Degree Requirements

Getting Your Degree

Tisch Drama offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Theatre. Candidates for the degree must fulfill the following requirements:

A minimum of 48 credits of Professional Training

A minimum of 28 credits of Theatre Studies

A minimum of 32 credits of General Education

A minimum of 20 credits of Electives

Students should finish with enough credits in the above four areas to total 128 credits. 

Authoritative curriculum information can be found exclusively in the University Bulletin. All other content, including this web-page is for informational purposes only. You can find the curriculum for this program on this page of the Bulletin.

Students working out in class

Professional Training

There are two phases of professional training:

Primary Studio Training: Students will complete four sequential semesters (32 credits) in the same studio. This is known as the “4-in-1 requirement.” 

Additional Professional Training: Students will then complete 16 credits of additional professional training. This includes advanced studio training and internships, and is sometimes available at study abroad sites.

Students must earn a grade of “C” or better to receive credit for both primary and additional professional training.

Student smiling in class

Theatre Studies

Students take a minimum of seven courses from a theatre studies curriculum that reflects Tisch Drama’s goal—to give students the artistic and intellectual foundations necessary for a successful professional life in the theatre and allied disciplines. The professional training received in studio is contextualized within and enriched by a knowledge of the theatre as an art and an institution, with a history, a literature, and a vital role in culture. Also, because we recognize that even the most talented actors and designers face formidable challenges in this exceptionally competitive profession, the program prepares students to pursue other career choices within the field, including graduate study in areas such as theatre history, dramatic literature, and performance studies.

Theatre Studies Required Courses: Students must complete a minimum of 28 credits. The curriculum consists of two required introductory courses—Introduction to Theatre Studies and Introduction to Theatre Production—followed by a minimum of five advanced theatre studies courses in areas such as dramatic literature, theatre theory, and performance studies. 

Students must earn a grade of “C” or better to receive credit for theatre studies courses.

Required Introductory Courses

Required introductory courses include Intro to Theatre Studies (ITS) for 4 credits and Intro to Theatre Production (ITP) for 4 credits. Transfer students are not required to take ITP but must make up the credits with another theatre studies class. 


Advanced Theatre Studies Courses

In addition to the required courses, students must also take 20 credits (five courses) in advanced theatre studies. At least 4 credits must be completed in each of the following categories:

  • Histories courses compare different time periods in order to question historical methodologies, or they examine primarily pre-twentieth century periods. Students gain a foundational knowledge of theatre/performance history, and practice different methods of doing historical research, which might include archival work, close reading of primary documents, and comparative historiography.
  • Geographies courses focus on the theatre/performance practices of specific ecological, national, continental, or global regions, including diasporic and transnational cultures. Students learn to contextualize the complex relationships between theatre/performance and their wider linguistic, sociological, and ideological dimensions.
  • Topics courses engage specific themes, topics, and/or theatre-makers. Courses might introduce conceptual frameworks such as postcolonial theory, feminism, ecotheory, Marxism, etc., in order to examine a particular genre, a director or playwright’s oeuvre, or an aesthetic movement. Students develop an understanding of specific theatre traditions, performance practices, and critical debates in the field today.
  • Praxis courses explore the application of theatre and performance knowledges in varied practical contexts; fields represented might include applied and community-based performance, dramaturgy and devising, and arts leadership and producing. Students are introduced to performance as a mode of research that moves between embodied and scholarly practice.

The remaining credits may be completed in any category. The classes will be labeled by categories in the Department of Drama course listings. For classes with more than one category listed, students may elect which category for those credits to satisfy, but cannot use it for two categories. Students who complete the requirements for a declared double major will have four credits of theatre studies waived in the category of their choice and may graduate with only 24 credits of theatre studies total. 

Note: Tisch Drama accepts up to 12 credits of theatre studies transfer credit toward the theatre studies requirement, provided that the courses are comparable to courses offered in the Department of Drama.


Additional Theatre Studies programs include the Honors Program and Applied Theatre Minor. Learn more below.

General Education

General education credit can be earned from almost any undergraduate program in NYU's College of Arts and Science (CAS). Students must eventually complete 8 points of Science, 8 points of Humanities, and 8 additional points of Balance of Liberal Arts (Science or Humanities).

General Education Options

Expository Writing (through TSOA's Department of Art and Public Policy):

8 credits required for Freshmen; 4 credits for Transfer students. *See “Expository Writing” for full policy.


Two courses for a total of 8 credits from one or more of these areas:

Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, East Asian Studies, English (except Dramatic Literature), European Studies, French*, German*, Hellenic Studies, Irish Studies, Italian*, Medieval and Renaissance Studies, Music (history not theory), Philosophy, Portuguese*,Russian and Slavic Studies*, Spanish*, or other areas as defined in the General Education Guide for NYU Tisch Drama Students *See “Foreign Language Policy” on how to receive Humanities credit.


Two courses for a total of 8 credits from one or more of these areas:

Animal Studies, Anthropology, Biology, Chemistry, Child & Adolescent Mental Health Studies, Computer Science, Economics, Environmental Studies, Journalism (history or theory, not skills), Law and Society, Linguistics, Mathematics, Neural Science, Physics, Politics, Psychology, Sociology, or other areas as defined in the General Education Guide for NYU Tisch Drama Students.

Balance of Liberal Arts

Additional credits of Humanities and/or Science to reach the minimum General Education requirement of 32 credits.


Any NYU course can count as an elective except those offered through the School of Professional Studies (SPS).