Bachelor of Arts

Image of student actors in a play

Photo by Craig Schwartz of "The Wolves."

The BA in Theatre program combines a liberal arts education with an intensive study of the dramatic arts. Offered in cooperation with the USC Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and tailored to each student’s needs, this program offers a firm grounding in all aspects of the dramatic arts, while allowing students the freedom to select courses they feel will benefit their own interests and career goals. From classical theatre to stand up comedy, from playwriting to medical clowning, from critical studies to entrepreneurialism in the dramatic arts, the range of course offerings in this degree program is as wide as it is deep.

Performance and production are major parts of the BA curriculum for interested students. Participation in performance is by audition selection only.

The number of required general education courses allows students to participate in most minor and double major programs, and still graduate within a four-year period.

Acting, Comedy, Design and Musical Theatre Emphases

Beginning the second semester of their first year, students may elect to choose an emphasis in acting, comedy, design or musical theatre to further focus their studies. Performance, production and professional opportunities remain key aspects of this program.


All candidates for the BA degrees must also complete a series of general education courses required by the university. The USC Core and General Education Program has been designed to provide students with the skills and knowledge necessary to be informed citizens of the 21st century, who understand its challenges and participate in the debates of their time. It requires eight courses in six Core Literacies, plus two courses in Global Perspectives (which may double-count with courses in the Core Literacies) and two courses in writing. All BA students must also meet a foreign-language requirement.

For complete curriculum requirements, please visit the USC Catalogue for the BA, Theatre major or for the BA, Theatre with an emphasis in Acting; BA, Theatre with an emphasis in Comedy; BA, Theatre with an emphasis in Design; and BA, Theatre with an emphasis in Musical Theatre.

“The BA program allowed me to construct my perfect college experience. I got to study and perform theatre on campus, while simultaneously using my 4 years to explore beyond SDA. I was able minor in the Marshall School of Business, produce shows within the incredible ISP community, work internships during the school year, and begin working professionally as an actor in Los Angeles. The BA provides the perfect balance of structure and room to explore.”

Tyler Joseph Ellis
BA in Theatre | Business minor
Class of 2020

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