Stand Out With an Undergraduate Degree From Webster

Alumni from our Global Campuses


Earn Your BFA in Lighting Design from the Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts

Webster University’s Sargent Conservatory of Theatre Arts offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Lighting Design, one of only a few programs whose productions are designed entirely by undergraduate students; faculty input on production work is strictly advisory. Design students acquire production experience necessary for their degree and simultaneously build exciting, varied portfolios. The combination conceptual work in the design classroom coupled with practical shop and stage work creates a unique opportunity for artistic and professional growth. Our curricular sequence aims to improve each student’s artistic skills.

Students majoring in Lighting Design pair design classes with fine arts and light technology courses throughout their time at Webster. Many students opt to also study abroad or do an internship during their third or fourth year at Webster.

An actor in the front is illuminated with a spotlight while three actors and a dress form with a large pair of wings are in the shadows with a backlight. They stand in front of a large, round stained-glass window.

Myths and Hymns, 2023

The stage lighting is dark blue with small, floating, multicolored red and yellow lights. An actor is in the center stage illuminated by a large glass chandelier and surrounded by a group of actors in the blue shadowed background.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, 2024

A modern-day woman sits on the floor and types on a laptop. The stage and background are dark, and the actor is lit with a bright light.

Blood at the Root, 2023

A large ensemble of actors on stage, dressed in punk clothing. The lighting is atmospheric and there are multiple beam angle lights which produce patterned shadows on the floor. A large American flag is projected onto a multi-paneled background.

American Idiot, 2022

A woman stands on a flower-lined balcony with an arch in a long, flowing gown looks off to the distance, while a man stands to the side facing her. The stage lighting produces the effect of night through the interplay of light and shadow.

Romeo and Juliet, 2023

A group of actors in period costumes are in the middle of the stage with a background of brick archways with ivy and stained-glass windows. In the front, a man holds a woman lying in his lap. Behind him are two women sitting and a standing man in a hooded robe.

Silence, 2024

A large group of actors are having a raucous party, dancing on the floor and on tables in a furnished room. The stage lighting is dark blue with neon-dramatic green accents, in particular a huge neon door at the back of the stage.

Natasha, Pierre & the Great Comet of 1812, 2024

Choose Webster for Your BFA in Lighting Design

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 space and key equipment 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.

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 Jonathan Scully (BFA in Lighting Design, ’22), whose post-graduation work includes being a lighting supervisor for Florida Grand Opera and Opera Theatre of Saint Louis. Photos highlight WebCo’s “Amélie (2022)," for which Scully served as lighting designer.

Webster's Sargent Conservatory Curriculum

Our design 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
  • 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:

  • Lighting design seminar
  • Rendering
  • Vectorworks
  • Visual history
  • Figure drawing
  • Crew management
  • Theatre history

In their third year, design students focus their studies in their particular discipline and 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:

  • Lighting design 1
  • Lighting design seminar
  • Design electives

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:

  • Lighting design 2
  • Lighting design seminar
  • Design electives
  • 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 also 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, for additional information.

Jonathan Scully
Peter E. Sargent Endowed Lighting Design Scholarship Recipient

“Every time I work on a new lighting project, I think about Peter (Sargent) and the different pieces of advice he gave. I look forward to using my degree to help bring light to the importance of arts and arts education wherever I may travel.”

Jonathan Scully
Jonathan Scully

BFA in Lighting Design, ’22

Student actor wearing flowing red outfit stands center stage under large stained glass window. Other cast members sit on steps in the background.

Apply Today for the BFA in Lighting Design

Student actor wearing flowing red outfit stands center stage under large stained glass window. Other cast members sit on steps in the background.

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 John Wylie, Professor of Technical Direction and Lighting Design

Get Started on Your Fine Arts Degree in Lighting Design

Take the next step toward earning your BFA in Lighting Design — 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