Bachelor of Arts in Theatre

Theatre helps us share our common humanity through storytelling. An audience laughs at a “knock-knock” joke told by a character in “Macbeth.” People laughing at jokes other people laughed at hundreds of years ago – that shows a common human nature. Theatre reaches out to audience members as individuals and collectively to remind them that we are all human together.

Theatre majors develop skills all employers want — both in and out of show business — such as:

  • Creative problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Critical thinking
  • Communication
  • Time management

In the Alvernia tradition, theatre students learn the importance of diversity of thought, faiths and cultures.  Students are challenged to shape and transform the world as ethical leaders, concerned citizens and caring members of the greater community.

Today’s employers look for recent graduates with the “soft” skills of a strong liberal arts background. Theatre graduates are prepared to work in many fields within the performing arts and beyond. Alvernia theatre graduates are prepared to work as actors, directors, designers and technicians, as well as positions outside show business in human resources, public relations and business. 

Getting Started

Where You Can Get A Degree

The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre is available at the following Alvernia University campus:

General Notes
  • A minimum of 123 credits are required for graduation.
  • Credits earned for COM 100 and MAT 100 do not count toward the 123 credits required for graduation; however, COM 100 students may petition for elective credit.
  • Where appropriate, courses required for the major can be used to satisfy General Education requirements. However, the credits earned for these courses are applied to either Gen Ed requirements or the major, not both.
  • Paths of Knowledge coursework may count towards major or minor requirements, but may not fulfill a second Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration requirement.
  • Students are expected to follow the catalog requirements for General Education, the major, and additional requirements.
  • A minor or second major within the areas listed under Paths of Knowledge automatically fulfills that area of the Gen Ed requirements.
Application Instructions

Through a rolling admission process, prospective undergraduate students — including first-year, transfer, and international students — may apply via the Alvernia web portal or The Common Application. To learn more about how to complete your application, please visit our application page.

Financing Your Education

There are options to assist in financing your education and making the tuition affordable. Visit our Student Financial Services page for a detailed overview of the process, including a link to complete the FAFSA application, as well as more information about tuition, the tuition payment plan and the tuition deferment program we offer. Alvernia’s Title IV code for the FAFSA is 003233. The Office of Student Financial Services is available to help with any questions you may have. Call 610-796-8201 or email

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Why Choose Alvernia?
• A nationally ranked comprehensive regional university, Alvernia offers more than 50 majors and minors.
• An ever-expanding number of experiential learning opportunities includes internships, field experiences, co-ops, research projects, and study/service abroad programs.
• A rich campus life allows students to enjoy a full calendar of activities and events, more than 50 clubs, intramural sport and student leadership and governance opportunities.
• In growth mode, Alvernia continues to add value to its student experience: expanding academic programming in new facilities; adding student living space and updating residence halls; partnering with a community health provider; and adding amenities including a game room and new performance space.

Program Overview

Curriculum: General Education

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Theatre majors must complete 48 credits in the major.

First Year Curriculum: Enduring Questions

  • SEARCH Seminar-Enduring Questions or Honor Search-Enduring Questions (SRH 101 or HNR 160)
  • COM 101 Composition & Research: Must earn a C or higher
  • THE 105 Foundations of Theology
  • PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy (MET IN MAJOR)

Mid-Level Liberal Arts Exploration Credits

  • Exploring the Natural World (6-8 credits)
    • Lab Science
    • Math
  • Individuals & Communities (6 credits)
    • History or Political Science
    • PSY 101, HIS, POS, SOC, SSC, or ECON
  • Culture & Language (9 credits)
    • Communication (Not COM 100 or 101)
    • World Language – 2 courses in sequence
  • Creative Expressions (6 credits)
    • Literature (ENG) (Met in related area)
    • Art, Music, or Theatre (Met in related area)

Ethical Leaders and Followers Credits

  • Theology or Philosophy (MET IN MAJOR)
  • Theology or Philosophy (Ethics/Morality @ 200 level)
Curriculum: Paths of Knowledge

Paths of Knowledge may count towards minor or Related Requirements, but not Mid-Level Arts Exploration requirements. Choose one path.

PATH 1: Interdisciplinary Study (IS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level from the interdisciplinary minors of Women & Gender Studies, Digital Media, Community & Environmental Sustainability, Community Engagement, Cultural Studies, Leadership Studies or Pre-Law.

PATH 2: Multi-disciplinary Study (MS)

Three courses, at least two from Liberal Arts disciplines, not the major, at the 200-400 level employing multiple disciplinary perspectives to explore the Enduring Questions in one of the following themes: Cultural & Global Studies, Imagination & Creativity, Peace & Conflict, Poverty & Wealth or Sustainability, Science & Technology.

PATH 3: In-depth Disciplinary Study (DS)

Three courses at the 200-400 level in one Liberal Arts discipline other than one’s major, guided by common ideas and methods of inquiry. Students choose from Art, Biology, Chemistry, Communication, Computer Science, Economics, English, History, Mathematics, Music, Philosophy, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Theology, Theatre or World Languages. This path may be used to give students a firm foundation in a discipline supporting their chosen major, or to pursue an interest in one of the Liberal Arts disciplines. 

Curriculum: Major Requirements

All Alvernia students must successfully complete a minimum of 123 semester credits to receive a Bachelor of Arts or a Bachelor of Science degree. You’ll need to complete 54-56 liberal arts core credits and complete community service hours. In addition, Theatre majors must complete 48 credits in the major.

Required Theatre Courses (27 credits)

  • THR 142: Creativity Workshop
  • THR 155: Introduction to Acting
  • THR 156: Theatrical Production & Design
  • THR 350: Directing for the Stage (pre-requisites: THR/COM 134, 150, 155 or permission of instructor)
  • THR 355: Theatre History
  • THR 356: Theatre History II
  • THR 357: Behind the Curtain
  • THR 404: Arts Operations
  • THR 434: Senior Production Workshop

Related Literature Requirements (6 credits)

Select two courses from the following:

  • LIT 213: Modern Drama
  • LIT 302: Shakespeare: Histories & Comedy
  • LIT 303: Shakespeare: Tragedies & Romances

Related Art/Music Requirements (6 credits)

Select two courses from the following:

Art Courses

  • ART 101: Drawing I 3 
  • ART 103: Color & Design 3 
  • ART 105: Art Appreciation 3 
  • ART 215: Prehistoric through Middle Ages 3 
  • ART 217: Renaissance to Present 3 
  • MUS 333: Music History

Music Courses

  • MUS 121: Introduction to Music
  • MUS 135: Music Theory
  • MUS 222: Multicultural Music
  • MUS 224: Broadway Musicals
  • MUS 331: Women in the Arts

Students Must Select One Emphasis from the Following:

Acting/Directing (9 credits)

  • THR 255: Intermediate Acting
  • THR 360: Advanced Acting/Directing (pre-requisites: COM/THR 255 OR 350 or instructor permission)
  • THR 360: Advance Acting/Directing (pre-requisites: COM/THR 255 OR 350 or instructor permission)

Design/Technical Theatre (9 credits)

  • THR 244: Computer-Assisted Design
  • THR 357: Behind the Curtain
  • THR 357: Behind the Curtain


Note: Majors are advised to take four credits of THR 134: Theatre Workshop

Accreditation Statements
  • Alvernia is an accredited institution and a member of the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. MSCHE is an institutional accrediting agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education and the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Career Outlook

After earning the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, you can pursue a variety of careers, including:

  • Actors
  • Directors
  • Designers
  • Technicians

Positions outside show business could include:

  • Human resources
  • Public relations
  • Business

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, careers in acting are expected to grow 3 percent between 2022 and 2032, about the average for all occupations. The median salary in the field is about $40,000. Careers in production and direction are expected to grow 7 percent, faster than the average for all occupations. The median salary is $85,320 a year. Careers for broadcast, sound and video technicians is expected to grow 2 percent, about the average for all occupations. The median salary is $53,960 a year.

Opportunities for Majors

Alvernia University Theatre Club

This club serves as the social and service adjunct to Alvernia Theatre – an academic Theatre program. The Theatre Club provides students with opportunities for service, activities, and a place that honors self-expression through studentoriginated projects. All of the members of the Alvernia community are invited to participate.

Alvernia Chorus

The Alvernia Chorus is the university’s choral group. Under the direction of Jennifer Michalik, the Alvernia Chorus presents a major concert each semester. Singers also have the opportunity to perform in smaller recitals, programs, and masses. Students interested in theatre performance can greatly benefit from enhancing their singing ability.

The Zephyrus

The Zephyrus is the literary magazine published every other spring. It contains original creative work poetry, fiction, essays,
photography, artwork by Alvernia students, staff and faculty. Department faculty serve as advisors and members of Sigma Tau
Delta act as editors.

Learn More About the Program
Alvernia University Theatre provides a dynamic, individualized training in theatrical art. Discover more in this video.

Get to Know Your Faculty

For more information about Alvernia’s Bachelor of Arts in Theatre, contact the Admissions Office at 610-796-8269 or Or reach out directly to program director Nathan Thomas at 610-796-8343 or