Drama and Dramatics/Theatre Arts, General

Theatre school is about much more than just what spectators see on stage—theatre school encompasses a whole slew of majors, including acting, directing, stage management, writing, costume design, set design, history of theatre, dance, and house management. Theatre majors, in general, will study the dramatic works and everything that goes into performing them, from the house lights to set strike. Theatre degrees can be attained at all degree levels, including associate, baccalaureate, master, and doctorate.

Associate Level

Earning an Associate’s in Theatre is a stepping stone to a baccalaureate and can help students who are confident in the area of study but not the specific discipline within the area of study. The curriculum will likely include modern drama, writing plays, acting, and auditioning techniques, but there will also be room for learning about the dynamics of music, musicals, and more.

At this level, there are two degree types available: an Associate of Arts (AA) in Theatre and an Associate of Science (AS) in Theatre. The AA will feature more liberal arts courses, whereas the AS will require more mathematics and science classes to graduate. If the end goal is to manage a theatre or a personal business, an AS may be beneficial.

Baccalaureate

Bachelor’s in Theatre majors are typically more specialized. Students will choose what area of the theatre they’d like to work in, whether in acting or costume design or writing. One of the trademarks of theatre programs is that, no matter what concentration is chosen, students will likely dabble in it all. Dancers will learn how to run the light board, while writers will get experience running a fly system. Opportunities to stage manage will crop up, and everyone will pick up a hammer and needle at some point to build a set piece or sew a bustle.

There are two types of degrees available at this level, either a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Theatre or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Theatre. The primary difference in these two degree types is the amount of time spent within major courses. It’s about a 60/40 split between major courses and liberal arts classes on a BFA, while the BA inverts that, with 60% of requirements being liberal arts classes and 40% in major-specific courses. BFAs will likely culminate in a thesis of some sort. For instance, some acting programs require students to write, organize, and perform their own one-man/woman show.

Career paths for individuals with a Bachelor’s in Theatre are varied depending on the specific major chosen within the field. Theatre graduates can be found in any number of industries and the degrees are often lauded for providing a mentality and skill set useful in a wide variety of industries. Project management, improvisation, budget managing, the human aspect, presentation skills, and a can-do attitude are just a few.

Master Level

A Master’s in Theatre isn’t typically required of any position in the theatre world, but can do one of two things: make graduates a competitive candidate and provide advanced knowledge into an aspect of the theatre world. Like both the baccalaureate and associate levels of this area of study, there are a number of degrees available, including in Costume Design, Dance History, Directing, Musical Theatre Writing, Scenography, and Stage Management.

There are typically two degree types available, a Master of Arts in Theatre and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre, which are similar in distinction with a BA and a BFA. The large difference at this level of education is that an MFA is a terminal degree, allowing graduates to teach at the university level. MFAs take, on average, three years to complete. An MA ranges between two and three years.

Doctorate Level

Doctoral degrees in theatre are typically reserved those wishing to remain in academia, becoming professors. Programs take, on average, between four and six years to complete and typically require a significant amount of time analyzing drama as a whole. Every program has a different approach to theatre, so it’s a good idea to thoroughly understand the mindset of the department before choosing.

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“…brown is awesome because it is very challenging and definitely a rigorous education, but students generally work together as opposed to competing against each other. the spirit on campus is one of acceptance of everything and everyone and anyone can...” – Danielle from North Potomac, MD

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“…Great friendly campus in the middle of cornfield, USA. Classes are theoretical and challenging in the engineering dept. However, it's easy to take a variety of other classes (art, history, dance, etc), regardless of your major.” – Alleycats from Urbana, IL

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“…Georgetown is a pre-professional University with a very diverse student body. Georgetown has a strong international reputation and many students travel abroad, study abroad, or work abroad during their four years. Georgetown is unique because it has...” – Lauren from Washington, DC

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“…The atmosphere of Baylor is very relaxing. The people on campus are really friendly. It is easy to make friends on a campus this size.” – Chalice from Pflugerville, TX

“…The University of Oregon is not only a beautiful campus but offers the kind of liberal arts studies that I prefer. The excitement of living on campus and attending favored sporting events has contributed to my enjoyment at this school. I look forward...” – Katharine from Claremont, CA

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“…in my opinion, this school is underrated. it is an excellent university with excellent professors and spectacular school spirit. it can definitely compete with other texas universities. ” – Christopher from Houston, TX

“…The University of Notre Dame is a privately funded, Catholic, liberal arts university. It is most well-known for athletics, especially football, ethics and social justice studies, and the Mendoza School of Business. Notre Dame also boasts a beautiful...” – Marcus from WI

“…Central Michigan University has the best professors for the Recreation Department! Everyone here is a family and the people really do care about your well being and future. This college has made me a better person through it's programs.” – Jelina from Mt. Pleasant, MI

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Boston College
Chestnut Hill, MA

“…Boston College is a welcoming community of excited students. The environment here is friendly and professor are committed to students well-being. Friendships made here last a lifetime.” – A Student

Auburn University
Auburn University, AL

“…once you come to auburn, you become a part of the huge and amazing auburn family. auburn has a beautiful campus full of friendly people who are willing and wanting to help you succeed and make the best out of your college experience. auburn has...” – Jessica from GA

“…It is No. 17 based on US News Best College Rankings for various aspects of what people want out of a college and graduation rate and retention performance, etc. It has invaluable research opportunities for those seeking great opportunities to further...” – A from Vandy

“…Exciting and diverse” – Thomas from Philadelphia, PA

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“…Fun. Student-centered. An experience. ” – Maya from Aurora, CO

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“…i very much love this school. the academics are amazing since the staff is so willing to help students with any problems or questions. the school offers many opportunities for students to go beyond their comfort zones to experience new things as they...” – Marcela from Northridge, CA

“…this school offers a diverse curriculum. studying abroad is heavily encouraged, and mandatory for multiple majors. the professors want you to succeed, you need only ask!” – Scott from San Diego, CA

“…George Mason University is very diverse. The classes and professors are also very helpful in class and throughout the application process. The school is also very, very welcoming and makes you have a sense of belonging. ” – LISA from Falls Church, VA

“…my school, although huge, makes you feel like your at a small school with professors who actually care for your academics; my school works very hard to make sure that we the students are getting the help we need no matter what subject in school or...” – Anujin from Elk Grove Village, IL

“…By far the most diverse private school I've ever encountered, I love it. Staff is always easily approachable! Extremely worth every cent I pay. ” – Cynthia from Chicago, IL

“…The students here are all brilliant, motivated, inspired people. Everywhere you go there is amazing science happening, and every individual has terrific opportunities through the UROP program and the many research connections that MIT has to gain...” – Jedidiah from Acton, ME

“…Rutgers University-New Brunswick has been all that I expected in a University and more. It has provided me with many different opportunities such as research and volunteer opportunities to gain experience in my field of interest while attending...” – Francesca from New Brunswick, NJ

“…University of Denver is an AWESOME school! The small and focused class sizes allow students to get a wonderful education and the professors truly care about the students well being. It also offers a wonderful social life with sororities/fraternities,...” – Tara from Highlands Ranch, CO

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“…This campus is small enough to get to your classes in a reasonable time, but still big to find fun things to do. They have great places to eat with lots of variety. The people are all really friendly.” – Alex from Cincinnati, OH

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“…The campus is very beautiful, and well maintained. Basketball seems to be in the blood of every student at KU, everyone seems to enjoy it. It is a great school to attend, and be part of the Jayhawk culture.” – Nick

“…Iowa State is probably the best decision I could have made. It's an amazing school for engineering and agriculture. As well as it's in an extremely friendly town and it has a beautiful campus. N” – Student from Saint Louis,MO

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“…Good academics for students of all levels. Anyone can find academic and non-academic activities here to challenge them. It has a large, spread out campus, and a large student population (about 24,000 students).” – Medha

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“…I have had a great time during my four years at AU. Not only did I receive an excellent in-class education, but I was able to supplement this part of my education with an internship every semester. In addition, the study abroad program that I did was...” – Kaitlyn from Frankenmuth, MI

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“…friendly people and enjoyable atmosphere. liberating but close knit community. everyone is helpful, smart and talented.” – Duc from Garden Grove, CA

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“…Cal Poly is fantastic for education, social life, and extracurricular activities. My classes have always been great with good teachers and interesting coursework. It's also so much fun, from the party scene to opportunities to get involved on campus!” – Zoe from Santa Barbara, CA

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“…I have a love-hate relationship with UNLV as I pretty much do with anything. The good definitely outweighs the bad though. It's virtually impossible to sum up my experience at UNLV in only three sentences!” – Jenny from Las Vegas, NV

University of Utah
Salt Lake City, UT

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“…Hofstra is a great college, with an at home feel that will increase your chance of success. The campus is clean, the professors helpful, and the food is good! There is no other college I would have rather attended.” – Lorie from Minnesota

“…university of california riverside is an exceptional higher education institution that dedicates itself to providing quality education. the university is among the most diverse schools in the nation which makes it unique. there are multiple...” – Denise from Riverside, CA

“…Tufts is certainly a place that fosters discussion. Though it's about as homogeneous as you'd expect a small, northeastern american university to be, its minority groups and their opinions are well-respected and represented, and Tufts students are,...” – John from Somerville, MA

“…Carnegie Mellon University offers an intense four years of training and education for all its students, regardless of their major. Each and every student is immeasurably passionate about their field of study. After graduation, students come out in...” – Austin from Shaker Heights, OH

“…diverse student population, lots of nontraditional students and commuters. lots of options for food on campus. great teachers and class sizes.” – Mia from Dallas, TX

“…sam houston state university has an amazing environment. the teacher-student ratio is perfect. the atmosphere is perfect for anyone who doesn't want to get lost in the crowd.” – Felicia from Cedar Park, TX