BA Musical Theatre

BA Musical Theatre

For students interested in musical theatre at SDSU, our BA in Musical Theatre combines excellent musical theatre training taught by Broadway professionals with the flexibility of taking many different classes within the School of Theatre, Television, and Film and throughout the university. We know that a successful career rewards diversity of experience and entrepreneurial thinking and we want to help you achieve your goals. 

SDSU is a “SDSU a Top ‘Best Value’ College in Rankings Based on Cost of Attending and Future Earnings" according to the Wall Street Journal, and employers actively seek the skills offered by a theatre degree: creative thinking and problem-solving, collaboration, a goal-oriented approach to projects, superior communication skills, an ability to handle deadline pressures, effective time-management, and independent thinking and initiative.

SDSU is also home to the MFA Program in Musical Theatre.  This graduate degree is one of only a handful in the country where students learn the art of performing and teaching musical theatre.  As an undergraduate performance major, you are taught not only by the faculty but also mentored by professional actors who are studying for their graduate degrees. 

How to Apply

Cal State Application Deadline is November 30

Acceptd Application Deadline is December 31

Prospective students wishing to major in Musical Theatre must audition. Students who wish to apply to SDSU with a General Theatre Arts emphasis are not required to audition.

For prospective performance majors, the application is a two-step process:

  • First, you need to apply to SDSU using the Cal State Apply application during the SDSU filing period between October 1- November 30. At the time of the application, select your Pre-Major as Theatre - Performance (662595).  Visit the Office of Admissions website for information about applying to the school. There is a non-refundable filing fee of $70 that must be paid at the time of your SDSU application.
  • Next, you need to upload your audition through the Acceptd audition website platform between October 1- December 31. There you will be asked to upload a headshot, a resume, and the videos of your audition. .

SDSU is a member of the Musical Theater Common Prescreen (MTCP). The Musical Theater Common Prescreen is an agreed upon set of criteria used for the videos that are required as part of the application process to musical theater programs. These institutions settled on given guidelines to initiate a streamlined process for both applicants and schools as well as to promote inclusivity in the admittance process.

Each piece should be uploaded as a separate piece of media. No continuous videos. Students are encouraged to use standard technology/recording devices that are available to them (i.e. smartphones, tablets, etc).

There should not be a separate introduction or “slate” video. Instead, “slates” are to appear at the beginning of each piece and included as part of the time allotment.


What to Prepare

Students should prepare two contrasting pieces. 

  • Style: one song should be a ballad (where the piece has longer, sustained vocal lines) and one song should be an uptempo (where the vocal line moves at a conversational pace) so as to contrast style.
  • Length: Each song file should be 60-90 seconds (This time limit includes the slate at the beginning of the piece and is strictly adhered to; please do not upload media files longer than 90 seconds).
  • Accompaniment: Students must sing to musical accompaniment, which could include live or pre-recorded accompaniment. No “a cappella” singing (meaning singing without music).
  • One song should be written before 1970. This song can be either the “uptempo” or the “ballad” (student’s choice).
  • One song should be written after 1970 and contrast the style of the first.
  • One of the two songs (student’s choice) should be filmed in a full frame shot to see your full range of expression, and the other one in a close-up shot (top of the head to the chest should be visible in the frame).

Students should prepare 1 monologue

  • 1 contemporary monologue (written after 1950), 60-90 seconds in length
  • The contemporary monologue should be filmed in a “close-up” shot which means the top of the head to the chest should be visible in the frame.
  • Monologues must be from a published play.
  • Monologues cannot be from musicals.
  • Each monologue file should be 60-90 seconds in length (this time limit includes the slate at the beginning of the piece and is strictly adhered to; please do not upload media files longer than 90 seconds)

There is a non-refundable application fee of $35 that must be paid at the time of your Acceptd audition upload.

If the $35 application fee is burdensome, there is a limited amount of scholarship assistance to help defray this cost. Please contact Robert Meffe for more information at

If you are denied admission based on your performance audition, you cannot apply to SDSU again until the following academic year.

For questions about the audition process, please contact:

Prof. Robert Meffe -

For more information contact the Academic Advisor:

Academic Advisor
DA 204B



The Theatre Arts major is an impacted program. Students are admitted as Musical Theatre pre-majors, and must complete the following requirements before advancing into the major:

Students must satisfy the following requirements before advancing from pre-major into the major:

  • Performance majors are required to participate in Musical Theatre Auditions each semester, attend callbacks, and perform as cast in Department productions
  • THEA 111, 120, 130, 231, and 240 must be completed with a grade of C or higher
  • THEA 111, 130, and 332 must be completed with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher
  • Check for prerequisites: You must have completed the prerequisites for the course for which you are registering

PREPARATION for the Major

- TFM 160 - Cinema as Art, 3 units
- THEA 111 - Voice and Movement, 3 units
- THEA 120 - Heritage of Storytelling, 3 units
- THEA 130 - Acting I, 3 units
- THEA 205 - American Musical on Stage & Screen , 3 units
- THEA 231 - Acting II, 3 units
- THEA 240 - Design and Technology for Theatre, 3 units

MAJOR Upper Division Requirements

- THEA 325 - Script Analysis , 3 units
- THEA 350 - Musical Theatre Performance I , 3 units
- THEA 351 - Musical Theatre Performance II , 3 units
- THEA 450 - Musical Theatre Performance III , 3 units
- THEA 451 - Musical Theatre Performance IV , 3 units
- THEA 446A - Practicum in Performance (Running Crew-Sets, Lights), 2 units
- THEA 446B - Practicum in Performance (Running Crew-Costumes), 2 units
- THEA 446C - Practicum in Performance (Cast Member main season production or equivalent faculty-led experience), 2 units
- THEA 465 - Theatre of Diversity, 3 units

AND nine units (9) to be selected from:

- THEA 320A - Advanced Voice & Text for Actors, 3 units
- THEA 332 - Acting III, 3 units
- THEA 335 Stage Management-Theory, 3 units
- THEA 359 - Directing I, 3 units
- THEA 431 - Workshop in Improvisational Acting, 3 units
- THEA 434 - Audition & Business Skills for the Actor, 3 units
- THEA 435 - Acting on Camera , 3 units
- THEA 460 A - History of Theatre, 3 units
- THEA 460 B - History of Theatre, 3 units
- THEA 515 - Playwriting, 3 units
- THEA 533A - Theories & Styles in Acting and Directing, 3 units

DANCE Courses
A minimum of eight units in dance to be selected from:

- THEA 353 Musical Theatre Dance (may be repeated to fulfill the Dance requirement) 
- THEA 355 Movement for the Theatre I
- DANCE 190 Somatic Movement Practices I
- DANCE 221 Ballet I
-DANCE 242 Dance Techniques I
- DANCE 243 Applied Dance Techniques
- DANCE 421 Ballet II
- DANCE 443 Applied Dance Techniques II

MUSIC Courses
A minimum of three units in dance to be selected from:

- MUSIC 105 Introduction to Elements of Music 
- MUSIC 106A Introduction to Aural Skills I
- MUSIC 106B Introduction to Aural Skills II
- MUSIC 110A Piano - Elementary Class Instruction MUSIC 110B Piano - Elementary Class Instruction

For additional curriculum details, please consult the following:
Graduate Bulletin