 2024

here are two actors. The one in front wears a black suit with gold ruffle collar and reaches for the sky, while a woman in the background is adorned in elaborate, floor-length whimsical gown.

Sueño, 2022

Choose Webster for Your BFA in Costume Construction

Gain Professional Training in Building Costumes

Our BFA degree students execute all facets of costume design, and students are the focus. Our faculty members act as advisers and mentors, allowing students to be in charge of each production.

Our costume shop is fully stocked with industrial machines, a blind hemmer, industrial serger and baby locks. Our craft shop is equipped for millinery, jewelry making, shoe rubbering and painting work; our paint and dye room for fabric dyeing and modification.

Train with the Pros

Sargent Conservatory’s training program benefits from several professional partnerships, including collaborations with the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, St. Louis Shakespeare Festival and The Muny. We share our costume shops with The Rep and with Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. We are able to offer students unparalleled opportunities to work alongside professional theatre artists, stage managers, directors and designers in the city’s thriving theatre scene. Our students also benefit from studying in a city that boasts an internationally renowned opera company and orchestra, a vibrant music scene and a number of excellent art museums.

Mentorship from Experienced Faculty

Sargent Conservatory’s faculty members are working professionals and dedicated educators committed to nurturing their students’ artistic growth. Learn more about the individual accomplishments of our faculty. Their work includes Broadway, off-Broadway, regional and international credits, as well as projects in a variety of other fields (film, television, voice-over, corporate events). Several faculty members are currently employed by our professional partners. As a result, students in our technical production programs consistently have the opportunity to work in professional endeavors.

Featured Alum

Our alums include Brandi White (BFA in Costume Construction, ’20), whose post-graduation work includes being a star dresser for the national tour of “Ain’t Too Proud” and an ensemble dresser for “The Wiz” and “Once Upon a One More Time” on Broadway. Photos highlight WebCo’s “The Little Prince (2019)," for which White served as assistant costume designer.

Webster's Sargent Conservatory Curriculum

Our technical theatre programs begin with a fundamental first year experience aimed to develop a common theatre vocabulary and practice. Key courses include:

  • Fundamentals of design
  • Scenography
  • Drafting
  • Technical production
  • Patterning
  • Introduction to drawing
  • Principles of drawing
  • 3-D design

In the second year of training, students delve into the specific processes of their disciplines. Production assignments complement coursework, ensuring students are putting learning to hands-on practice. Key courses include:

  • Costume construction
  • Patterning and draping
  • Costume design seminar
  • Vectorworks
  • Rendering
  • Visual history
  • Figure drawing
  • Crew management
  • Theatre history

In their third year, costume construction majors take on more creative responsibility in the Conservatory production process. Increasingly, students will take advantage of opportunities for professional experiences with our professional partners. Many students opt to take a semester abroad or on internship during the third year. Key courses now include electives in other areas:

  • Advanced patterning
  • Corset construction
  • Tailoring
  • Textiles
  • Costume design seminar
  • Design electives (including millinery, mask-making and dyeing)

The fourth year aims to provide a smooth transition into professional practice. Production assignments will serve to round out a student’s resume, and preparation for the Senior Portfolio Open House will entail creating a website and fine-tuning interviewing skills. Classes typically involve:

  • Advanced costume technology
  • Costume design seminar
  • Design electives (including millinery, mask-making and dyeing)
  • Professional practice

Theatre Scholarships

Almost every full-time undergraduate student at Webster University receives some sort of financial aid. Webster’s Office of Financial Aid is committed to making a college education affordable.

Additionally, the Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts awards annual scholarships designated specifically for theatre majors. In 2023-2024, the department awarded over $225,000 in scholarships to its students. Most of these awards are reserved for our third- and fourth-year students. Every year we allot some scholarships to first-year students. These awards are made in consultation with the recruiting faculty and with the Office of Financial Aid. There is no separate application process. Please contact Andrew Laue, Associate Director of Fine Arts Admissions at lauear@webster.edu, for additional information.

Dee Graham
David Huffman Memorial Endowed Scholarship Fund Recipient

“My time here at Webster has broadened my viewpoints and my ability to empathize with others. In the world of entertainment, more and more diverse voices are being heard.”

Dee Graham
Dee Graham

BFA in Costume Construction, ’22

A woman with wings is dressed in a purple velvet dress and faces a man dressed in ornate period clothing. They are holding hands.

Apply Today for the BFA in Costume Construction

A woman with wings is dressed in a purple velvet dress and faces a man dressed in ornate period clothing. They are holding hands.

Webster's Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts is committed to your artistic growth and academic success. The first step is to fill out an application.

Contact Carole Tucker, Professor of Costume Construction

Get Started on Your Fine Arts Degree in Costume Construction

Take the next step toward earning your BFA in Costume Construction — we are here to help you get started.


Learn more about our academic programs and our main campus and locations.


Connect with our admissions counselors and academic advisors.


Apply to Webster and take the next steps for financial aid and scholarships.

Contact the Admissions Office to Find Out More

If you have more questions about the program, your application or other enrollment-related inquiries, contact our Admissions Office.

Call 314-246-7800 or 800-753-6765 or send an email to admit@webster.edu.