Admissions & Major Requirements
The Department of Theater at the University of Massachusetts Amherst does not require prospective majors or minors to audition for admission to the program. All UMass students in good standing are welcome to declare the major or add the minor (see separate Minor in Theater page for information). Once they declare a Theater major, students are assigned a faculty member who will serve as their advisor.
If you are a UMass student considering switching into or adding the major (or minor), please make an appointment with the Undergraduate Program Director, Gil McCauley to complete the paperwork, discuss your progress toward the degree, and sign up for an advisor.
Theater majors must complete at least 36 credits in Theater. At least 12 credits must be completed in the area of Dramaturgy and a minimum of 24 combined credits must be completed in the two areas of Performanceand Design and Production with at least 9 credits required in Performance and 12 credits in Design and Production. Courses with a grade below C will not be accepted towards the major. (And if you are interested in the Minor, you can find information about the requirements on the Minor in Theater page.)
Students are advised to declare their major no later than their sophomore year and to take the key prerequisite courses as early as possible — those who do not may find it difficult to fulfill all the requirements needed to graduate in four years.
Enrollment in many theater courses is by consent of instructors only. It is imperative, therefore, that all majors, prospective majors, minors, and non-majors consult with a department adviser to determine eligibility for, and appropriate placement within, the various activities.
Non-majors with appropriate qualifications are welcome to participate in the activities of the department. Introduction to Theater, a general education course, is primarily for non-majors. Enrollment of non-majors in all upper-level courses is permitted after completing beginning techniques in the specific area(s) of interest. Department majors are given preference in placement at all levels within the program.
Although we take a liberal arts approach that asks students to acquire a broad-based sense of the various components or theater, we also offer undergraduate students the opportunity to focus in on those aspects of theater that interest them most, with advanced classes and production opportunities in all areas of theater.