Department Requirements

Students may minor in dance or theater. No major is offered in dance or theater, but the department does participate in an Interdisciplinary major in English and theater.

In addition, students with special interest may, with faculty advice, create a Student-Designed Major in conjunction with another academic discipline.


The dance curriculum provides a coherent course of study through classes in dance technique and repertory, choreography, and dance history, theory, and criticism. The department emphasizes dance’s relation to the performing and fine arts and its fundamental connection to the broad liberal arts curriculum. The program’s goal is dance literacy and the development of skills important to original work in all fields: keen perception, imaginative problem solving, discipline, and respect for craft.

The department offers technique and repertory classes in ballet and modern dance, the latter term designating a wide spectrum of styles that focus on an inventive, unrestricted approach to movement. Many of these are half-credit courses, offered only on a Credit/D/Fail basis—and may be repeated up to four times for credit. Full credit is given to students enrolled in both a technique class and its corresponding repertory class. Attendance at all classes is required. See course descriptions at for full details.

Requirements for the Minor in Dance

The minor consists of five course Credits as follows:

  • 1 course in History or Theory (x5xx or Dance 1102)
  • 1 course in Creative Process (x4xx or Dance 1101)
  • 1 combined Technique/Repertory course (x2x1 and x2x2)
  • And 2 additional courses.

Students must earn a grade of CR (Credit) or C- or better in order to have a course count toward the minor in dance, and may not count more than three full credits from courses graded Credit/D/Fail.


The theater program at Bowdoin offers students the opportunity to examine the ways theater can provoke the imagination, tell stories, create community, and challenge assumptions. Courses are offered in performance, theory, history, design, and stagecraft. Emphasis is placed on theater’s fundamental connection to the liberal arts curriculum, as well as theater literacy, performance skills, respect for language, and an understanding of social/historical influences on drama. The aim is to develop imaginative theater practitioners who collaboratively solve problems of form and content with a passionate desire to express the human condition on stage.

Requirements for the Minor in Theater

The minor consists of five Courses:

  • 1 course at the 1000 level
  • 4 additional courses, including at least two above the 1000 level, any one of which may be in dance.
  • NOTE: One 2000-level course taken abroad may count toward the minor.
Students must earn a grade of CR (Credit) or C- or better in order to have a course count toward the minor in theater, and may not count more than one full credit from courses graded Credit/D/Fail. 

Requirements for the English-Theater Major

Please see the English-Theater website for requirements.

NOTE: For additional perspective on areas of study within a Discipline, please refer to the Theater and Dance Course Numbering Conventions. For a complete description of a specific course, check the College Catalogue.