How do I Enroll in a Theater Major?

1. Apply to IUP.

You are not required to audition. If accepted and you declare interest in a theatre major, then congratulations! You are now one of us. 

If you desire to enroll in the Musical Theater Track, there is one more step—an audition. This will ensure that your skills are well-matched to this more specialized degree. You may audition now and, if accepted to the track, begin in the fall. Or, you may defer your audition until your first year and enter the program’s music curriculum in the second year. Theater and dance courses will be the same and apply to either degree path. Musical theatre majors receive a message from Admissions that directs you to register for an Experience IUP: Fine Arts Audition/Portfolio Day.

You may also want to compete for a Freshman Talent Scholarship, or a Gene Kelly Scholarship. If so, you will need to audition or present a portfolio (for design/tech students).

2. Then, attend an Experience IUP Day.

Register for an Experience IUP Day

MUSICAL THEATER TRACK AND THOSE WHO WANT TO AUDITION FOR SCHOLARSHIP: Contact Dawnette Shellhammer ( or 724-357-2397) to schedule your audition.  In-person auditions and design/tech presentations will be scheduled on these dates:

  • Saturday, February 18, 2023
  • Saturday, March 25, 2023
  • Monday, April 17, 2023

Guidelines for Auditions (Musical Theater and Talent Scholarships only)

Alternative Online Auditions

As an alternative to attending in person, you may send a link to a video recording to We will review it and send you a message to schedule a follow-up Zoom interview.

  1. Performance emphasis: We accept video-recorded auditions anytime for Theatre. For the Musical Theatre Track, we will arrange a Zoom audition on the dates of in-person auditions.

  2. Design/Tech emphasis: Contact us to arrange for portfolio reviews via Zoom, or send us a link to a  video recording of your presentation, and then we will schedule a follow-up Zoom interview.

  3. Visits: Nothing is better for learning about us than a campus visit to tour facilities and meet with faculty and students. Please contact to arrange for a personal visit outside of the Experience IUP day schedule.

Scholarships are awarded based on your audition/interview, whether it's in-person or virtual. Acceptance and scholarship decisions are made on a rolling basis, usually within one week of the audition/interview. 

Scene from "World Builders"Still have a question about your audition or portfolio review? Contact Brian Jones (

Instructions for Sending Your Video Audition

Upload your audition videos to YouTube or Vimeo and send links to them in an email.

  1. Create an account if you don't already have one.

  2. Upload your videos.

  3. Copy a sharable link for each into an email.

  4. Write an audition email to us with links in it for each video.

  5. Attach a résumé to your email (headshot optional), and send it to

  6. Letters of recommendation are not required but can be helpful for scholarship awards and understanding how best to help you begin your program at IUP.

Prospective students with an exceptional academic record and a love of learning in the community should look into the Cook Honors College, where many of our students have thrived.


“I've been acting in New York, the San Francisco Bay Area, and on national and international tours for about six years, including performances in Russia and China. I can proudly say that IUP prepared me for a career where my primary means of support is acting.”

—Kyle Payne, '02

Dance Theater

Programs of Study

We offer bachelor of arts degrees in theatre with various emphases depending on your unique needs. Each degree offers both breadth and depth, allowing for exploration and concentrated study.

Proudly Accredited by NAST

Since 1995, our theater programs have been accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theater, and its FAQ page is a good resource for thinking about majoring in theatre in higher education.

We are a creative community where faculty and students teach, learn, and create together.