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The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 120 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 39 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Major Academic Plans page or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

Courses in this program may complete more than one graduation requirement.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

This major has approved GE modification(s). See below for information on how to apply these modification(s).

  • THEA 150 is an approved major course substitution for Arts (C1).
  • THEA 352 is an approved major course substitution for Humanities (C2)
  • THEA 160 is an approved major course substitution for Learning for Life (E)
  • THEA 354 is an approved major course substitution for Upper-Division Arts/Humanities

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Upper-Division Writing Requirement:

Writing Across the Curriculum (Executive Memorandum 17-009) is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of four Writing (W) courses, two of which are designated by the major department. See Mathematics/Quantitative Reasoning and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog for more details on the four courses.  The first of the major designated Writing (W) courses is listed below.

  • Any upper-division GE Writing (W) course.

The second major-designated Writing course is the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GW) (Executive Order 665). Students must earn a C- or higher to receive GW credit. The GE Written Communication (A2) requirement must be completed before a student is permitted to register for a GW course.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Course Requirements for the Major: 84 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree.

16 courses required:

Note: THEA 309 must be taken twice.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Students are given instruction in basic music theory, ear training, sight singing, piano skills, and rhythm. The fundamentals of music theory are translated to basic score reading/playing. 3 hours discussion. (006063)
This course is designed for the theatre or dance student interested in studying representative dance techniques which are used in musical theatre productions. Because musical theatre dance incorporates a wide range of purposes and styles, the dances studied will reflect that diversity. 4 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009509)
Prerequisite: Declared Theatre or Musical Theatre major or minor.
This course introduces students to the field of theatre as both art and business. Students engage with inspirational readings about the nature of theatre as well as learning about trends within the industry for jobs and training beyond the BA level. Students develop tools for job seeking as well as engaging with critical explorations on what the nature of theater in the 21st century is. 3 hours lecture. (015862)
Prerequisites: Declared Theatre or Musical Theatre major or minor.
This studio course introduces the basic principles and practices of acting craft in the areas of script analysis, movement, voice/speech, acting technique, and rehearsal methods. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. (015858)
Prerequisites: Declared Theatre or Musical Theatre major or minor.
This studio course introduces the basic principles and practices of theatre design in the areas of script analysis, scenery, costumes, lighting, and sound. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. (015860)
An introduction to make-up application techniques used for film and theatre production. This course explores history, gender issues, aging, and a host of other interdisciplinary studies that inform make-up design and contribute depth of character. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (009215)
Prerequisite: Musical Theatre major or department permission.
Development of movement techniques for performance. A course for majors in Theatre and Music. Open to interested non-majors. 2 hours lecture, 2 hours activity. (009225)
Prerequisite: Musical Theatre major or department permission.
A beginning course in voice and diction, the principal aim of which is to increase the clarity and expressiveness of each student's "natural" speaking voice. An essential program of study and practice for performers, but equally valuable to anyone whose career aspirations require effective vocal communication. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (009217)
Prerequisites: For Theatre and Musical Theatre majors: THEA 150; for Theatre minors and all others: THEA 110.
A course in the principles and methods employed by directors, designers, and actors to comprehend dramatic literature as scripts for theatrical performance. 3 hours lecture. (009513)
Prerequisites: THEA 160, THEA 230 (may be taken concurrently), THEA 240 (may be taken concurrently), or faculty permission.
An extension of the work begun in THEA 160 to enhance students' understanding and skill in the areas of analysis, creative imagination and believable theatrical behavior. Through exercises, guided improvisations, discussions, journal writing and scene work, students develop a personal methodology of approach to the problems of acting. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (009227)
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of instructor.
Students spend classroom time learning and rehearsing ensemble pieces from the musical theatre canon. Rotating topics include developing new works through staged readings and table reads, and rehearsal and performances of musical theatre song and dance ensemble numbers. 4 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 8.0 units. (009524)
Prerequisites: THEA 150, THEA 250.
This course is a survey of the theoretical and historical trends in performance from the ancient world to the advent of realism in the 19th century. Students discover key moments in the theatre history as well as signature scripts which represent the theatrical world of antiquity to Western Europe in this time frame. Students focus on the intersections of popular culture, political and social trends, and theatre through antiquity, the medieval period, the Renaissance, Neoclassicism, and Realism. 3 hours lecture. (021169)
Prerequisites: Completion of GE Written Communication (A2) requirement, THEA 250
This course is a survey of the theoretical and historical trends in performance from the 19th century to the contemporary period. Students discover key moments in theatre history as well as signature scripts which represent the theatrical world of America and Western Europe in this time frame. Students engage in critical written and oral discourse about the nature of theatres, dramaturgy, and history. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement course; a grade of C- or higher certifies writing proficiency for majors. This is an approved Writing Course. (009232)
Through careful reading and study of major works in the Musical Theatre canon, this course examines this unique art form and the cultural factors that influenced its creation and evolution as well as the aspects of our contemporary society that are influenced by it. 3 hours lecture. (021170)
Prerequisites: THEA 250, THEA 260.
Further classroom study and practice of various approaches to the problems of acting in musical theatre. Special emphasis is given to the analysis of music and lyrics and the challenges of acting the song. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009259)
Prerequisite: THEA 360 or THEA 361.
Advanced study in special acting problems such as auditioning and career prep. Rotating topics may sometimes focus on musical theatre or acting. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009260)

2 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Applied study of costume and makeup practices through participaton in costume construction and on wardrobe and makeup crews for department productions or other approved activities. 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009230)
Applied study of scenic, lighting, and other technical theatre practices through participation in scenery construction and painting, and on lighting, sound, and stage crews for department productions or other approved activities. 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009238)
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of instructor.
Applied study of theatre production practices through participation in a department production as an assistant stage manager or as an assistant to the director or designer or other approved activity. 1 hour activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009546)
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of instructor.
Applied study of theatre production practices through participation in a department production as a stage manager or as an assistant director or assistant designer or other approved activity. 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009547)

3 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of instructor.
Applied study and practice of script analysis, acting techniques, and other theatre performance skills through preparation and performance of a smaller role in a department production or other approved activity. 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009229)
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of instructor.
Applied study and practice of dance techniques through preparation and performance of smaller ensemble roles or a single featured role in the faculty dance concert, department musical productions, or other approved activities. 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009525)
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of instructor.
Applied study and practice of script analysis, acting techniques and other theatre performance skills through preparation and performance of a larger role in a department production or other approved activity. 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009516)
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of instructor.
Applied study and practice of script analysis, acting, singing, and other musical theatre performance skills through preparation and performance of a larger role in a department production or other approved activity. 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009517)
Prerequisites: Audition or permission of instructor.
Applied study and practice of dance techniques through preparation and performance of larger ensemble roles or multiple featured roles in the faculty dance contest, department musical productions, or other approved activities. 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (015864)

Theatre Elective

3 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Development of the skills for effective dramatization of literature in the elementary classroom or children's theatre, including creative dramatics, storytelling, oral interpretation and group readings. 3 hours discussion. (009224)
Prerequisites: THEA 160, THEA 230, THEA 260, open to THEA majors and minors only.
The analytical and physical movement techniques for performance introduced in THEA 130 are refined and expanded; students create solo, duet, and group movement pieces. Rotating topics covered include mime, stage combat, commedia, or mask work. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (002498)
Prerequisites: THEA 240, THEA 260, open to THEA majors and minors only.
The aim of this course is to help advanced acting students develop the knowledge, sensitivities, and skills needed to act in plays in which dramatic action and thematic content must be carried primarily through an active and richly textured speaking of the text. Classroom and out-of-class activities will include analysis, voice language exercises, and the preparation of scenes and soliloquies. Rotating topics covered include Shakespeare and other classic styles, as well as modern poet-dramatists. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (009531)
Prerequisites: THEA 230, THEA 240, THEA 250, THEA 260, open to THEA majors and minors only.
Further classroom study and practice of various approaches to the problems of acting in comedies and dramas. Special emphasis is given to the analysis and physical/vocal acting challenges of texts other than contemporary realism. Topics and focus of the course rotate in alternate years. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009523)
Prerequisites: THEA 230, THEA 240, THEA 250, THEA 260, open to THEA majors and minors only.
An intensive study of performance techniques for various kinds of plays that require specific manners, gestures, movement, and speech to fulfill the dramatic situation. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009251)

Choral Elective

3 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (015563)
3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (015575)
Prerequisite: Faculty permission.
Music Performance Group Selected small choir to sing madrigal and other chamber literature. 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (015612)
Open to all students interested in active participation in opera. 3 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (015610)

Music Elective

3 units selected from:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
A survey of the elements of music and diverse cultures and values in relation to music. Representative examples are drawn from the traditions of Europe, Africa, the Americas, and Asia, including classical, folk, and popular idioms. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (006053)
Students explore the international nature of America's diverse musical history to gain a better understanding of the multicultural context behind important musical genres, including jazz, rock-and-roll, and hip-hip, and how America's music has become influential around the world. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (006182)
A survey of seminal compositions and composers from western art music history. Musical traditions, compositional techniques, performance mediums, and the compositional background of individual works and composers, and the effects of political, social and philosophical issues upon the compositions and composers studies are explored. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved General Education course. (006183)
The historical and philosophical study of jazz from its African origins to the various forms in which it exists today. 3 hours lecture. (006184)
An in-depth study of Rock and Roll music and culture as it relates to the development and changes in American and world social orders. A study of the impact of Rock and Roll on social, economic, cultural and political structures. 3 hours lecture. This is an approved General Education course. (006186)
This course is also offered as AFAM 296.
A historical survey from the African heritage and Colonial times to the present. The types, forms, and styles of African American music are studied in relation to the African American experience. 3 hours discussion. This is an approved US Diversity course. (000141)

Dance Electives

14 units selected from:

6 units must be upper-division.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
This course is designed for the student who is interested in learning the basic traditional techniques of ballet, with the possibility of advancing into an intermediate level. 4 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009505)
This course is designed for the student who is interested in learning the basic traditional forms of tap dance, with the possibility of advancing into an intermediate level. 4 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009508)
This course is designed for the student who is interested in learning the basic traditional forms of jazz dance, with the possibility of advancing into an intermediate level. 4 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009507)
This course is designed for the student who is interested in learning basic traditional forms of modern dance in musical theatre. 4 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009506)
Prerequisite: THEA 231 or permission of instructor.
This course is designed for the student who has achieved an intermediate level of technique in ballet and is interested in maintaining a more advanced level. 4 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009518)
Prerequisite: THEA 232 or permission of instructor.
This course is for the student who has achieved an intermediate level of technique in tap dance and is interested in maintaining a more advanced level. 4 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (020003)
Prerequisites: THEA 233 or permission of instructor.
This course is designed for the student who has achieved an intermediate level of technique in jazz dance and is interested in maintaining a more advanced level. 4 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (009519)
Prerequisites: THEA 112 or THEA 160, THEA 203 or THEA 303, or instructor's permission.
A theoretic and applied study of the basic elements of choreography, including historical context, composition and dramatic focus. Practical application of choreographic principles with emphasis on stage productions. 1 hour seminar, 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 4.0 units. (009536)

Vocal Music

8 units selected from:

2 units must be upper-division.

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
See above. 3 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 12.0 units. (005991)
Prerequisites: Faculty permission.
Basic principles of singing. Correct breathing, posture, and tone production appropriate for musical theatre and other popular music genres. Repertoire and recital performance stressed as pupil progresses. 2 hours activity. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (006033)
See above. 3 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 12.0 units. (006096)

Special Musical Theatre Requirements

1. In the annual spring auditions, each student must demonstrate appropriate competence in the major before a faculty committee. Consult with an advisor for format and standards upon admission to the degree program.

2. Students must participate in auditions for all theatre productions or make portfolio presentations.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Catalog Cycle:20