2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jun 20, 2021  
2017-2018 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Musical Theater, BFA

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Andrea Leigh-Smith, Program Coordinator
820 East Genesee Street


Brian Cimmett, Rodney Hudson, Rebecca Karpoff, Marie Kemp, Andrea Leigh-Smith, David Lowenstein, Brian J. Marcum, Anthony Salation


The purpose of the musical theater program is to train students in a systematic way that prepares them to compete realistically in the complex professional world of musical theater. Achieving this goal requires a carefully structured balance of studio and academic work. Musical theater studio work requires skills not only in dramatic performance, but in music and dance as well. Students develop their skills in a structured, intensive format that features careful and expert guidance.

Performance is a major focus of the 128-credit program. Students gain skills and experience in the various modes of musical theater: the revue, traditional musical comedies, operettas, and new and experimental forms. Coursework includes a balance of acting, voice, dance, theater history, music theory, and liberal education studies.

The first year is the foundation for all future training. It focuses on techniques of acting, ballet, voice-both singing and speaking-sight-singing, music theory, dramatic theory, and technical theater crafts. Writing is also a requirement for all musical theater majors. The first year is a non-performance year, but students are assigned to work on one production behind the scenes. They may elect to work on additional productions in a wide variety of jobs.

After the first year, students may audition for all productions-musicals, dramas, films-i.e., all productions connected with the Department of Drama, Syracuse Stage and the wider University. They also begin specialized training in musical theater performance, scene study, audition techniques, musical theater history, musical theater dance, and choreography. Supplementing these studies are courses in theater history, additional weekly lessons in voice, vocal ensemble experience, piano, and academic electives.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Sing with a flexible voice that can execute the requisite sounds and styles of the diverse MT repertoire

2. Exhibit technical and stylistic proficiency in the various dance forms of musical theater

3. Demonstrate the acting techniques to create and inhabit various characters

4. Apply the acquired skills of analysis, in music, dance, and acting, to the preparation of literature for performance

5. Conduct themselves in a professional manner in all aspects of musical theater preparation and performance

6. Demonstrate an awareness of their unique selves as musical theater artists

Program Requirements

Dance Requirements 18 credits

  • Ballet (x4)  (2 credits each)
  • Dance Electives (x5) (2 credits each)

(eight credits MUST be at the 300-level or higher)


Theatre Laboratory: 0 credits

Academic Electives: 24 credits

Academic electives are courses that involve critical thinking and theoretical understanding as opposed to practical application, mostly in the Liberal Arts. These academic courses usually have non-art-related content, such as math, natural sciences, astronomy, global history, political science, psychology, entrepreneurship, and languages, among others. You can find a comprehensive list of approved academic electives here. A maximum of 9 credits out of 24 can be from the department of drama.

Drama Electives: 9 credits

Drama electives (also known as drama support) are courses that are not required specifically for the student’s program of study, but which are meant to enhance their understanding of their major field or their overall undergraduate experience.


Students may only have a combined total of 12 credits from Independent Study, Experience Credit, or Internships.

Total Credits Required: 128

Degree Awarded: BFA in Musical Theater

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