Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts
The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts is designed to provide training for professional careers in theatre, dance, many of the other performing arts, graduate school, teacher certifications, or interdisciplinary/avocational interests in theatre and dance. Coursework is supported and enhanced by the hands-on nature of the department’s performance and production program. Students accomplish nearly all of the work on productions.
Program Learning Outcomes
- Students will develop sufficient ability in their area of specialty to be involved in the creation and presentation of public performances in the theatre.
- Students will develop competence at thinking conceptually and critically about text, performance and production.
- Students will demonstrate a foundational understanding of playwriting and production processes, aesthetic properties of style, and the way these shape and are shaped by artistic and cultural forces.
- Students will demonstrate basic competence in the theater techniques of movement skills, voice skills, scenery and properties, costuming and make‐up, lighting and sound, play development, leadership and organization for production– including intermediate to advanced competence in one or more areas of specialization in creation, performance, scholarship or teaching.
- Students will demonstrate foundational knowledge of the historical and cultural dimensions of theater, including the works of leading playwrights, actors, directors, and designers both past and present.
- Students will demonstrate foundational knowledge of a wide selection of theatre repertory including principal era, genres and cultural sources.
- Students will demonstrate the ability to develop and defend informed judgments about theatre.
Theatre Arts (B.A.) — 45 units
The core consists of the 27 units listed below, while each focus area consists of 18 units of required and elective courses particular to that focus area. No fewer than 12 units, planned with and approved by an assigned advisor, must be taken in residence study.
Core Courses (27 units)
|TH A 101||Orientation to Theatre Arts||3|
|TH A 130||Acting Workshop I||3|
|TH A 205||Introduction to Technical Theatre and Design||2|
|Scenery and Properties Laboratory|
|Costuming and Makeup Laboratory|
|Lighting and Sound Laboratory|
|Scenic Painting Laboratory|
|TH A 217||Production Run Crew for Live Performance||2|
|TH A 301||Landmarks in Drama: Research and Writing for Theatre Majors||3|
|TH A 401||Global Theatre History I||3|
|TH A 402||Global Theatre History II||3|
|TH A 405GW||Analyzing and Writing About Theatre - GWAR||3|
|Leadership and Organization for Production|
Areas of Focus (18 units)
The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts offers three focus areas: Performance, Play Development and Dramaturgy, and Design and Technical Theatre. Each area of focus has an advised set of foundation courses and a selection of advised electives.
Foundation (9 units)
|TH A 125||Movement I: Skills||3|
|TH A 223||Voice I: Skills||3|
|TH A 230||Acting Workshop II||3|
Electives (9 units)
Select 9 units from the following:
|TH A 304||Focus on Acting||1|
|TH A 330||Acting Workshop III||3|
|TH A 340||Principles of Directing||3|
|TH A 341||History of Directing||3|
|TH A 408||Asian Plays and Performance Styles: Japan||3|
|TH A 433||Musical Theatre Workshop||3|
|TH A 435||Theatrical Audition||1|
|TH A 440||Acting/Directing Workshop||3|
|TH A 454||The Business of Acting||3|
|TH A 531||Styles of Acting||3|
|TH A 605||Writing and Performing Monologues||3|
Play Development and Dramaturgy
|The Art of Comedy|
|Asian Plays and Performance Styles: Japan|
|Play Development Workshop|
|Writing and Performing Monologues|
|Advanced Play Development Workshop|
|Additional units selected on advisement||6|
Design and Technical Theatre
Foundation (8 units)
|TH A 305||Design Graphics for Stage and Screen||3|
|Historical Styles for the Theater: Decor|
|Historical Styles for the Theater: Clothing|
|Scenery and Properties Laboratory|
|Costuming and Makeup Laboratory|
|Lighting and Sound Laboratory|
|Scenic Painting Laboratory|
Electives (10 units)
Select from the following:
|TH A 323||Light Board Operation||1|
|TH A 324||Light and Performance: Translating Real World Lighting Environments to the Stage, Dance, and Opera||3|
|TH A 410||Scene Design for Stage and Screen||3|
|TH A 411||Costume Design for Stage and Screen||3|
|TH A 413||Stage Lighting Design I||3|
|TH A 415||Sound Design in Theatre||2|
|TH A 609||Introduction to Computer Aided Drawing for Theatrical Applications||3|
|TH A 610||Practicum in Theatre||3|
|TH A 711||Collaborative Processes in Theatre||3|
|TH A 712||Portfolio Development||1|
|TH A 740||Play Production Concepts||3|
Teaching Credential: The Single Subject Approved Program (English Subject Matter: Drama Emphasis) requires completion of courses in English as well as Theatre Arts. For details on this program, please consult credential advisors in the English Teacher Resource and Advising Center.
Twelve units of Complementary Studies are required of all candidates for the Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts. These units must come from courses bearing a prefix other than TH A, and not cross-listed with TH A. Theatre Arts majors are offered several paths toward completing this requirement, each of which is designed to facilitate graduation in a timely manner:
- 12 units in a single foreign language;
- 12 units in an approved study abroad program;
- 12 units from a partially completed second major or minor;
- 12 units in a related discipline or coherent group of classes from related disciplines as approved by a School of Theatre & Dance Advisor.
Students who have earned AA-T or AS-T degrees and are pursuing a similar B.A. degree at SF State are required to fulfill the Complementary Studies requirement as defined by the major department. Students should consult with a major advisor about how transfer units and/or SF State units can best be applied to this requirement to ensure degree completion within 60 units.
General Education Requirements
|Requirement||Course Level||Units||Area Designation|
|Written English Communication I||LD||3||A2|
|Arts or Humanities||LD||3||C1 or C2|
|Social Sciences: US History||LD||3||D2|
|Social Sciences: US & CA Government||LD||3||D3|
|Lifelong Learning and Self-Development (LLD)||LD||3||E|
|Physical and/or Life Science||UD||3||UD-B|
|Arts and/or Humanities||UD||3||UD-C|
|SF State Studies|
|Courses certified as meeting the SF State Studies requirements may be upper or lower division in General Education (GE), a major or minor, or an elective.|
|American Ethnic and Racial Minorities||LD or UD||3||AERM|
|Environmental Sustainability||LD or UD||3||ES|
|Global Perspectives||LD or UD||3||GP|
|Social Justice||LD or UD||3||SJ|
Note: LD = Lower-Division; UD = Upper-Division.
First-Time Student Roadmap (4 Year)
Find the correct roadmap (A, B, C, or D):
- Select the row that matches your English Course choice for A2.*
- Select the column that matches your QR Category (found at your student center under Math Alert).
- Click the Roadmap that lines up with your row and column.
For example, if you are taking ENG 104 as your first English course and your student center math alert says you are QR Category III, you should choose Roadmap D.
|Pathway||QR Cat I/II||QR Cat III/IV|
|ENG 114||Roadmap A||Roadmap C|
|ENG 104/ENG 105||Roadmap B||Roadmap D|
Transfer Student Roadmap (2 Year)
For students with an AA-T in Theatre Arts. This roadmap opens in a new tab.
This degree program is an approved pathway (“similar” major) for students earning the ADT in Theatre Arts
California legislation SB 1440 (2009) mandated the creation of the Associate Degree for Transfer (ADT) to be awarded by the California Community Colleges. Two types of ADTs are awarded: Associate in Arts for Transfer (AA-T) and Associate in Science for Transfer (AS-T).
Note: no specific degree is required for admission as an upper-division student. However, the ADT includes specific guarantees related to admission and graduation and is designed to clarify the transfer process and strengthen lower-division preparation for the major.
An ADT totals 60 units and in most cases includes completion of all lower-division General Education requirements and at least 18 units in a specific major. (The Biology, Chemistry, and Environmental Science AS-T degrees defer 3 units in lower-division GE area C and 3 units in lower-division GE area D until after transfer.) Students pursuing an ADT are guaranteed admission to the CSU if minimum eligibility requirements are met, though not necessarily to the CSU campus of primary choice.
Upon verification that the ADT has been awarded prior to matriculation at SF State, students are guaranteed B.A. or B.S. completion in 60 units if pursuing a “similar” major after transfer. Determinations about “similar” majors at SF State are made by faculty in the discipline.
Degree completion in 60 units cannot be guaranteed when a student simultaneously pursues an additional major, a minor, certificate, or credential.
A sample advising roadmap for students who have earned an ADT and continue in a "similar" major at SF State is available on the Roadmaps tab on the degree requirements page for the major. The roadmap displays:
- How many lower-division units required for the major have been completed upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
- Which lower-division requirements are considered complete upon entry based on the award of a specific ADT;
- How to complete the remaining 60 units for the degree in four semesters.
Students who have earned an ADT should seek advising in the major department during the first semester of attendance.
General Advising Information for Transfer Students
- Before transfer, complete as many lower-division requirements or electives for this major as possible.
- The following courses are not required for admission but are required for graduation. Students are strongly encouraged to complete these units before transfer; doing so will provide more flexibility in course selection after transfer.
- a course in U.S. History
- a course in U.S. & California Government
For information about satisfying the requirements described in (1) and (2) above at a California Community College (CCC), please visit http://www.assist.org. Check any geographically accessible CCCs; sometimes options include more than one college. Use ASSIST to determine:
- Which courses at a CCC satisfy any lower-division major requirements for this major;
- Which courses at a CCC satisfy CSU GE, US History, and US & CA Government requirements.
Remedial courses are not transferable and do not apply to the minimum 60 semester units/90 quarter units required for admission.
Additional units for courses that are repeated do not apply to the minimum 60 units required for upper-division transfer (for example, if a course was not passed on the first attempt or was taken to earn a better grade).
Before leaving the last California Community College of attendance, obtain a summary of completion of lower-division General Education units (IGETC or CSU GE Breadth). This is often referred to as a GE certification worksheet. SF State does not require delivery of this certification to Admissions, but students should retain this document for verifying degree progress after transfer.
Credit for Advanced Placement, International Baccalaureate, or College-Level Examination Program courses: AP/IB/CLEP credit is not automatically transferred from the previous institution. Units are transferred only when an official score report is delivered to SF State. Credit is based on the academic year during which exams were taken. Refer to the University Bulletin in effect during the year of AP/IB/CLEP examination(s) for details regarding the award of credit for AP/IB/CLEP.
Students pursuing majors in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines often defer 6-9 units of lower-division General Education in Areas C and D until after transfer to focus on preparation courses for the major. This advice does not apply to students pursuing associate degree completion before transfer.
Transferring From Institutions Other Than CCCs or CSUs
Review SF State's lower-division General Education requirements. Note that, as described below, the four basic skills courses required for admission meet A1, A2, A3, and B4 in the SF State GE pattern. Courses that fulfill the remaining areas of SF State’s lower-division GE pattern are available at most two-year and four-year colleges and universities.
Of the four required basic skills courses, a course in critical thinking (A3) may not be widely offered outside the CCC and CSU systems. Students should attempt to identify and take an appropriate course no later than the term of application to the CSU. To review more information about the A3 requirement, please visit bulletin.sfsu.edu/undergraduate-education/general-education/lower-division/#AAEL.
Waiting until after transfer to take a single course at SF State that meets both US and CA/local government requirements may be an appropriate option, particularly if transferring from outside of California.
All Students Must Meet the Transfer Eligibility Requirements Outlined Below for Admission.
For more information, visit the Undergraduate Admissions section.
- Complete 60 or more transferable semester units or 90 or more quarter units.
- Earn a college grade point average of 2.0 or better in all transferable courses. Non-local area residents may be held to a higher GPA standard.
- Be in good standing at the last college or university attended.
- Complete 30-semester units (45-quarter units) of General Education, including four basic skills courses:
- One course in oral communication (same as CSU GE Area A1)
- One course in written composition (same as CSU GE Area A2)
- One course in critical thinking (same as CSU GE Area A3)
- One course in mathematics or quantitative reasoning (same as CSU GE Area B4)
- The four basic skills courses and a minimum of 60 transferable semester units (90-quarter units) must be completed by the spring semester prior to fall admission, or by the fall semester prior to spring admission. Earn a C- or better grade in each basic skills course.