Majors & Programs

The Theatre Department’s mission is to provide undergraduate students with a comprehensive education in the practices and processes of creating theatre and live performance. Columbia offer a number of programs designed to suit your particular interests, including Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees as well as minors in Acting, Stage Combat, Theatre Directing, and Writing for Performance.

For requirements and more information about these programs, visit the catalog.


Acting (BA | BFA)

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As an Acting major, you’ll master a range of acting styles in a wide variety of productions and gain practical professional skills to launch your career. You’ll challenge your voice, body, and imagination as you collaborate with other actors to tell stories on stage. You’ll immerse yourself in Chicago’s professional theatre scene, collaborate with film and music students, and study on location in London or Los Angeles.

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Comedy Writing and Performance (BA)

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In this interdisciplinary program, you’ll learn about comedy writing, producing, directing, and performing. You’ll get hands-on experience in many forms, including sketch, stand-up, physical, improvisation, and writing for TV and the internet. You’ll spend an immersive semester at The Second City, Chicago’s legendary comedy theatre and improv school.

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Musical Theatre (BA | BFA)

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As a Musical Theatre major, you’ll be part of a diverse array of productions and interact regularly with the Chicago theatre scene. You’ll be mentored by theatre professionals who will push you in dancing, singing, and acting and connect you to the industry so you can launch your career.

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Theatre (BA)

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The Theatre program is for leaders who want to make theatre happen. You'll gain a strong foundation in theatre history and theory and develop a professional focus in one of three areas: playwriting, directing, or stage management. Through close faculty mentorship and hands-on practice, you'll prepare for a career in the theatre industry and build a portfolio of professional-quality work.

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Theatre Design and Technology (BA)

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Learn to collaborate across teams and build a body of professional-quality work in Columbia's Theatre Design and Technology program. You'll gain hands-on learning experience in scenery, costumes, lighting, sound, and makeup. Design and Technology majors are the creative force bringing worlds to life for all the plays, musicals, and other performances staged at Columbia.

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Acting Minor

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The Acting Minor is a sequence of courses in acting, improvisational techniques, voice training and movement. This program allows you to deepen your commitment to performance and support collaborations with writers, musicians and filmmakers.

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Stage Combat Minor

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From fisticuffs to sword play, stage combat is an essential tool for actors and storytellers across genres. In the four-semester Stage Combat Minor you’ll earn national certification as a stage combat specialist. You’ll be eligible for work choreographing fights and stunts in theatre, TV and film. The safety-regulated program features training with weapons and unarmed combat, as well as the opportunity to “learn to fly” at the Media Production Center. It is the only fully-equipped stage combat program in the region.

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Theatre Directing Minor

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With the Theatre Directing minor, you’ll learn the skills necessary to conceptualize, organize and facilitate the preparation of scripted material for performance. In your capstone course, you will synthesize your understanding of acting, technical and design elements, project organization, and dramatic theory through the production of a one-act play.

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Writing for Performance Minor

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Writing for performance is a versatile skill, whatever your course of study. Columbia’s playwriting minor provides exposure to dramatic structure, creative problem solving, script forms and verbal presentation skills through the practices of reading, writing and staging dramatic texts.

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