Undergraduate Study

Theater BA

Capstone Major

The Theater major is a designated capstone major. Theater capstone courses represent independent student scholarship and/or a high degree of artistic achievement in each of the undergraduate areas. Capstone courses are intended to be the culmination of all the broad educational courses and core foundational courses that a student has taken. Group participation in the creation and production of student projects is core to the curriculum. Capstone courses vary by area and require individual projects or performances, a major artistic contribution to a theater production, or an individual course of study resulting in a research paper. Through their capstone work, students demonstrate general knowledge and specialized skills, successfully relate their experience in a studio, production, or fieldwork setting, communicate effectively orally and in writing, and engage with a community of artists and scholars presenting theatrical work.

The Theater BA provides students with a liberal education by combining critical study of theater and performance with experiential practice in one or more of its component parts. Students explore acting, design, directing, formal and textual analysis, playwriting, and production to build a foundation for future creative work. Specialized and advanced training is available to prepare students for a variety of careers, further training, or graduate study. At the upper-division level, students may choose from an array of advanced elective courses including those in acting, design and production, directing, musical theater, playwriting, theater history, and dramatic literature. Internships in areas such as producing and casting are also available.

Learning Outcomes

The Theater major has the following learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrated broad knowledge of fundamentals acquired through coursework, including general knowledge of the art form and skills in a specialized area of study
  • Successful relation of experience in a studio, production, or fieldwork setting
  • Engagement with a community of artists and scholars presenting theatrical work
  • Effective oral and written communication


All applicants must meet the admission standards of UCLA and the departmental screening process. Applications are accepted only in November for admission to the following fall quarter. There are no mid-year admissions. Students must submit required supplemental materials directly to the Theater Department. All applicants must also sign up for an audition and/or interview online. There is a $90 fee for all interviews/auditions.

Applicants interested in one of the emphases in acting, design and production, integrated studies (including critical studies, directing, and playwriting) or musical theater may submit materials for consideration in that area.

Preparation for the Major

Required: Theater 11, 12, 13, 14A, 14B, 14C, 50 (must be taken for 4 units total).

The Major

The major consists of Theater 101A, 101B, 101C, one course from 102A through 113, 131C or 163C or 180 (capstone seminar), 150 (4 units), and 34 upper-division theater elective units. Up to 8 units of upper-division credit in the Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media may be included in the 34-unit theater elective requirement.

Majors wishing to pursue one of the emphases in the areas of (1) acting, (2) design and production, (3) directing, (4) musical theater, or (5) playwriting are expected to complete a number of regularly offered elective courses.

Students who do not select and emphasis or who wish to pursue an individualized plan are expected to meet with the undergraduate vice chair at the beginning of each year to plan their course of study.