New Student Programs

Musical Theatre

About Musical Theatre

The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre: Musical Theatre concentration offers students fundamental training in Musical Theatre and facilitates exploration in additional areas of interest. BA students are encouraged to audition for Columbia Musical Theatre Productions and to declare a minor.

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre: Musical Theatre Performance concentration is a selective program offering comprehensive training for those students who wish to pursue professional performance careers. BFA students are required to take advanced courses in acting, voice and dance to achieve the level of performance proficiency expected in the Musical Theatre industry. These students are required to study Audition Techniques for the Musical Theatre; they are given additional private voice and dance instruction, and are immersed in a year-long capstone class that explores repertoire and refines their multi-disciplinary talents for the real world. BFA students are required to perform in at least one Columbia College Production each year.


For Orientation

Music Assessment

Before arriving on campus for orientation date, please complete the Music Theory Assessment (powered by Connect4Education). This assessment is our way of evaluating the level of musical knowledge and skill you bring as an incoming student in order to place you at the appropriate level of music theory within our curriculum. The assessment requires a code for access; email Becky Harlow, Academic Coordinator, at rharlow@colum.edu for your personalized code.

It is imperative that students complete the Music Theory Assessment at least 24 hours before you arrive on campus. 

Dance and Singing Placement

At Orientation, all Musical Theatre majors will participate in a group dance and individual singing assessment.

Please bring appropriate dance attire (leotard & tights, no baggy shorts or sweatpants) and jazz or ballet shoes. Please prepare 16 bars of your best musical theatre song. Bring sheet music written in proper key. No on-site transpositions. Music should be clearly marked.

We regret that we are unable to register any student for upper-level Musical Theatre courses without an in-person assessment.


Recommended First-Semester Classes

All Musical Theatre students must complete the Music Theory Assessment test ahead of their Orientation date. Email Becky Harlow at rharlow@colum.edu for your personal music assessment code.

For students beginning without any credits in Musical Theatre, we recommend you register for:

  • • 31-1251 Theatre Foundation I: Making Theatre*

You may also choose ONE from the following 3 Choral Ensemble courses:

  • • 32-1800 Columbia College Chorus
  • • 32-1801 Gospel Choir
  • • 32-1802 Jazz/Pop Choir

New students will be placed into appropriate Music and Dance courses in person at Orientation. Students participating in Distance Orientation will not be permitted to register for upper-level classes without an in-person placement.

*Theatre programs are very popular this year. If you are unable to register for Theatre Foundation I: Making Theatre in your first semester, you will take it during your second semester. Other first semester suggested courses, for Elective credit, include:

  • • 31-1200 Acting I: Basic Skills
  • • 31-1300 Voice Training for the Actor I
  • • 31-1305 Body Movement for Actors I
  • • 31-1310 Feldenkrais: Awareness through Movement
  • • 31-1350 Speaking Out
  • • 31-1435 Musical Theatre Dance for the Singer/Actor
  • • 31-1500 Prod Tech: Crew
  • • 31-1510 Drafting for Theatre
  • • 31-1680 Foundations of Makeup
  • • 31-2800 Playwriting Workshop I

View the Full Course Catalog