a female student superimposed on a pink backdrop with a stage production

Flourish and Grow Skills for Life in Theatre at IUP

If you love theatre and there is nowhere else you'd rather be—you'll find yourself right at home in IUP's BA in Theatre program.

From on stage to behind-the scenes or applying theatre to community and theatre education or within dance, IUP's flexible curriculum and vast opportunities give you a chance to be involved in professionally-structured productions and performance experiences starting your first semester. You'll learn to create stunning and socially-engaged performances—and use your theatrical skills and performance to change the world.

Admission to this program is by audition.

Why Major in Theatre at IUP?

You’ll find your place among like-minded creatives, with seven faculty, fifty courses, and unlimited possibilities.

  • Discover applications for theatre beyond the stage by joining the Simulation Performance and Applied Theatre Ensemble. Even earn an Applied Theatre Certificate.
  • Join our professionally-modeled theatre company, Theater-by-the-Grove, starting your very first semester, with four productions each year, plus many more opportunities for student-led creative expression.
  • Learn from the experts: faculty with professional experience who love to teach.
  • Shape your future as an artist and create your own work as part of a collaborative ensemble.
  • Thrive in a nurturing, supportive environment with up-to-date facilities.

IUP has been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre since 1995.

What You’ll Learn

IUP will help you grow, wherever you plant yourself after graduation. The world’s your stage.

  • Best of both worlds. Receive hands-on training in performance and production studios enriched by the broad inquiry of a liberal arts degree. You’ll discover and nurture new interests that can lead to related fields.
  • Create your own work. You'll develop practices that enable you to create your own work in an ensemble.
  • Transferable skills for any career. From leadership and communication to collaboration, creative problem-solving, and empathy, a theatre degree prepares you with skills you’ll need in any career.

Imagine Your Future

Imagine Your Future

The possibilities for a BA in Theatre major start with the performing arts, creating for the live stage or media, including film, television, radio, and social media.

Career Opportunities

  • Actor
  • Casting Director
  • Costume Director, Wardrobe Supervisor, or Stitcher
  • Designer (Scenic, Lighting, Costume, Sound)
  • Director
  • Playwright
  • Producer
  • Stage Carpenter or Theater Electrician
  • Stage Hand
  • Stage Manager
  • Technical Director
  • Theatre Manager
  • Theatre Technician

You’ll also be prepared for a variety of careers in related fields that value your collaborative and communication abilities. Picture yourself as a:

  • Creative professional and skilled team player, working in game development or art direction.
  • Leader in a professional discipline, building on your training to become an attorney, speech-language pathologist, early childhood educator, counselor or therapist, corporate trainer, or museum or center director.
  • Teaching artist, artist-in-residence, or community leader, building engagement by using theatre skills.

Median Salary

10-Year Job Outlook


growth in entertainment and sports occupations

Actor or performer


Entertainment and sports industry


Line producers and senior producers


Producers and directors


Classes and Requirements

Shape your future as an artist and pursue your interests. Choose from three theatre and dance concentrations—Performance, Design/Tech/Management, or Theory and Criticism—or create your own concentration in collaboration with your faculty advisor. You’ll have the flexibility to pursue courses that align with your passions, talents, and career goals.

Years One and Two: Learn a foundation of historic and analytic knowledge, combined with the core skills in performance, production, and ensemble creation.

Years Three and Four: Build a concentration of electives in performance, design/technology, management, playwriting, dramaturgy, or a completely unique combination.

Senior Thesis: In your junior year Theatre Seminar course, you’ll create a career development plan, network with successful alumni, and conceive your Senior thesis project. Guided by your faculty supervisor, your thesis is the capstone marking the successful completion of your degree.

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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Alumni are successful in a variety of career pathways.

  • Performing Artists – ensemble companies and directors, individual commercial artists on live stage and media, drag artists
  • Production Artists – designers, technical directors, stage managers, costumers, tour managers
  • Teaching Artists – artists in residence, teachers, community
  • Allied Creative Industries – game development, art direction
  • Professional Disciplines – attorney, speech-language pathology, counseling and therapy, museum and center directors, hospitality managers, training directors, production managers

Get Hands-on Creative Experience

Learn by doing and put your creative abilities to the test through Theater-by-the-Grove and IUP Dance Theatre, our professionally-modeled ensembles.

  • Behind the scenes, design, build, and manage complex productions as you create imaginary places in real spaces.
  • Interested in theatre for social change? Join the Simulation Performance and Applied Theatre Ensemble (SPATE) and make a positive impact on the world as a teaching artist.
  • On stage, hone your performance skills as you create characters and collaborate with your castmates.
  • Write and produce your own work in the Acorn Project, an incubator for student produced and directed theatre.

Continue your studies and build on your BA in Theatre degree. You’ll be well prepared for pathways including:

  • MA in Applied Theatre
  • MA in Communication, Media Production
  • MA in Community Theatre
  • MA in Theatre Education
  • MA in Theatre Theory and Dramaturgy
  • MA, MFA or PhD in Performance Studies
  • MFA in Acting
  • MFA in Directing or Playwriting
  • MFA in Performance and Interactive Media
  • MFA in Theatre Design and Technology

Facts to Know

Here are just a few of the reasons why you can feel good about choosing the BA in Theatre program at IUP.

  • Full accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Theatre since 1995.
  • Get involved with stage productions—onstage or backstage—starting first semester. There are four main stage productions and six student-written productions every year, plus an annual opportunity to showcase your talents at the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival.
  • Individualized support for every new student. You’ll be paired with a student mentor and a full-time faculty advisor in your interest area.

Alpha Psi Omega Honorary Society

Reach for high honors. IUP is home to the student-led Nu Omicron chapter of Alpha Psi Omega, a national honorary society for theatre. Each year, membership extends invitations to students who have achieved a high level of engagement in theatre production at IUP. APO serves IUP's Theater-by-the-Grove by providing concessions, hosting opening receptions, and producing the department picnic.

Theatre for Everyone

You don’t have to be a theatre major to join an IUP production. Get involved—with Theater-by-the-Grove or IUP Dance Theater—through Crimson Connect, our online student engagement platform.

Theatre Minor

Add a Theatre Minor program to your studies at IUP, and you’ll gain skills that will set you apart in a range of careers, whether you’re an aspiring teacher, business leader, or media production professional.

  • A flexible pathway, customized to your interests
  • 18 credits
  • Requires involvement with productions through practicum courses

Full Academic Catalog Listing

The course catalog is the official reference for all our degree and course offerings. Check it out for a full listing of the classes available and requirements for this degree.

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