Academic Program

The First Year
The Second Year
The Third Year
The Fourth Year

Freshmen begin by building a strong foundation in the theatre core. All students take classes in acting, voice, movement, technical theatre, and costuming. The entire freshmen class progresses through the foundations courses together, building strong bonds and a support system that lasts throughout the Marshall experience.

During the sophomore year, students complete the theatre core and begin to separate into areas of emphasis: Performance or Production. Performance students take Auditioning Techniques, where they begin to prepare professional materials such as headshots, resumes, digital portfolios, and diverse monologue repertoires. Production students study mechanical and computer-assisted drawing techniques, sketching, and color application.

Completion of the theatre core leads to the Sophomore Review. This juried presentation serves as a mid-career progress report and assists students in defining goals for the final two years of study and beyond.

The junior year offers rigorous coursework specific to the area of emphasis. Performance students take advanced acting courses rooted in the Meisner Technique, along with advanced voice and movement courses in Period Style and Physical Approaches to Text. Production students select upper-level courses in scenic, costume or lighting design depending on your interests. You will also begin your theatre history studies and apply your knowledge of history and text analysis to coursework according to your discipline.

In the summer between the junior and senior years theatre majors complete professional internships. One hundred percent of our students secure internships with professional theatre companies or in specialized training programs where they gain hands-on experience and form important industry connections that will serve their career development for years to come.

In the final year of study, students complete their coursework by choosing from a diverse array of theatre electives. Directing, special effects makeup, musical theatre and playwriting are just a few of the choices available. In the senior year, all Marshall University students complete Capstone Experiences in which four years of training are synthesized and applied in a culminating project.

Degrees offered

Bachelor of Arts in the Arts (BA)

The Bachelor of Arts in the Arts emphasizes a breadth of content knowledge in Art, Music, or Theatre, augmented by extensive course work outside the discipline. The degree is designed to allow students maximum flexibility by pairing one or more of the arts with one or more outside disciplines. In addition to generalized majors in art, music, and theatre, the BA in the Arts program at Marshall University further offers students who have multiple interests within the arts to explore intersections among them through an “allied arts” major.


Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) with a Major in Theatre

Students desiring entry into the B.F.A. degree must be formally admitted to the program following the completion of the Sophomore Review. This admittance is based upon an audition or portfolio review in the student’s area of emphasis and an interview with the area faculty. This audition or portfolio review may occur at any time, but typically takes place during the second semester of the student’s sophomore year.