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Performing Arts

BA in Performing Arts: Musical Theatre


Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires demonstrated talent through an audition arranged with the department, preferably prior to beginning university studies. However, a student may enter as an intended major and audition once matriculated. Students will be accepted based on programmatic approval and written declaration of major. 


University Requirements

  • A total of 120 credit hours 
  • 6 credit hours of college writing 
  • 3 credit hours of college mathematics or the equivalent by examination 

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and
    Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science
    component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same
    discipline

Major Requirements

  • 51 credit hours with grades of C or better 
  • Students who wish to study abroad must receive prior approval from their advisor in order to ensure that appropriate courses will transfer and that scholarships and financial aid will apply. 
  • Participation in a minimum of four department productions and management (as stage manager or assistant stage manager) of one of these productions before graduation 

Course Requirements

Core (24 credit hours)

  • PERF-115 Theatre: Principles, Plays, and Performance 1:1 (3)
  • PERF-251 Fundamentals of Acting I (3) 
  • PERF-260 Stagecraft (3) 
  • PERF-261 Introduction to Design (3)
  • PERF-262 Stage Management (1)
  • PERF-265 Theatre Practicum (1) (taken twice for a total of 2 credit hours) 
  • PERF-365 Theatre History I: From the Greeks to the
    Eighteenth Century (3) 
  • PERF-366 Theatre History II: from Nineteenth Century to the Present (3) 
  • PERF-445 Senior Capstone: Musical Theatre (3) 

Musical Theatre (27 credit hours)

  • PERF-227 Musicianship I (3) 
  • PERF-228 Musicianship II (3) 
  • PERF-252 Fundamentals of Acting II (3) 
  • PERF-340 From Scene into Song (3) 
  • PERF-346 Survey of Musical Theatre (3) 
  • PERF-455 Dance Styles for Music Theatre (3) 
  • PERF-456 Acting IV: Audition Techniques (3) 
  • 3 courses in dance techniques from the following, taken over three different semesters, for a minimum total of 3 credits hours: PERF-109 Dance Practicum (1), PERF-209 Dance Practicum (1), PERF-309 Dance Practicum (1), PERF-409 Dance Practicum (1)
  • 3 courses in vocal techniques from the following, taken over three different semesters, for a minimum total of 3 credit hours: MUS-121 Private Study: Voice (1), MUS-122 Private Study: Voice (2)

University Honors Program

To graduate with University Honors, students must be admitted to the University Honors Program, maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.50, and receive grades of B or better in all University Honors course work. There are three levels of University Honors course requirements: Level I (100-200-level); Level II (300-level and above); and Level III (Honors Capstone Project). The department Honors coordinator advises students in the University Honors Program regarding requirements for graduating with University Honors in the major. For more information, go to the University Honors Program.


Combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its accelerated bachelor’s/master’s programs. Undergraduate students may complete up to 3 credits for every 9 credits required for the graduate degree that may be applied to the requirements for both degree programs.  The department that oversees the graduate program the student enters will determine if the courses the undergraduate student completes will satisfy master’s degree requirements. 

Bachelor’s/master’s students must complete at least 18 in-residence credit hours at the graduate level after the bachelor’s degree is earned and  maintain continuous, sequential enrollment in the two programs. Students must finish the master’s degree requirements within three years from the date of first enrollment in the master’s program.