Theatre Arts - BFA, BA

Caine College of the Arts

About This Degree

The Department of Theatre Arts at USU believes that a well-trained theatre artist or educator must have a working knowledge of all areas and aspects of theatre in order to be truly successful.

What You Will Learn

The department strives to help students acquire and develop the tools needed to succeed in their future pursuits by emphasizing general training, which provides students with a broad background of courses and practical experiences, plus advanced training within their emphases. A few of the areas in which students gain experience are design, technical work, acting, and education. Each student in this program will receive the individual attention required to learn and grow within the theatre arts.

Students in the theatre arts major can earn either a BFA or a BA degree. The BFA is a professional art degree requiring above-average accomplishment in the arts. Students must first apply and be accepted to the professional degree program.

To receive a BA, students must gain proficiency in one or more foreign languages. Students pursuing the BA receive a degree in general theatre arts. This is a four-year program designed for students who want a more comprehensive liberal arts background in theatre. This emphasis prepares students for graduate study and is also appropriate for those entering the field of stage directing.


Acting (BFA):

The acting emphasis is for students desiring to become professional performers. Coursework for this emphasis covers acting, voice, movement, and directing fundamentals. It also provides an understanding of the technical and design responsibilities of any production.

Theatre Design and Technology (BFA):

The theatre design and technology emphasis is for students interested in the operations and physical settings of performance production. Coursework covers makeup, stage lighting, scene design and construction, costume design and construction, as well as performance and literature skills. Students in this emphasis must focus on one of the following areas: costume design, scene design, lighting design, or technical production.

Theatre Arts Theatre Education (BFA):

Students in the theatre education program study all aspects of theatre as they prepare to teach theatre in schools at all levels or to work in educational roles with professional theatres. Coursework covers theatre/drama pedagogy (K-12), theatre for young audiences, applied theatre, performance, directing, technical theatre, and theatre history/literature.

Education Component

This is for the theatre education emphasis only. In order to obtain a secondary teaching license for grades 6-12, students must complete the 35-credit Secondary Teacher Education Program (STEP), which includes one semester of student teaching in a public school. This program is administered by USU’s School of Teacher Education and Leadership (TEAL) within the Emma Eccles Jones College of Education and Human Services. Student must apply to the School of TEAL the semester before taking STEP courses. This is usually the fall of their junior year. Students learn subject content through the Theatre Arts Department, and spend the last year or two studying education techniques through the STEP program.

Students in the art teaching program are required to select an approved teaching minor in order to expand their career options.

Career And Outcomes

Career Opportunities

With a degree in theatre arts, students can pursue the following careers:

  • Costume designer
  • Film editor
  • Drama therapist
  • Casting director
  • Set designer
  • Stage manager
  • Talent manager
  • Playwright
  • Teacher
  • Stage actor

Job Outlook



We will build on your goals and experiences while working together to design an individualized semester-by-semester plan. Your personalized plan will help you see a path from where you are now on to graduation. Even if you are unsure of the major you would like to pursue, we can help with resources and ideas.

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Admission Requirements

In addition to Utah State University’s admissions requirements, the theatre arts program has additional requirements:

  • Freshmen: New freshmen admitted to USU in good standing qualify for admission to this major as BA general theatre studies student. Admission to the BFA program requires completion of certain core courses and either audition and interview, or an interview and portfolio review.
  • Transfer Students: Transfer students need a 2.75 GPA for admission in good standing, and they must meet with the department head for a degree audit and interview before being accepted into the theatre arts major.
  • STEP Requirements (theatre education emphasis only): In order to be accepted into STEP, students must go through an application process, which includes the following:
    • Complete 60 semester credits with a minimum GPA of 2.75
    • Complete certain core courses (see department for more information)
    • Complete a speech and hearing test
    • Pass the Teacher Education Writing Exam
    • Provide an unofficial copy of  your transcript
    • Pass a criminal background check (this should be done one semester before submitting the application)

International students have additional admissions requirements.

Program Requirements

All theatre arts students work on all Utah State theatre productions in some capacity. BFA students also complete a capstone recital or project during their senior year.

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