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Theatre, B.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 48 months
Harrisonburg, VA, United States
The James Madison University Theatre program has a liberal arts orientation directed specifically toward undergraduate students. We have three basic emphases: instruction in the theory and history of drama; instruction in the practice of theatre arts; and a full production program.


The James Madison University Theatre program provides numerous benefits for its students including an ability to understand and express conceptual knowledge, an appreciation of the great works of theatre and an appreciation of the theatre as it permeates society in television, films, on the stage and in other daily activities. Training to work within a group toward a defined goal with a deadline is an integral part of the academic experience as well as training for a professional career and/or training for graduate-level theatre work.

Performance, Design, and Technical Opportunities

JMU theatre sponsors four major productions each year in its main-stage season including the annual musical. As many as  twenty additional productions are mounted each year in the Experimental Theatre. The program also sponsors The Children's Playshop each summer. 

In this exclusively undergraduate program, students act the parts, construct the sets and costumes and fulfill the responsibilities for running the productions. Students also design sets, lights and costumes for many major productions and nearly all the Experimental Theatre productions. Often these productions are original student-written scripts.

JMU regularly participates in the American College Theatre Festival. Several JMU productions have been selected for regional competition and performers have done well in the individual acting phase of the competitions. Two recent productions played at the National Festival at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.

Upon completion of the Theatre Program, the Theatre Student shall:

  • demonstrate proficiency in the collaborative process of theatre production, and exhibit the skills necessary to work within a group toward a defined goal under a deadline. Such skills include the ability to collaborate with other arts disciplines, including dance and music.

  • employ correct theatre terminology in all areas of theatrical production.

  • distinguish and describe various theatrical genre and staging formats, with strong proficiencies in one or more areas.

  • differentiate and characterize a variety of different styles of theatrical production, including non-traditional and non-western approaches.

  • discuss and analyze important works of dramatic literature from the past and present including works of criticism and theory as well as the reading list of plays.

  • identify and describe the important periods and movements in world theatre history, including the works of leading playwrights, actors, directors and designers.

  • express the interrelationship between the live theatre and the existing and emerging technological media through which dramatic and performative pieces may be created and delivered.

  • formulate and communicate in writing informed critical assessments of theatrical performances, including all aspects of artistic and technical production.

  • comprehend and distinguish basic production processes to include acting, directing, design, technical production and management.

  • have participated regularly in public performances of various scales and styles. The student will have experienced a variety of different theatrical roles among the disciplines of acting, directing, design and theatrical production.

  • understand, distinguish, and describe the basic working practices of the professional theatre, including unions, professional expectations and employment opportunities.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 48 months
  • Credits
    120 alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Elementary Modern Dance 
  • Elementary Ballet 
  • International Folk Dance 
  • Ballroom Dance 
  • Jazz Dance 
  • Tap Dance 
  • Dance Improvisation 

English Language Requirements

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS
  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

General Requirements

Academic requirements

  • If you are applying to join the University directly, you must have at least a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 to join James Madison University.
  • Undergraduate applicants who intend to major in theater, dance, music or studio art must also submit a portfolio and/or arrange an audition.

English language level

  • You can join your university degree program of choice directly if you already meet the university’s entry requirements of IELTS 6.5/TOEFL 81.

In addition to the Application for Admissions, an applicant must submit:

  • Official High School Transcript
  • Senior Year Schedule

Studyportals Tip: Students should consider taking one of the Pre-Bachelor's below. these courses will be necessary if:

  • You are considered ineligible for admission
  • You need to improve your academic, study, research or language skills
Search all Pre-Bachelors

Tuition Fee

  • International

    30800 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 30800 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
  • National

    7250 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 7250 USD per year and a duration of 48 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

Living costs for Harrisonburg

  • 1050 - 1720 USD/month
    Living Costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.


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