Musical Theatre: A Signature Academic Program

Program Details

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre degree is designed to prepare students for a professional career in musical theatre or admission into an advanced degree program. The BFA in Musical Theatre provides the student with rigorous specialized training in dance, acting and voice. This 145 sh program requires proficiency assessment throughout the four years of study. Students must complete their general education courses and 95 sh in musical theatre courses, but a minor is not required. Students must complete a professional summer semester as part of their coursework requirements. Candidates for the BFA program are selected by annual auditions and interviews.

Special Opportunities in Musical Theatre

The program is a rigorous, specialized program accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). Students receive individualized training in acting, singing, and dance, and are required to audition for productions as well as participate in proficiencies in acting, singing, and dance each semester.

The program is home to a group of working artists which include a coordinator who was hired in 2012, two dance faculty members, three voice faculty who are shared with the School of Music, an accompanist, and three acting/movement faculty members. Faculty work with students individually to help students excel not only in the classroom and in performance but in the profession.

The program is a pre-professional program which provides a variety of in-class and on-stage performance opportunities throughout the undergraduate career which culminates in a final BFA Senior Showcase Performance. Students benefit from auditioning for at least four summer stock companies which come to the WIU campus to hold auditions/interviews.

90% of our Musical Theatre Students work professionally acting, singing, dancing during the summer months. The Musical Theatre Program embodies the values of the mission of the University and serves our community in multiple ways including performing at many University, COFAC, Foundation, and community wide events.

Department Minors

  • Dance
  • Theatre

Additional Resources

Possible Careers in Musical Theatre

Musical Theatre students make OUTSTANDING employees for their wide range of abilities, such as creative problem solving, time management, performance and public speaking, professionalism, attention detail, motivation, commitment, collaboration and teamwork, self-confidence, to name a few!

They are well prepared to enter careers in:

  • Musical Theatre
  • Teaching
  • Acting
  • Singing
  • Dancing
  • Choreography
  • Arts Management
  • Foundation and Development
  • Directing
  • Musical Direction

Bachelor of Fine Arts—Musical Theatre

Please refer to the undergraduate catalog for detailed program information and course descriptions.

Program Admission: Admission to the program is by audition only. In order to be admitted to the B.F.A. program, students will present two contrasting songs, two contrasting monologues, and be prepared to learn a dance combination. The audition also qualifies the students for consideration for departmental scholarships. Auditions are held on campus in the Fall and the Spring. Video auditions may also be considered.

Program Requirements: Students accepted into the B.F.A. in Musical Theatre program must pass a proficiency test on basic music skills. Individuals who do not pass the proficiency test must enroll in MUS 065 their second semester. All B.F.A. students also participate in an annual proficiency exam (at the end of the Spring semester) involving all three skill areas (acting, singing, and dancing), and may be put on probation in one or more areas. Those put on probation must pass a Fall proficiency exam the following semester in the area(s) of weakness. Faculty may provide individual guidance and coaching through this probationary process. After the Fall proficiency, students are either removed from probation or asked to leave the program. B.F.A. students also successfully pass voice juries in the School of Music at the end of each semester.

All students seeking the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre must complete I, II, and III below, and the foreign language/global issues requirement for the major#. The minimum semester hour requirement for the baccalaureate degree is 132 s.h.

  1. University General Education Curriculum: 43 s.h.
  2. Core Courses: 74 s.h.
    THEA 101*, 130, 171, 172*, 176, 230, 270, 271, 274, 276, 311, 330, 430, 476, 479 (6 s.h.), 492, 497†, 499; MUS 216 (8 s.h.), 416 (8 s.h.); DAN 110, 112, 113, 116, 212, 216, 316
  3. Directed Electives: 21 s.h.
    Theatre (minimum 5 s.h.): THEA 150, 151, 269, 273, 337, 371, 372, 373, 381, 390, 391, 392, 470, 472, 473, 479
    Music (minimum 5 s.h.): MUS 105, 106, 107, 108, 109, 195, 196, 394, 397
    Dance (minimum 5 s.h.): DAN 117, 119, 210, 213, 219, 310, 313, 413

# The foreign language/global issues graduation requirement may be fulfilled by successfully completing one of the following: 1) a designated foreign language requirement [see  Foreign Language/Global Issues Requirement]; 2) a General Education global issues course; 3) THEA 390; or 4) an approved Study Abroad program.

* May count toward the University General Education requirement.

† THEA 497 fulfills the Writing Instruction in the Disciplines (WID) graduation requirement.

Contact Information

Department of Theatre and Dance

Ms. Tammy L. Killian, Chairperson
Location: Browne Hall 101
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1543

Theatre and Dance Website

Theatre and Dance Directory

College of Fine Arts & Communication (COFAC)

Mr. William T. (Billy) Clow, Dean
COFAC Email:
Location: Browne Hall 115B
1 University Circle
Macomb, IL 61455-1390
Phone: (309) 298-1618

COFAC Website

Musical Theatre Advising

Lysa Fox Browne Hall 100A
Phone:(309) 298-1747

freshman BFA students