BA Program

The objective of the undergraduate curriculum is to develop within students the creative, cognitive, communication and entrepreneurial skills that will prepare them as citizens of the world and artists contributing to the development of the future of theater in the 21st century. We hope to inspire our students to fulfill their creative potential within an ever more interdisciplinary artistic environment that is responsive to tomorrow's marketplace and the future needs of our multiple communities.

The undergraduate curriculum is intended to combine outstanding liberal arts classes with intensive theater studies. The department requires that all undergraduate students take a broad foundation of theater classes and also have the opportunity for more specialized theater studies as they progress through the program. Students also participate in the extensive department production programs. These opportunities onstage, front of the house, and backstage are a natural and important extension of classroom work.

The successful student graduates from the program with excellent communication skills, a broad-based liberal arts background, developed abilities within the discipline of theater, the appreciation of a commitment to artistry, and the life-learning capacities that will enable success in a wide variety of future endeavors. Our alumni are not only successful artists in theater and all of the entertainment industries, but they are also leaders in many other fields.

Request information about the Theater Major.

Theater Concentrations

The department offers five concentrations for students in the theater major. These concentrations are Acting, Directing, Design/Technical, Musical Theater, and Theater Education. Students are not required to pursue an area specific concentration. Students who do not select a concentration are considered to be pursuing a Theater Studies Sequence. Theater Studies allows students the maximum flexibility. Students can select varied coursework within the department, pursue a minor or double major, and participate in several extracurricular clubs.

The Theater Studies Sequence prepares students to enter graduate programs or pursue careers in theater, other entertainment industries and fields. It is within this sequence that entrepreneurial students, the student who wishes to explore future interdisciplinary linkages, or those most interested in playwriting, might best fit. The student who follows the Theater Studies Sequence may select any courses offered by the department as long as required prerequisites are completed with applicable proficiencies as indicated in some courses, by a grade of C or better.

Theater Studies Sequence students must complete the Theater foundation courses. They are encouraged to meet with a Theater Department faculty member to discuss their goals and to develop a selection of courses that will best prepare them to achieve their professional aspirations after graduation.

The Department of Theater also offers a 20 credit-hour minor which is available to undergraduate students from other departments and colleges. The minor is intended to give some broad introduction in theater followed by a small amount of specialization. See below for more information.

Undergraduate Advising

Students are advised by professional academic advisors and the theater faculty.

Academic Advisor Lesley Copans will help you chart your course through your degree program and major, discuss academic electives, and all the policies and procedures regarding registration, withdrawals, changes of major and leaves of absence.

Students can make appointments to meet with Lesley Copan, Academic Advisor for Theater, by emailing her at lcopans@temple.edu

Academic Advising maintains a physical file of important documentation regarding your academic progress, but the University also provides digital tools to guide you, including the DARS (Degree Audit Reporting System). Undergraduate students and their advisors use the DARS to plan and track a student’s academic career at Temple.

Please make plans to visit your academic advisor at least once per year, to make sure that you are on track. Students who plan to study abroad need to plan early, ideally before the beginning of the sophomore year.

Students preparing to graduate must file the necessary paperwork one semester prior to the graduation date. At that time, an appointment should be made with an academic advisor to complete a graduation review and application for graduation.

Academic advisors attempt to avoid errors when advising students about their program requirements, but schools and colleges cannot assume liability for errors in advising. Therefore, students must assume primary responsibility for knowing the requirements for their degree and for acquiring current information about their academic status.

Advising Contact Info

Lesley Copans, Academic Advisor, Theater
137 Presser Hall
2001 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122
lcopans@temple.edu

Center for the Arts Academic Advising
Tyler Building, Suite 212
2001 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

For appointments, please contact Academic Advisors (tfmaadv@temple.edu).

Faculty Advising

The faculty is also an invaluable resource for specific information about your major as well as about graduate school or preparation for a future career in theater and related fields.

Students should select a faculty advisor within their first year in the department. Students should start by contacting the head of the their area of interest. If you do not have an area interest or are undecided you should begin by meeting with Professor David Ingram, advisor to Theater Studies students. Student may change faculty advisors during their tenure in the department. Many faculty members have open sign-up sheets on their office doors for students in need of advising throughout the semester.

Concentration and Area Heads Contact Information

Summary of Requirements

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater may be conferred upon a student by recommendation of the faculty and by satisfactory completion of a minimum of 124 credit hours. Students must complete:

  • University requirements: All students are required to complete the university's General Education (GenEd) curriculum.
  • All students must take a minimum of two writing-intensive courses. The theater foundation courses with the writing intensive designation are Introduction to Theater Process and World of the Play.
  • Theater Department foundation courses with a grade of C or better in each course.
  • Completion of a minimum of 53 semester hours outside of the Division of Theater, Film, and Media Arts (TFMA).
  • No more than 20 credits of work in the major field may be transferred from another institution. Students must complete at least 16 semester hours in Theater courses at Temple University.
  • All Theater majors must pass the placement tests in English and mathematics. A student who fails any one of these tests must successfully complete English 0701 and the required mathematics course(s).
Foundation Courses

These courses form the foundation of the Bachelor of Arts in Theater program.

  • Creativity: Basic
  • Introduction to Theater Process
  • Acting I
  • Welcome Backstage
  • Introduction to Design
  • History of the Theater I
  • History of the Theater II
  • World of the Play
  • Production Practicum (see below)

Additionally, theater students are required to take an Art History course, which may also satisfy the University’s General Education Arts requirement. Students also must complete a 9 credit-hour Required Elective Concentration, a subject of interest to the student. Some concentrations have specified areas of study for the Required Elective Concentration. Check the concentration course of study or discuss options with your advisor.

Each concentration has its own requirements. Please see the concentration pages for more information about requirements.

Read more details about the program in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

Theater 1087 Production Practicum

Theater 1087 Production Practicum is a required one-credit course for all theater majors. Students must enroll in this course each semester they are a theater major. Students entering as freshman will complete eight credits of Theater 1087.

This class meets weekly on Fridays and is structured to provide additional information on theater careers through guest speakers and special presentations.

Students are required to complete four production contracts in conjunction with Theater 1087. These contracts are backstage work and experiential learning in various areas of production. Some examples include light board operator, set construction, hairdresser, or assistant house manager. During the four semesters a student is completing a contract, the student must register for Theater 1087 Section 002. Information on contract sign-ups is disseminated via the student list-serv.

Entering freshman will participate in Freshman Seminar in tandem with Theater 1087 during the fall semester. Graduating seniors will participate in a capstone course Senior Seminar during their final spring semester. It is suggested that students do not fulfill a production contract during those semesters.

Theater 1087 is a graded course and a requirement for graduation in the degree of Bachelor of Arts.

Theater Minor

A 20 credit-hour minor is available to undergraduate students in other departments and colleges. The minor is intended to give some broad introduction in theater followed by a small amount of specialization. A notation on the transcript will indicate successful completion of the minor.

Students electing the Theater Minor may apply up to six transfer credits toward the twenty required. Students must receive the permission of their advisor before starting in this program. Once the minor has been approved, students must follow the academic rules of the Department of Theater for all theater courses.

Learn more about the requirements of the minor in the Undergraduate Bulletin and in this PDF.