Major in Theater Arts, Full

Bachelor of Science in Theater Arts

The undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Science in Theater Arts degree comprises a broad foundation in theoretical and practical studies, and intensive performance and design practica.  To satisfy the requirements, students complete a coherent set of restricted elective subjects (two of which satisfy the CI-M requirement) in addition to a capstone thesis (including a pre-thesis tutorial). With an emphasis on artistic practice, this course of study prepares students who plan either to enter the field or to pursue graduate studies in theater arts. Students should demonstrate proficiency in theater arts fundamentals, and should have some performance experience before declaring the major. Consultation with the major advisor in Theater Arts is required no later than the first term of the junior year.

MIT's registrar maintains the official requirements for the Course 21M-2 Degree on their website.

Theoretical Studies

At least 36 units from the following:
21M.611 Foundations of Theater Practice
21M.690 Sport as Performance
21M.700 China on Stage
21M.703J Media and Methods: Performing
21M.706 Asian American Theater
21M.710 Script Analysis
21M.711 Production Seminar
21M.715 Topics in Theater Arts
21M.800 All the World’s a Stage: Socio-Political Perspectives in Global Performance
21M.846 Topics in Performance Studies
21M.848 Performance Studies: Advanced Theories of Sport
21M.863 Advanced Topics in Theater Arts

Practical Studies
At least 60 units from the following:

21M.600  Introduction to Acting
21M.601  Drawing for Designers
21M.603  Introduction to Design for the Theater
21M.604  Playwriting I
21M.605  Voice and Speech for the Actor
21M.606  Introduction to Stagecraft
21M.624  Acting with the Camera
21M.645  Motion Theater
21M.704  Music Theater Workshop
21M.705  The Actor and the Text
21M.732  Costume Design
21M.733  Set Design
21M.734  Lighting Design
21M.735  Technical Design for Performance
21M.785J Playwrights’ Workshop
21M.790  Director's Craft
21M.830  Acting: Techniques and Style
21M.840  Performance Media
21M.842  Live Cinema Performance
21M.862  Topics in Performance Practice

Performance and Design Practica
At least 12 units from the following:

21M.803 Performance and Design Workshop, 3;
21M.806 Applied Performance and Design Production, 6;
21M.809 Performance and Design Intensive, 9;
21M.851 Independent Study in Performance and Design, Units arranged

Please note that the Performance and Design Practica course numbers have changed as of Spring 2017. If you have previously taken 21M.805, 21M.815 or 21M.854, they will still count towards your degree requirements.

Required Subjects - 18 Units

21M.THT Pre-Thesis Tutorial, 6
21M.THU Undergraduate Thesis, 12, CI-M


No subject can be counted both as part of the 17-subject GIRs and as part of the 180 units required beyond the GIRs. Every subject in the student’s departmental program will count toward one or the other, but not both.

(1) Only one subject used to meet the distribution element of the Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement may be counted toward the arts component of these degree programs.

For an explanation of credit units, or hours, please refer to the online help in the MIT Subject Listing & Schedule,

The Major Advisor is Professor Janet Sonenberg.

The Undergraduate Academic Assistant is Nicole Paschal.