Theatre Arts, General (BA)

Degree: Bachelor of Arts
Major: Theatre Arts (General)
Program Code: 3264

About This Major . . .

The Department of Theatre Arts offers one of the most successful theatre training degree programs in Colorado. Theatre Arts majors choose from three distinct concentrations in the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Theatre Arts (Acting/Directing, Music Theatre, or Design/Technology), a BA Theatre Arts (for those desiring a broader approach) or the BA in Dance and acquire a sound understanding of the performing arts in state-of-the-art facilities.

The Bachelor of Arts’ primary goal is to encourage general theatre studies for students who may be interested in theatrical careers outside of performance or design/technology, such as producing, arts administration, teaching, dramaturgy, and playwriting. Beginning with the first semester, students follow a curriculum that offers a grounding in the fundamentals while allowing the flexibility to focus or move between dance, theatre, musical theatre or design/technical theatre options. 

Colorado Mesa is strategically located at the hub of a circle of important entertainment centers such as Aspen, Telluride, Moab, and Park City, Utah. There are regional theatres of international repute within driving distance, such as the Utah Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, and the Colorado Shakespeare Festival. At Colorado Mesa, we are committed to the philosophy of training theatrical entrepreneurs. We offer low teacher-to-student ratios so that personal attention and mentoring are possible. Our many graduates in the industry have informed us that Colorado Mesa´s approach was invaluable.

For more information on what you can do with this major, visit Career Services’ What to Do with a Major? resource.

All CMU baccalaureate graduates are expected to demonstrate proficiency in specialized knowledge/applied learning, quantitative fluency, communication fluency, critical thinking, personal and social responsibility, and information literacy. In addition to these campus-wide student learning outcomes, graduates of this major will be able to:

  1. Communicate verbally contemporary and enduring concepts concerning Human Culture through participation and/or observation of the performing arts and speech. (Specialized Knowledge/ Communication
  2. Communicate non-verbally contemporary and enduring concepts concerning Human Culture through participation and/or observation of the performing arts and speech. (Specialized Knowledge/ Communication)
  3. Create progressively more challenging projects through the use of intellectual and/or practical skills. (Applied Learning)
  4. Demonstrate teamwork and problem solving skills through collaboration and cooperation on creative projects. (Critical Thinking)
  5. Demonstrate the knowledge, skills, and versatility of the discipline from conceptualization to application. (Applied Learning)
  6. Analyze ethical, social, and/or civic challenges and their intersection with the performing arts at the local, national, and global levels. (Personal and Social Responsibility)
  7. Find, critically evaluate, and effectively apply relevant sources of information to discipline-specific projects. (Information Literacy)

Each section below contains details about the requirements for this program. Select a header to expand the information/requirements for that particular section of the program's requirements. 

To print or save an overview of this program's information, including the program description, learning outcomes, requirements, suggested course sequencing (if applicable), and advising and graduation information, scroll to the bottom of the left-hand navigation menu and select "Print Options." This will give you the options to either "Send Page to Printer" or "Download PDF of This Page." The "Download PDF of This Page" option prepares a much more concise presentation of all program information. The PDF is also printable and may be preferable due to its brevity. 

Institutional Degree Requirements

The following institutional degree requirements apply to all CMU baccalaureate degrees. Specific programs may have different requirements that must be met in addition to institutional requirements.

  • 120 semester hours minimum.
  • Students must complete a minimum of 30 of the last 60 hours of credit at CMU, with at least 15 semester hours in major discipline courses numbered 300 or higher.
  • 40 upper-division credits (an alternative credit limit applies to the Bachelor of Applied Science degree).
  • 2.00 cumulative GPA or higher in all CMU coursework.
  • A course may only be used to fulfill one requirement for each degree/certificate.
  • No more than six semester hours of independent study courses can be used toward the degree.
  • Non-traditional credit, such as advanced placement, credit by examination, credit for prior learning, cooperative education and internships, cannot exceed 30 semester credit hours for a baccalaureate degree. A maximum of 15 of the 30 credits may be for cooperative education, internships, and practica.
  • Pre-collegiate courses (usually numbered below 100) cannot be used for graduation.
  • Capstone exit assessment/projects (e.g., Major Field Achievement Test) requirements are identified under Program-Specific Degree Requirements.
  • The Catalog Year determines which program sheet and degree requirements a student must fulfill in order to graduate. Visit with your advisor or academic department to determine which catalog year and program requirements you should follow.
  • See “Requirements for Undergraduate Degrees and Certificates” in the catalog for a complete list of graduation requirements.

Essential Learning Requirements

(31 semester hours)

See the current catalog for a list of courses that fulfill the requirements below. If a course is an Essential Learning option and a requirement for your major, you must use it to fulfill the major requirement and make a different selection for the Essential Learning requirement.

English 1
ENGL 111English Composition I-GTCO13
ENGL 112English Composition II-GTCO23
Mathematics 1
MATH 110Mathematical Investigations-GTMA13
Select one History course3
Select one Humanities course3
Social and Behavioral Sciences
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Select one Social and Behavioral Sciences course3
Fine Arts
Select one Fine Arts course3
Natural Sciences 2
Select one Natural Sciences course3
Select one Natural Sciences course with a lab4
Total Semester Credit Hours31

Must receive a grade of “C” or better and must be completed by the time the student has 60 semester hours.


One course must include a lab.

Other Lower Division Requirements

Wellness Requirement
KINE 100Health and Wellness1
Select one Activity course1
Essential Learning Capstone 1
ESSL 290Maverick Milestone3
ESSL 200Essential Speech1
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Essential Learning Capstone must be taken after completion of the Essential Learning English and Mathematics requirements, and when a student has earned between 45 and 75 hours.

Foundation Courses

(6 semester hours)

Two consecutive classes in the same foreign language6
Total Semester Credit Hours6

Program-Specific Degree Requirements

(38 semester hours, must maintain a minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA in coursework in this area.)

THEA 145Introduction to Dramatic Literature-GTAH13
THEA 150Fundamentals of Acting3
Select one of the following:3
Theatre Appreciation-GTAH1
Dance Appreciation-GTAH1
The Living Arts-GTAH1
Select two of the following:6
Introduction to Theatre Technology: Stagecraft
Introduction to Theatre Technology: Costume
Introduction to Theatre Technology: Lighting
Introduction to Theatre Technology: Sound Technology
Select two of the following:6
Theatre History I: 400 B.C. to 1642
Theatre History II: From 1642 to the Present
Art, Architecture and Fashion: Prehistory to the Present
Musical Theatre History and Literature
History and Philosophy of Dance
Select six of the following:6
Dance Performance
Dance Performance
Drama Performance
Drama Performance
Drama Performance
Drama Performance
Technical Performance
Technical Performance
Technical Performance
Technical Performance
Play Production
Play Production
Play Production
Play Production
Career Preparation and Capstone
THEA 401Career Preparation3
THEA 494Performance Seminar: Acting/Directing and Musical Theatre Capstone3
Total Semester Credit Hours33
Restricted Electives
3 semester hours of 300- or 400- level chosen from THEA, DANC, or SPCH3
At least 2 semester hours from the following dance, movement, improvisation, and stage combat courses:2
Beginning Ballet
Ballet I
Ballet IIA
Ballet IIB
Ballet IIIA
Ballet IIIB
Ballet IVA
Ballet IVB
Beginning Modern Dance
Contemporary Modern I
Contemporary Modern IIA
Contemporary Modern IIB
Contemporary Modern IIIA
Contemporary Modern IIIB
Contemporary Modern IVA
Contemporary Modern IVB
Beginning Jazz Dance
Jazz I
Jazz IIA
Jazz IIB
Jazz IVA
Jazz IVB
Beginning Tap Dance
Tap I
Beginning Hip Hop Dance
DANC 280
Dance Improvisation
Acting IV: Stage Movement
Advanced Acting: Stage Combat
Total Semester Credit Hours5

General Electives

All college-level courses appearing on your final transcript, not listed above that will bring your total semester hours to 120 hours. 39 semester hours: 17-19 semester hours of upper-division may be needed.

Select electives39
Total Semester Credit Hours39
Plan of Study Grid
First Year
Fall SemesterSemester Credit Hours
ENGL 111 English Composition I-GTCO1 3
MATH 110 Mathematical Investigations-GTMA1 (or higher) 3
THEA 150 Fundamentals of Acting 3
THEA 102 Introduction to Theatre Technology: Stagecraft and/or THEA 103 Introduction to Theatre Technology: Costume 3
Practice Option 1
KINA Activity 1
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
ENGL 112 English Composition II-GTCO2 3
KINE 100 Health and Wellness 1
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
THEA 104 Introduction to Theatre Technology: Lighting and/or THEA 105 Introduction to Theatre Technology: Sound Technology 3
Select one of the following: 3
Theatre Appreciation-GTAH1
The Living Arts-GTAH1
Dance Appreciation-GTAH1
Practice Option 1
 Semester Credit Hours14
Second Year
Fall Semester
Essential Learning - Natural Science with Lab 4
Essential Learning - Fine Arts 3
Essential Learning - History 3
Movement Option 1
Foreign Language 3
Practice Option 1
 Semester Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
Essential Learning - Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
THEA 145 Introduction to Dramatic Literature-GTAH1 3
General Electives 6
Foreign Language 3
Practice Option 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Third Year
Fall Semester
ESSL 290 Maverick Milestone 3
ESSL 200 Essential Speech 1
History Option 3
Restricted Elective - Upper Division 3
General Electives 6
 Semester Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
Essential Learning - Natural Science 3
Essential Learning - Humanities 3
History Option 3
General Electives 6
Practice Option 1
 Semester Credit Hours16
Fourth Year
Fall Semester
THEA 401 Career Preparation 3
General Electives 9
Practice Option 1
Movement Option 1
 Semester Credit Hours14
Spring Semester
THEA 494 Performance Seminar: Acting/Directing and Musical Theatre Capstone 3
General Electives 12
 Semester Credit Hours15
 Total Semester Credit Hours120

Advising Process and DegreeWorks

Documentation on the pages related to this program is intended for informational purposes to help determine what courses and associated requirements are needed to earn a degree. The suggested course sequencing outlines how students could finish degree requirements. Some courses are critical to complete in specific semesters, while others may be moved around. Meeting with an academic advisor is essential in planning courses and altering the suggested course sequencing. It is ultimately the student’s responsibility to understand and fulfill the requirements for her/his intended degree(s).

DegreeWorks is an online degree audit tool available in MAVzone. It is the official record used by the Registrar’s Office to evaluate progress towards a degree and determine eligibility for graduation. Students are responsible for reviewing their DegreeWorks audit on a regular basis and should discuss questions or concerns with their advisor or academic department head. Discrepancies in requirements should be reported to the Registrar’s Office.

Graduation Process

Students must complete the following in the first two months of the semester prior to completing their degree requirements:

  • Review their DegreeWorks audit and create a plan that outlines how unmet requirements will be met in the final semester.
  • Meet with their advisor and modify their plan as needed. The advisor must approve the final plan.
  • Submit the “Intent to Graduate” form to the Registrar’s Office to officially declare the intended graduation date and commencement ceremony plans.
  • Register for all needed courses and complete all requirements for each degree sought.

Submission deadlines and commencement details can be found at

If a student’s petition for graduation is denied, it will be her/his responsibility to consult the Registrar’s Office regarding next steps.