​​​​​​Theatre and Interpretation (TAI) at CMU includes several undergraduate options designed to meet student needs.  Your degree options include: a Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) with Acting/Directing or Design/Technical concentrations, a Bachelor of Science (B.S.), and a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).  A Music Theatre interdisciplinary degree, a theatre minor and dual major options are also available.  Descriptions of each degree program offered are included below and faculty advisors are available to assist you in selecting the theatre degree that will best meet your needs.​

Auditions are required for our Acting and Music Theatre BFA programs. 

Qualified faculty teach all required courses.  Course requirements and content are reviewed regularly for relevance and quality.  With only undergraduate programs available, students have performance, design, and technical opportunities from the beginning of their academic​ career. 

Quick Links to Major and Minor Descriptions:


Theatre and Interpretation Major: Design/Technical Theatre Concentration, B.F.A.
B.F.A. degree

The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is designed for individuals who qualify for and are admitted to intensive specialization in Design/Technical Theatre. Students who wish to enter the B.F.A. program must consult with a TID technical theatre advisor.

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards

Admission to the BFA Design/Technical Theatre program requires a formal interview with Theatre Design and Technical Theatre Advisors. Contact the department regarding criteria and information about the interview process.

A minimum 2.5 GPA must be earned in the major. Students enrolled in the BFA Design/Technical Theatre concentration will have a portfolio review with the TAD Design and Technical Theatre advisors at the end of each spring semester in order to continue the program. The student is required to demonstrate proficiency in the field of specialization prior to graduation. 

Program Requirements

Core Courses I (31 hours)

TAI 177Stagecraft and Stage Lighting

4(4-0)

TAI 182Acting I

3(3-0)

TAI 278Stage Makeup

3(2-2)

TAI 460BFA Capstone Project

3(0-6)

TAI 476Lighting Design

3(3-0)

TAI 477Scene Design

3(3-0)

TAI 574History of Drama and Theatre I

3(3-0)

TAI 575History of Drama and Theatre II

3(3-0)

TAI 579Costume Design and Construction

3(3-0)

Take 3 Studio courses (1 hour each) in consultation with an advisor.

Core Courses II (15 hours)

Select 15 hours of TAI courses in consultation with a TID Technical Theatre Advisor.

Electives (24 hours)

Select 24 hours of elective cognate courses. Cognate courses may be chosen from TAI, ART, BCA, IET, FMD, IND or others. All courses in this section must be selected in consultation with a TID technical theatre advisor.

Total: 70 semester hours




Theatre and Interpretation Major: Acting/Directing Concentration, B.F.A.

B.F.A. degree

The curriculum leading to the Bachelor of Fine Arts degree is designed for individuals who qualify for and are admitted to intensive specialization in Acting/Directing. Students who wish to enter the B.F.A. program must consult with a TID advisor.

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards

Admission to the BFA Acting program is by audition only. Criteria and information about the audition process may be found here.

A minimum 2.5 GPA must be earned in the major. The student is also required to demonstrate proficiency in the field of specialization prior to graduation.

Program Requirements

Core Courses I (45 hours)

TAI 177Stagecraft and Stage Lighting

4(4-0)

TAI 182Acting I

3(3-0)

TAI 278Stage Makeup

3(2-2)

TAI 282Acting II

3(3-0)

TAI 300Improvisation

3(2-2)

TAI 302Voice and Diction

3(3-0)

TAI 371Readers Theatre

3(3-0)

TAI 376Interpretation of Drama

3(3-0)

TAI 377Costuming I

3(3-0)

TAI 378Stage Combat

3(2-2)

TAI 382Acting III

3(3-0)

TAI 460BFA Capstone Project

3(0-6)

TAI 481Directing

3(3-0)

TAI 581Advanced Directing

3(3-0)

In addition, 2 studio courses (1 hour each) must be taken. One studio must be in technical theatre.

Core Courses II (6 hours)

TAI 574History of Drama and Theatre I

3(3-0)

TAI 575History of Drama and Theatre II

3(3-0)

Core Courses III (3 hours)

Select one of the following:

TAI 380Musical Theatre History

3(3-0)

TAI 399Theatre and the Holocaust

3(3-0)

TAI 569History of American Theatre

3(3-0)

TAI 578Special Topics in Theatre

1-9(Spec)

TAI 580Dramatic Theory and Criticism

3(3-0)

TAI 583Women in the Contemporary American Theatre

3(3-0)

TAI 587Irish Theatre and Drama

3(3-0)

TAI 588Contemporary Theatre

3(3-0)

Electives (16 hours)

Select an additional 16 hours of approved cognate classes approved by the student’s TID advisor.

Total: 70 semester hours



Theatre and Interpretation Major, B.A.; B.A.A.; B.S.

B.A. B.A.A.B.S. degrees

Admission Requirements, Retention & Termination Standards

Any student in good academic standing at CMU may declare a major in Theatre and Interpretation. Every student intending to major in Theatre and Interpretation must meet with an advisor to specify the course of study. A minimum 2.0 GPA (C) must be earned in the major.

Program Requirements

Core Courses (31 hours)

TAI 170Oral Interpretation of Literature

3(3-0)

TAI 177Stagecraft and Stage Lighting

4(4-0)

TAI 182Acting I

3(3-0)

TAI 278Stage Makeup

3(2-2)

TAI 481Directing

3(3-0)

TAI 499Senior Capstone

3(3-0)

TAI 574History of Drama and Theatre I

3(3-0)

TAI 575History of Drama and Theatre II

3(3-0)

TAI 580Dramatic Theory and Criticism

3(3-0)

In addition, take 3 studio courses in 3 different areas.

Required Courses (12 hours)

Select 12 hours of TAI courses in consultation with an advisor.

Total: 43 semester hours



Theatre and Interpretation Minor, B.A.; B.S.; B.A.A.

Program Requirements

Required Courses (25 hours)

TAI 170Oral Interpretation of Literature

3(3-0)

TAI 177Stagecraft and Stage Lighting

4(4-0)

TAI 182Acting I

3(3-0)

TAI 278Stage Makeup

3(2-2)

TAI 481Directing

3(3-0)

TAI 574History of Drama and Theatre I

3(3-0)

TAI 575History of Drama and Theatre II

3(3-0)

TAI 580Dramatic Theory and Criticism

3(3-0)

Total: 25 semester hours



Beyond the classroom

Participation in theatre and interpretation productions is an integral part of the students' preparations.  University Theatre productions provide numerous opportunities for hand-on involvement in diverse theatrical presentations both on stage and back stage.  

Additional opportunities arise through our Studio Theatre​ program, which allows students to partner with faculty (and other students) on smaller-scale productions to gain experience in areas of special interest. The CMU Summer Theatre company performs three plays in repertory at three locations across the Michigan.  The company works with faculty directors and designers on all areas of the production: construction, performance, lighting, sound, props and more, earning both academic credit and a stipend f​or their efforts.  


Additional resources

​Below are links to additional resources and information: 

For additional information

Please visit our department office at Moore 333 or call 989-774-3177. Students ​who are new to CMU may also wish to communicate with the Undergraduate Admissions Office at (989) 774-3076, or by e-mail at cmuadmit@cmich.edu, for general questions, visit arrangements and enrollment information. 

​Disclaimer:  The information above was taken from the CMU bulletin for the 2019​ - 2020 academic year.  Each university bulletin covers a 12-month period, July 1 through June 30. Courses, majors, minors, programs, and degrees in this bulletin are subject to change without notice and may not be available in future bulletins. Every effort has been made to include accurate information in the website. However, the contents of this website are not to be regarded as an irrevocable contract between students and CMU. The university reserves the right to change at any time and without prior notice any provision or requirement, included, but not limited to, policies, procedures, changes, academic programs, and calendar.
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