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BFA Musical Theatre

Marshall University

Music, singing, acting, dance: Musical theatre has it all. From classics like Carousel to the recent blockbuster Hamilton, musical theatre entertains, engages and excites audiences and performers worldwide. If you hope to be Broadway-bound someday, Marshall University can help to prepare you.

Get in-depth training and experience with the unique Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree in Musical Theatre at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia. Just launched in 2020, the Musical Theatre BFA degree program brings together the expertise of two outstanding Marshall schools: The School of Music and the School of Theatre and Dance which jointly offer this bachelor’s degree in Musical Theatre.

Musical Theatre majors complete a comprehensive, professional degree program, balancing study in music, theatre and dance, to build future careers as musical theatre performers.

Marshall University has a long history in the performing arts and has produced stage shows continually since the early 1920s.

Marshall’s distinctive Musical Theatre degree program is designed for students who want to pursue professional work in musical theatre. Success in this competitive field requires proficiency in singing, acting and dance, and the BFA in Musical Theatre provides excellent instruction and mentorship as well as numerous opportunities for performance experience.

Students will have coursework in all three performance areas—music, theatre and dance—and will have regular opportunities to perform, both in immersive experiences in workshops and studios, and in fully staged productions. Like majors in Music and Theatre at Marshall, students in the Musical Theatre degree program begin taking courses in their major starting in the first semester.

The Musical Theatre degree program offers a diverse array of courses, ranging from Acting, Stage Movement and Ballet Technique to Performing Arts Entrepreneurship, Theatre Tech, and Theatre History Since 1660. Majors in the Musical Theatre program receive focused and intensive study and performance to grow as actors, dancers, singers and musicians.

Students who want to enter the BFA in Musical Theatre degree program must be formally admitted, based upon an audition that includes singing, acting and dancing. Here are the learning outcomes Musical Theatre majors can achieve through this bachelor’s degree program:

The School of Music and the School of Theatre and Dance both have outstanding faculty who are committed to student success and to delivering the personalized instruction that performing artists need. Professors in the BFA in Musical Theatre program, all of whom are experienced performers and practitioners in the theatre and entertainment world, are able to effectively mentor students in shaping their talents.

Marshall student performers can present their talents in productions at several Marshall venues, including the beautiful Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center and Smith Music Hall.

Marshall’s Center for Wellness in the Arts, based in Huntington, WV, is one of the few programs of its kind nationally. This specialized center is staffed by licensed and skilled professionals to provide educational, preventive and therapeutic services relating to wellness and injury prevention in the performing arts.

The BFA in Musical Theatre degree program, which offers extensive training in singing, acting and dance, prepares students for entry into professional musical theatre careers or for graduate studies in Musical Theatre.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of actors is projected to grow 3 percent through 2029, about as fast as the average for all occupations. Growth in the number of online platforms such as streaming services also may lead to more shows being produced and more opportunities for actors.

The job outlook for Musical Theatre majors is good, particularly for regional performance opportunities. Large theaters, with their more stable sources of funding and more well-known plays and musicals, may be in a better position to offer more opportunities for actors. Since the impact of the pandemic on the theatre and entertainment sectors has been unprecedented, the future of musical theatre will be evolving as our society continues to come back.

Actors face intense competition for jobs. As the BLS reports, most roles, no matter how minor, have many actors auditioning for them: “For stage roles, actors with a bachelor’s degree in theater may have a better chance of landing a part than those without one.” The median hourly wage for actors was $21.88 in May 2020.

The BLS offers the following median annual wage for entertainment and sports occupations overall: $47,080 in May 2020, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $41,950. Salary / hourly wage information for individual professions in the arts as of May 2020 include:

Musical Theatre majors who want to deepen their focus in the field of music can consider the following master’s degree programs at Marshall University:

Musical Theatre majors perform each semester in workshops and productions directed by Marshall faculty. Since 2010, past productions at Marshall University have included:

Our students have internships with theatre companies and summer theatrical programs.

Musical Theatre majors have ample opportunities to practice their talents at venues right on campus at Marshall University.

An important resource for Musical Theatre major and students in other creative arts programs is the Joan C. Edwards Performing Arts Center, originally opened as the Marshall Fine Arts Center. Located on the south side of Marshall’s Huntington, WV, campus, facing Memorial Student Center, the Center houses drama theater, studio theater, workshops and special classrooms. The Jomie Jazz Center is an attached building.

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Listed below are the documents required to apply for this course.
$21,486 Per Year

International student tuition fee

4 years


May 2024

Start Month

Apr 2024

Application Deadline

Upcoming Intakes

  • August 2024
  • May 2024
  • August 2025
  • January 2025
  • May 2025
  • August 2026
  • January 2026
  • May 2026

Mode of Study

  • Full Time