2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog 
    Jul 12, 2024  
2024-2025 Undergraduate Course Catalog

Musical Theater, BFA

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Brian Cimmet, Program Coordinator
820 East Genesee Street


Rufus Bonds Jr., Kerry Bereza, Kiira Schmidt Carper, Brian Cimmet, Diane Coloton, Marina de Ratmiroff, Danita Emma, Marcus Herndon, Rebecca Karpoff, Richard Koons, Andrea Leigh-Smith, David Lowenstein, Aldo Katton Santiago Mendez, Felipe Panamà,  Abel Searor, Bradley Stone, Kathleen Wrinn


The purpose of the musical theater program is to train students in a systematic way that prepares them for the complex world of professional 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. 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, piano, and academic electives.

Students must complete a total of 128 degree credits for the Musical Theater, BFA. This includes 30 credits of liberal arts and science courses: 6 credits of Writing, 1 credit of First Year Seminar, and 23 credits of academic electives.

Student Learning Outcomes

1. Sing with a flexible voice that can execute the requisite sounds and styles of the MT repertoire, drawing on a wide and diverse heritage of music genres
2. Exhibit technical and stylistic proficiency in the various dance forms of musical theater, drawing on a wide and diverse heritage of dance genres
3. Demonstrate the acting techniques to create and inhabit various characters, including material with which they can personally and artistically identify
4. Apply the acquired skills of analysis, in music and acting, to the preparation of a wide and diverse variety of literature for performance
5. Demonstrate the ability to participate and contribute to collaborative artistic endeavors to a professional standard

Program Requirements

University Wide Requirement

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: 23 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 23 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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