The BA degree stresses the breadth of a liberal arts education in the belief that such study, combined with serious practical training and experience, offers the best preparation for a life in theater and screen.

Students complete the theater core. To organize their advance work within the major, students elect a course of study from four concentrations:

  • Performance (Acting and Directing)
  • Design and Technical Theater
  • Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12
  • Theater Studies

Admissions

Entrance to the program is by audition/interview or portfolio review. Information about the audition process, including dates on the School of Theater website.

Admission to the university is determined by the Admissions Office. University-wide admissions policies can be found in the Undergraduate Admissions Policies section of this catalog.

Policies

For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Banner Code: AR-BA-THR

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 120

Mason Core

Foundation Requirements
Oral Communication3
Information Technology3
Quantitative Reasoning3
ENGH 101Composition (Mason Core) 13
ENGH 302Advanced Composition (Mason Core) 13
Core Requirements
Literature3
Arts 23
Natural Science 37
Western Civilization/World History3
Global Understanding3
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Total Credits37

Major

Theater Core Requirements

Note: All THR majors may not double count THR courses within the major. All THR courses count either towards the degree core or the concentration, but not both.

THR 150Greeks to Restoration (Mason Core)3
THR 151Romanticism to Present (Mason Core)3
THR 191Theater Support/Engagement 10
THR 198Theatrical Construction Practicum1
THR 201Stage Management3
THR 210Acting I (Mason Core)3
THR 230Fundamentals of Production (Mason Core)3
THR 300Voice and Speech3
THR 329Directing3
THR 350Script Analysis3
THR 411Great Film Directors (Mason Core)3
or THR 412 Great Film Performances (Mason Core)
Movement3
Select one course from the following:
Movement for Actors
Advanced Movement for Actors
Unarmed Stage Combat
Movement in Musical Theater
Synthesis3
Advanced Studies in Directing/Dramaturgy (Mason Core)
Text in Production (Mason Core)
Design/Tech in the Discipline3
Select one course from the following: 3
Introduction to Theatrical Design 4
Event Technical Production
Lighting Stagecraft
Sound Engineering
Scene Painting
Seminar in Technical Theater
Makeup Design
Writing in the Discipline3
Select one course from the following: 3
Dramatic Theory and Criticism
Playwriting I
Screenplay Workshop
Translation Adaptation for Stage Screen
Dramatic Literature3
Select one course from the following: 3
Dramatic Literature Seminar
Advanced Studies in Theater History
American Voices
World Stages (Mason Core) 2
Contemporary Women Playwrights
Total Credits43

Theater Concentrations

Theater majors earning a BA in Theater must select one of the following concentrations: 

Concentrations

Concentration in Design and Technical Theater (DTT)

Provides a foundation of knowledge, technique, and experience in one or more areas of theater design and technology in preparation for advanced study and professional work in the field.

THR 339Principles of Design3
THR 492Advanced Practicum3
Select three courses from the following: 19
Event Technical Production
Lighting Stagecraft
Sound Engineering
Scene Painting
Seminar in Technical Theater
Drafting and Model Making
History of Fashion and Dress
Scenic Design
Lighting Design
Costume Design
Sound Design
Makeup Design
Costume Technology
Musical Theater Ensemble 2
Advanced Lighting Design
Upper-Level Theater Electives12
12 credits of 300-400 level THR coursework
Total Credits27

Concentration in Performance (PFM)

Designed for the serious student of acting and directing with professional aspirations. Solid grounding in the fundamentals of performance analysis and basic training of the actor's instrument are complemented by a rigorous, sequential instruction in the various facets of the actor's craft.

At its core, the Performance Concentration is a blend of Modern and Classical actor training using a Stanislavski-grounded approach balanced with techniques for understanding texts written two hundred years before "motivation" and "characterization" entered the critical vocabulary. Rounding out the curriculum is specialized study in vocal production and movement technique. Matriculation in this program expresses a profound commitment to a rigorous intellectual, physical and emotional investigation of the discipline of performance over a two-year period. Professional development is enhanced with ongoing student progress reviews, support and advising from Performance Concentration faculty.

THR 301Advanced Study in Voice3
THR 310Acting II3
THR 422Advanced Performance Practicum3
or THR 492 Advanced Practicum
Select one course from the following: 13
Performance Studio
Acting Shakespeare
Advanced Studies in Directing
Acting for the Camera
Advanced Performance Studio
Audition Techniques: Stage and Camera
Musical Theater Ensemble 2
Select one course from the following: 13
Advanced Movement for Actors
Unarmed Stage Combat
Movement in Musical Theater
Characterization
Advanced Stage Combat
One-Person Show
Musical Theater Workshop
Upper-Level Theater Electives12
12 credits of 300-400 level THR coursework
Total Credits27

Concentration in Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12 (THEA)

Designed for students interested in pursuing theater education.  Students pursuing a concentration in Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12 must:

  • Maintain an overall GPA of 2.80 in all course work completed at Mason and in course work at all institutions of higher learning combined.
  • Earn no grade lower than a C in theater and professional education courses needed for graduation.

Upon completion of all required coursework students must complete 15 weeks of a full-time student teaching internship (THR 455 Theater Education Internship). Applications for placement, subject to approval of the unit, are submitted to the Field Placement Specialist in the College of Education and Human Development at the beginning of the previous semester. In addition, students must pass the VCLA before student teaching.

Required Core Courses
THR 448Foundations of Theater Education3
THR 449Elementary Theater Education3
THR 450Secondary Theater Education3
THR 422Advanced Performance Practicum3
or THR 492 Advanced Practicum
EDRD 300Literacy and Curriculum Integration3
EDUC 301Educating Diverse and Exceptional Learners3
EDUC 302Human Growth and Development3
Six credits of6
Theater Education Internship
Total Credits27

Concentration in Theater Studies (THST)

Designed for the Theater generalist or the writer specializing in playwriting, screenwriting, production dramaturgy, season planning, theater criticism, and translation/adaptation for the stage. The Concentration in Theater Studies requires each student to work with a faculty adviser to craft an individualized course of study that challenges their development conceptually and creatively for a total of 27 credits of upper-division (300-400 level) THR courses. Concentration curriculum must include a minimum of three credits of THR 422 Advanced Performance Practicum or THR 492 Advanced Practicum.

General Electives

BA students must use some/all general electives to complete a13
Minor
Double Major 1
Double Degree 1
Intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language
Remaining electives 2

Bachelors of Arts in Theatre Sample Plan of Study 

The sample plan below is a recommended sequencing of courses based on pre-requisites and scheduling. This may not fit every student's needs and is a guideline, not a requirement. Students should confirm major requirements with their academic advisor and with PatriotWeb Degree Evaluation to ensure they enroll in the proper courses and are on track to graduate.

First Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
THR 1503THR 1513
THR 201 or 2103THR Concentration Course 3
THR 2303Mason Core (typically COMM 100 or 101)3
Mason Core (typically ENGH 101)3Mason Core (typically Arts - outside the major)3
Mason Core (typically Quantitative Reasoning)3Mason Core (typically Literature)3
THR 1910THR 1910
 15 15
Second Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
THR 201 or 2103THR 3503
Movement or Design/Tech in the Discipline 3THR 3293
THR 300 or THR Concentration course 3Movement or Design/Tech in the Discipline 3
Foreign Language or Minor 3Foreign Language or Minor 3
Mason Core (typically Information Technology) 3Mason Core (typically HIST 100 or 125)3
THR 1910THR 1910
 15 15
Third Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
Dramatic Literature OR Writing in the Discipline 3Dramatic Literature or Writing in the Discipline 3
THR 300 OR THR Concentration Course3Film Study or THR Concentration Course 3
Mason Core (typically Lab science)4THR Concentration Course 3
Foreign language or Minor 3Foreign Language or Minor 3
THR 1981Mason Core (typically Global Understanding)3
 14 15
Fourth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
Synthesis or THR Concentration Course 3Synthesis or THR Concentration Course 3
Film Study or THR Concentration Course 3THR Concentration Course 3
THR Concentration Course 3THR Concentration Course 3
Mason Core (typically Non-lab Science)3THR Concentration Course 3
Mason Core typically Social & Behavioral Sciences)3Mason Core (typically ENGH 302)3
 Elective (or credits toward Minor)1
 15 16
Total Credits 120

Detailed four year plans and degree planning checklists can be found at https://advising.gmu.edu/current-student/majors-at-mason/.

 Concentration in Theater Education for Theater Arts PK-12

First Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
THR 1503THR 1513
THR 201 or 2103THR 201 or 2103
THR 2303Mason Core (typically COMM 100 or 101)3
Mason Core (typically ENGH 101)3Mason Core (typically Arts - outside the major)3
Mason Core (typically Quantitative Reasoning)3Mason Core (typically Literature)3
THR 1910THR 1910
 15 15
Second Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
Movement or Design/Tech in the Discipline3EDRD 3003
THR 3003Movement or Design/Tech in the Discipline3
THR 329 or 3503THR 329 or 3503
Foreign Language or Minor3Foreign Language or Minor3
Mason Core (typically HIST 100 or 125)3Mason Core (typically Information Technology)3
THR 1910THR 1910
 15 15
Third Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
Dramatic Literature or Writing in the Discipline3Film Study or Synthesis3
EDUC 3013Dramatic Literature or Writing in the Discipline3
Foreign Language or Minor3THR 4483
Mason Core (typically Lab Science)4Foreign Language or Minor3
THR 1981Mason Core (typically Non-Lab Science)3
 14 15
Fourth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
Film Study or Synthesis3THR 4503
THR 4493THR 422 or 4923
EDUC 3023Mason Core (typically ENGH 302)3
Mason Core (typically Global Understanding)3Elective (or credits toward Minor)1-3
Mason Core (typically Social & Behavioral Sciences)3 
 15 10-12
Total Credits 114-116

Detailed four year plans and degree planning checklists can be found at https://advising.gmu.edu/current-student/majors-at-mason/.

Honors in the Major

Highly-qualified students who have completed 75 credits may pursue advanced work leading to graduation with honors in the major. Students apply for Honors in Theater by submitting to the Director (by November 15 or April 15) a two-page written statement outlining their reasons for pursuing advanced coursework and specific professional goals, along with the names of two Mason theater faculty members who have agreed to serve as references.

Students satisfy the honors course sequence by taking three honors-specific courses from their chosen concentration. They must also maintain an overall GPA of 3.50 and a GPA of 3.75 within the major.

Theater, BA/Arts Management, Accelerated MA

Overview

Undergraduates in Theater may apply to the accelerated master's degree in Arts Management.  If accepted, students will be able to earn a BA in Theater and an MA in Arts Management after satisfactory completion of 150 credits.

Students choosing the accelerated option must fulfill all university requirements for the master's degree. The regular designed timeframe would be a start in the Fall and the completion in the Summer five years later, but longer time frames may also be available.

See AP.6.7 Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Degree for policies related to this program. For policies governing all graduate degrees, see AP.6 Graduate Policies.

Admission Requirements

Applicants to accelerated master's programs must have completed at least 75 credits that apply to their undergraduate degree (with at least 24 credits at Mason) and no more than 90 credits. Applicants should submit an Accelerated Master's Program Application, available from the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) Graduate Studies. It includes the proposed conferral date for the undergraduate degree and the two graduate courses that are to be applied to the undergraduate degree.

Interested students should contact the Arts Management Program Office for more details about the application process.

Accelerated Option Requirements

As an undergraduate, the accelerated master's student is to complete the two graduate courses indicated on their Accelerated Master's Program application with a minimum grade of 3.00 in each course. Students must maintain a minimum GPA of 3.00 in all coursework and in coursework applied to their major. On completion and conferral of the undergraduate degree in the semester indicated in the application, they submit the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form (which shall incorporate all of the Graduate Admission requirements of the university) and are admitted to graduate status.

As graduate students, accelerated master's students have an advanced standing. They must meet all master's degree requirements except for the two courses (6 credits) they completed as undergraduates. The Internal Internship (AMGT 742 Internship I) will be within Theater at Mason (generally with the School of Theater). Students will begin their master's program in the semester immediately following conferral of the undergraduate degree, and they may also begin in the summer term.

Reserve Graduate Credit

Students may take up to 6 additional graduate credits as reserve graduate credit. These credits do not apply to the undergraduate degree. The ability to take courses for reserve graduate credit is available to all high achieving undergraduates with permission of the School of Theater. Permission to take a graduate course for reserve graduate credit is normally granted only to Mason seniors within 15 hours of graduation and must be approved by the Dean's Office.

To apply these credits to the master's degree, students must request that the credits be moved from the undergraduate degree to the graduate degree using the Bachelor's/Accelerated Master's Transition Form.