Gain experience and build a diverse resume in the Musical Theatre programs at Columbia College Chicago. Our programs are designed to help you succeed in a competitive industry by fostering concrete professional skills with a variety of performance experiences. As a Musical Theatre major, you’ll receive the education you’ll need to become a multifaceted performer and theatre professional.
We stage 40 productions a year, and new students are encouraged to audition right away for musicals and nonmusical productions. Many Columbia Musical Theatre majors perform in student films, devised productions, and off-campus productions. You’ll become adept at auditioning, learn about the business side of the theatre world, and develop transferable skills applicable to many professions.
Columbia College Chicago offers two degrees in musical theatre. No matter which degree you choose, you’ll have opportunities to audition and perform often. All students are welcome to audition for all shows.
Musical Theatre, BA
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) offers fundamental performance training in acting, singing, and dancing and gives you enough electives to choose a minor or explore an additional area of study. View courses and requirements for the BA degree.
Musical Theatre Performance, BFA
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) is a selective program offering comprehensive training for students who wish to pursue professional performance careers. The BFA requires more advanced courses in acting, singing, and dancing than the BA does. You’ll study advanced audition techniques and immerse yourself in a year-long capstone class that will explore repertoire and refine your multidisciplinary talents. BFA students participate in the Senior Showcase for industry professionals.
All students enter Columbia as BA students and may audition for the BFA program during their first year. View courses and requirements for the BFA degree.
Columbia proudly features Mainstage, a series of productions written and directed by faculty members. Outside the Mainstage season, students write, direct, and stage their own work, which they refine in workshops with faculty, alumni, and their peers.
Chicago is home to a vibrant theatre community. You’ll see productions in Chicago’s theatre district, located just down the street from campus. Chicago is also home to innovative storefront theaters.
Our faculty’s strong connection to the Chicago and national theatre scene means we continually build opportunities for students. Through their working relationships with faculty members, some students even land professional jobs during their time at Columbia College Chicago.
“It’s about finding that spark in the student, helping them realize what that is, and then learn to make a career out of it.”
-Associate Professor Ashton Byrum
Columbia faculty members do what they teach. You’ll study with professional actors, writers, directors, choreographers, musical directors, and designers who work in Chicago and New York and across the U.S. and the world.
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We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.
If you can’t make it to campus, don’t worry! We have a full schedule of events all across the U.S. and around the world.