BFA in Acting

The acting program prepares talented and committed students for careers in the professional world of theatre and the related media of film and television. The program curriculum stresses the development of imagination, intellect, physical and vocal skills, technique, and professional behavior. This allows students to create a wide range of roles in performances of varying styles.

During each year of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, courses in acting, movement, voice and speech, and dramatic literature follow a carefully integrated sequence of class exercises and related public performance. The committed students who pursue an acting degree at Boston University discover who they are, what they do well, and what they are capable of doing. They learn to be believable actors and to work productively under the stress of the theatrical profession and, most importantly, they learn to integrate performance skills with personal sensibility.

Learning Outcomes

Students in the Acting major will:

  1. Demonstrate a broad understanding of the craft of acting and its relationship to directing, design, and production.
  2. Demonstrate the ability to enrich creative storytelling through a critical engagement with cultural, aesthetic, and dramatic texts for a wide variety of audiences.
  3. Demonstrate proficiency in the skills necessary to be a working actor, including but not limited to performance styles, collaboration, and telling a story through physical, vocal, and emotional expressiveness.
  4. Successfully complete a thesis in acting, demonstrating proficiency and readiness to enter the professional sphere.


All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in Acting will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Aesthetic & Historical Interpretation, as well as some of the requirements in Communication; Diversity, Civic Engagement & Global Citizenship; and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

Program of Study

Acting (minimum of 128 credits)

Second Year 1st 2nd
CFA TH 237 & 238 Alexander Technique 2 1 1
CFA TH 201 Dramatic Lit 1850–1950 3
CFA TH 202 Dramatic Lit 1950–1990 3
CFA TH 211 & 212/214 Voice and Speech 2 2 2
CFA TH 221 & 222 Acting 2 3 3
CFA TH 231 & 232 Movement 2 2 2
CFA TH 247 Stagecraft 1
CFA TH 248 Rehearsal and Performance 1 2
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4 4
Performance elective 0 0
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
Total credits 16 17
Third Year
CFA TH 337 Alexander Technique 3 1
CFA TH 311 Voice and Speech 3 2
CFA TH 321 Acting 3 2
CFA TH 331 Movement 3 2
CFA TH 347 Rehearsal and Performance 2 2
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4
Performance elective 0
Study Abroad Program 16
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0
Total credits 13 16
Fourth Year
CFA TH 411 & 412 Voice and Speech 4 2 2
CFA TH 421 & 422 Acting 4 2 3
CFA TH 431 & 432 Movement 4 1 2
CFA TH 437 & 438 Alexander Technique 4 1 1
CFA TH 447 & 448 Rehearsal and Performance 3/4 2 1
CFA TH 429 Understanding the Camera 2
CFA TH 430 Professional Theatre Initiative 2 2
CFA TH 428 Senior Thesis 2
CFA TH 099 Matinee 0 0
Performance elective 0 0
BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major 4 4
Total credits 16 17

Concentration in Music Theatre

(open to BFA Acting and BFA Theatre Arts/Performance majors)

The Music Theatre concentration at the Boston University School of Theatre is a 4-course, 12-credit sequence available to any student in the BFA Acting or BFA Theatre Arts/Performance degrees, and can be declared starting in the second year of the program. This concentration is designed to enhance a student’s preparedness in the genre of music theatre, to expand the student’s skill sets within the genre, as well as to encourage students to re-imagine and create new future possibilities for the music theatre genre and to prepare them to become leaders in the field. For those who wish to pursue acting or music theatre as a career, or who wish to apply to graduate programs in this field, this concentration will serve as verification of their skill level and commitment to the field of study.

Students in the Music Theatre concentration are encouraged to take private voice lessons through the School of Music and additional dance and movement classes through the Dance Department at the BU Physical Education, Recreation & Dance Department.

Required courses:

  • CFA TH 217 Music Theatre Performance Skills I: Letting the Speaking Voice Sing (3 cr)
  • CFA TH 218 Music Theatre Performance Skills II: Applying Stanislavski Principles (3 cr)
  • CFA TH 317 Music Theatre Performance Skills III: Scene Study (3 cr)
  • CFA TH 419 Music Theatre Performance Lab (3 cr)