Theater Requirements

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Southern Illinois University Carbondale is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST), 11250 Roger Bacon Drive, Suite 21, Reston, VA  20190-5248, (703) 437-0700.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Theater

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater is designed to provide the student with broad-based exposure to human experience and sound foundation in basic skills of theater craft. The undergraduate theater major provides the student with invaluable interpersonal and intrapersonal skills and builds inquiring and open minds—qualities required in most professions the student might wish to pursue after graduation—and further offers essential education and training for continued work in graduate or professional schools.

Courses in acting, voice, movement, directing, theater history, dramatic literature, playwriting, production design, and technical theater, are augmented by the extensive production schedule in two theaters—a proscenium house, the McLeod Theater, seating about 499, and the Christian H. Moe Laboratory Theater, a flexible space seating 100—providing training in all aspects of theater. The production schedule is extensive enough to allow students the opportunity to design sets, lights, and costumes and to write, perform, and direct for productions bridging all dramatic genres, including musical theater.

In addition to the University Core Curriculum requirements, all theater majors must complete a theater core curriculum of 28-29 semester hours, each of which must be completed with a grade of C or better; an elective component of 20 hours, selected by advisement from courses outside the School of Theater and Dance; and 32-33 hours of theater electives, to include at least nine hours at the 400 level. These 32-33 hours may include a minor of 15 hours in such complementary fields as art, fashion studies, computer science, English, foreign languages, history, journalism, music, dance, philosophy, psychology, recreation, sociology, and communication studies. Theater students must complete all major coursework with a cumulative 2.0 GPA.

Theater course credit earned at other institutions of higher learning, not used for University Core Curriculum requirements at the time of transfer, can be applied to the Bachelor of Arts degree program with the approval of the faculty of the School of Theater and Dance.

B.A. Theater Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
Must include THEA 220 as substitute for THEA 101
Requirements for Major in Theater (3)+61
Theater Core Curriculum (3)+28-29
THEA 205, THEA 217, THEA 218A, THEA 218B or THEA 218C, THEA 220, THEA 300, THEA 311A, THEA 354A and THEA 354B, THEA 402 or THEA 401A and THEA 401B, THEA 420, THEA 421. 1
Theater Electives (minimum of nine semester hours at the 400 level) 32-33
Electives (see advisement) 20
Total 120
Students must have a total of 42 semester hours at the 300-400 level from a four year institution(s).

1 THEA 300: 4 credit hours are required. For transfer students, 3 credit hours are required.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Musical Theater

Co-sponsored by the School of Theater and Dance and the School of Music, the B.F.A. in Musical Theater is a professional degree program designed to prepare students for a career in musical theater performance. All students must audition to enter the program. Toward the end of their 3rd semester, B.F.A. candidates must pass a jury of singing, acting, and dance, along with a review of their efforts to date in order to continue in the program. The degree requires 120 credit hours for graduation, 79 of which must be in music, theater and dance. Those students not passing their jury will receive advisement as to other options in music and theater. In addition to their coursework, B.F.A. Musical Theater students are required to audition for all musicals and plays, and attend the pre-determined number of plays and concerts. B.F.A. MT students are waived from the College of Liberal Arts foreign language requirements and from mandatory music ensemble participation required each semester of applied study. B.F.A. MT students are required to meet only 2 semesters of ensemble requirement.

B.F.A. Musical Theater Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
Including THEA 220 and Theater Insight as UCC substitutes. MUS 203, Diversity and Popular Music in American Culture is a recommended course for the multicultural requirement.
Requirements in Music 27
To include MUS 366E, MUS 366F, MUS 030A, MUS 030B, MUS 104A Aural Skills, MUS 105A Basic Harmony, MUS 140X, MUS 240X, MUS 340X, MUS 440X, MUS 402, MUS 471, MUS 489
Requirements in Theater 34
To include THEA 203B, THEA 205, THEA 217, THEA 220, THEA 300, THEA 303A, THEA 403A or THEA 417 or THEA 424, THEA 303B, THEA 311A, THEA 317A, THEA 317B, THEA 322, THEA 354A, THEA 400, THEA 420, THEA 421
Requirements in Dance 14
THEA 103A, THEA 103B, THEA 103C, THEA 103D Dance (2+2+2) 8
THEA 323 or THEA 423 Musical Theater Dance (6)
Approved Performance Electives 6
which may include THEA 402 - Directing, MUS 401 - Opera Workshop, MUS 403 - Lyric Theater Ensemble
Total 120

Theater Minor

Requirements for Minor in Theater equals 16. A minor in theater consists of THEA 311A, THEA 101 as a prerequisite, THEA 354A or THEA 354B, THEA 218A, THEA 218B, or THEA 218C, THEA 217 and THEA 300.