Acting, B.F.A.

Program Code: ACTNG_BFA

Entrance to Major

Admission to the program includes acceptance to the University Park campus, application to the program, an audition, and an interview with primary faculty members. Video taped auditions and video interviews may be arranged.

Retention Requirements

Retention will be determined through the process of scheduled reviews, in concert with verification of sustained academic growth as demonstrated by earning of grades of C or higher within the major. Failure to do so is grounds for an academic warning, with clear written strategies and a time frame for the student to return to good standing. Should the issues not be addressed by the student, the faculty may advise the student into a different program or major.

Entrance Procedures

Incoming First Year Students

Incoming first year students must apply to Penn State. Undergraduate applications for admission to Penn State must be complete and submitted before uploading the required documentation for pre-screening. Applicants who, after a successful pre-screen, are invited to audition will have opportunities for an on-campus audition. Video-taped auditions and video interviews may be arranged if necessary.

Detailed information on pre-screen and audition information can be found at: https://theatre.psu.edu/programs/acting-bfa-requirements. Applicants who are accepted to the Acting B.F.A program will be directly admitted to the major for the fall semester.

Change of Major/Change of Campus Students

Change of Major/Change of Campus students must have a cumulative GPA of 2.00 to be eligible for the Acting, BFA major. Acting, BFA applicants will follow the same application procedures as a first-year applicant beginning with a required pre-screen. Applicants who, after a successful pre-screen, are invited to audition will have opportunities for an on-campus audition. Video-taped auditions and video interviews may be arranged if necessary.

Detailed information on pre-screen and audition information can be found at: https://theatre.psu.edu/programs/acting-bfa-requirements. Applicants who are accepted to the Acting, BFA major will be directly admitted to the major for the fall semester. Regardless of semester standing, this degree requires a minimum of four years to complete after acceptance.

Transfer Students

Transfer students must apply for undergraduate admissions to Penn State. Undergraduate applications for admission to Penn State must be complete and submitted before uploading the required documentation for pre-screening. Applicants who, after a successful pre-screen, are invited to audition will have opportunities for an on-campus audition. Video-taped auditions and video interviews may be arranged if necessary.

Detailed information on pre-screen and audition information can be found at: https://theatre.psu.edu/programs/acting-bfa-requirements. Applicants who are accepted to the Acting, BFA major will be directly admitted to the major for fall semester. Regardless of semester standing, this degree requires a minimum of four years to complete after acceptance.

Degree Requirements

For a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Acting, a minimum of 121 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Electives 1
Requirements for the Major 87

12 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 3 credits of GHW, 3 credits of GN, 6 credits of GA.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Knowledge Domains

  • Arts (GA): 6 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 6 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 6 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 9 credits

Integrative Studies (may also complete a Knowledge Domain requirement)

  • Inter-Domain or Approved Linked Courses: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement    

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Requirements for the Major

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the major. To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn at least a C grade in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

 
Prescribed Courses
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
DANCE 270Introduction to Bartenieff Fundamentals Keystone/General Education Course3
DANCE 361Intermediate Modern Dance I Keystone/General Education Course1.5
DANCE 362Intermediate Modern Dance II Keystone/General Education Course1.5
DANCE 370Anatomy and Physiology for Performers Keystone/General Education Course3
MUSIC 113Music Theatre--Class Voice I 11
MUSIC 114Music Theatre--Class Voice II 11
PHOTO 100Introduction to Photography Keystone/General Education Course 13
THEA 1SFirst-Year Seminar: Theatre Production Practices1
THEA 100The Art of the Theatre Keystone/General Education Course 13
THEA 115B.F.A. Acting Foundations2
THEA 132Survey of Theatre Production Practice 13
THEA 146Basic Theatrical Makeup 12
THEA 150Fundamentals of Design for the Theatre 13
THEA 209Hip Hop Theatre3
THEA 225AB.F.A. Acting Studio I2
THEA 225BB.F.A. Movement Studio I2
THEA 225CB.F.A. Voice/Speech Studio I2
THEA 289Theatre Production Practicum 11
THEA 322Voice and Speech I2
THEA 324Movement for Actors I2
THEA 325Movement for Actors II2
THEA 401Theatre History I: Ancient to 1700 13
THEA 402Theatre History II: From 1700 to Present 13
THEA 420Scene Study I3
THEA 421Advanced Acting: Physical Approaches3
THEA 422Advanced Scene Study3
THEA 425AB.F.A. Acting Studio II2
THEA 425CB.F.A. Voice/Speech Studio II2
THEA 427AB.F.A. Acting Studio III2
THEA 427CB.F.A. Voice/Speech Studio III2
THEA 429Theatre Performance Practicum2
THEA 499Foreign Studies--Theatre Arts9
Additional Courses
Additional Courses: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits of the following:3
THEA 405Y
Women and Theatre
History of American Musical Theatre
African American Theatre
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 3 credits THEA or A&A3
Select 3 credits THEA, A&A or General Elective3

Learning Outcomes

  • Become embodied and effective actors with the ability to perform in a range of styles, genres, and mediums
  • Increase their understanding and awareness of the multidisciplinary applications of performance within domestic and international contexts
  • Practice analogical, abstract, and metaphorical thinking
  • Value risk taking and learning from failure
  • Develop expressive agility in body and voice
  • Construct an authentic point of view that is evident in performance work
  • Consistently create specific, interesting, idiosyncratic work
  • Practice good global citizenship by being positive contributors to our community

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university’s academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee’s unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.

READ SENATE POLICY 32-00: ADVISING POLICY

University Park

Steve Snyder
School of Theatre Student Adviser and Course Coordinator
108 Theatre Building
University Park, PA 16802
814-865-0588
sjs69@psu.edu

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2020-21 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition (Note: the archive only contain suggested academic plans beginning with the 2018-19 edition of the Undergraduate Bulletin).

Acting, B.F.A. at University Park Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ENGL 15, 15A, or 30H3DANCE 270 (GHW)*† 3
THEA 1S*1THEA 132*3
THEA 100*3THEA 150*3
THEA 115*2THEA 225A*2
THEA 225B*2THEA 289*1
THEA 225C*2THEA 322*2
General Education Course3General Education Course3
 16 17
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
DANCE 370 (GN)*† 3DANCE 361 (GA)*† 1.5
THEA 425A*2MUSIC 114*1
THEA 425C*2THEA 402*3
THEA 324*2THEA 427A*2
THEA 401*3THEA 427C*2
Supporting Course for Major (see note)*13General Education Course3
 General Education Course3
 15 15.5
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
DANCE 362 (GA)*†1.5Semester Abroad
ENGL 202A, 202B, 202C, or 202D3THEA 499*3
MUSIC 113*1THEA 499*3
THEA 146*2THEA 499*3
THEA 420*3PHOTO 100 (GA)*†3
General Education Course3 
Supporting Course for Major (see note)*13 
 16.5 12
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
CAS 100A, 100B, or 100C3THEA 422*3
THEA 209*3THEA 405Y, THEA 407W, THEA 408W, or THEA 412*3
THEA 421*3THEA 325*2
THEA 429*2Elective Course1
General Education Course3General Education Course3
 General Education Course3
 14 15
Total Credits 121

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy University Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

GWS, GQ, GHW, GN, GA, GH, and GS are abbreviations used to identify General Education program courses. General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ) and Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS, and Integrative Studies). Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of ‘C’ or better.

Integrative Studies courses are required for the General Education program. N is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate an Inter-Domain course and Z is the suffix at the end of a course number used to designate a Linked course.

All incoming Schreyer Honors College first-year students at University Park will take ENGL 137H/CAS 137H in the fall semester and ENGL 138T/CAS 138T in the spring semester. These courses carry the GWS designation and replace both ENGL 30H and CAS 100. Each course is 3 credits.

Program Notes:

ENTRANCE REQUIREMENTS: Admission to the program includes acceptance to the University Park campus, application to the program, an audition, and an interview with primary faculty members. Video taped auditions and video interviews may be arranged.

RETENTION REQUIREMENTS: Retention will be determined through the process of scheduled reviews, in concert with verification of sustained academic growth as demonstrated by earning of grades of C or higher within the major. Failure to do so is grounds for an academic warning, with clear written strategies and a time frame for the student to return to good standing. Should the issues not be addressed by the student, the faculty may advise the student into a different program or major.

Career Paths

This degree prepares students for advanced study in acting, movement, playwriting, or directing. Students are ready to enter the profession, prepared on every level to be a successful artist. With the required semester in London, students are prepared to engage at the international level.

Careers

Graduates are prepared for careers in all areas of performance, including stage, TV, film. They also have preparation for jobs in casting, directing, choreography, writing, and teaching.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Students are are prepared for graduate programs in acting, directing, dramaturgy, playwriting, performance theory, and movement, as well as professional programs in performance.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT OPPORTUNITIES FOR GRADUATE STUDIES

Professional Resources

Accreditation

The BFA in Acting is accredited by the National Association of Schools and Theatre.

Founded in 1965, the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) is an organization of schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities with approximately 188 accredited institutional members. It establishes national standards for undergraduate and graduate degrees and other credentials for theatre and theatre-related disciplines, and provides assistance to institutions and individuals engaged in artistic, scholarly, educational, and other theatre-related endeavors.

MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF SCHOOLS OF THEATRE

Contact

University Park

SCHOOL OF THEATRE
116 Theatre Building
814-865-7586
theatre@psu.edu

http://theatre.psu.edu