Department Requirements

The Department of Theater and Dance offers a major in Performance Arts that integrates studio technique, history and theory, and original creative work within the performance and study of theater and dance.

Students may major in Performance Arts with a concentration in either theater, dance, or interdisciplinary performance. Students may also choose to minor in theater or dance.

In addition, students with special interest may, with faculty advice, create a Student-Designed Major in conjunction with another academic discipline. Students may also choose to participate in an Interdisciplinary major in English and theater.



Requirements for a major in Performance Arts

The major consists of ten credits (eleven if a student pursues honors). The core requirements are:

  • THTR 1500 Introduction to Performance

  • THTR 1700 Performance in Production (.5 credit)

  • THTR 1750 Technical Production (.5 credit)

  • THTR 4040 Performance Studio (alternately, THTR 4050 Honors Project in Theater)

Area of Concentration Requirements


Theater Concentration

The theater concentration at Bowdoin combines practice and theory to develop students’ skills as innovative theater artists and thinkers. Students explore theatrical performance through critical study, collaborative productions, and the development of independent student projects. The curriculum includes studio-based courses in production (e.g., acting, directing, design, and playwriting), as well as courses focused on performance history, theory, and criticism.

  • Introductory Theater, two of:

    • THTR 1007, 1101, 1201, 1202, 1203, 1302, 1503

  • Dramatic Literature, one of:

    • THTR 1504, 1806, 2401, 2510, 2823, 2846; ENGL 1115, 2015

  • History/Theory, one of:

    • THTR 1504, 1505, 2501, 2502, 2510, 2550

  • Intermediate Theater, one of:

    • THTR 2201, 2202, 2203, 2302, 2401, 2403, 2501, 2502, 2503, 2504, 2510, 2550

  • Advanced Theater, one of:

    • THTR 3201, 3202, 3204, 3205, 3206, 3301, 3401

  • Elective, one of:

    • Any Theater or Dance course at the 2000 level or above (except by permission of advisor); or by a course outside the Department by permission of advisor.

Dance Concentration

The dance concentration provides a coherent course of study through a range of classes in dance technique and repertory, choreography, improvisation, and critical dance studies, among others. It offers multiple levels of technique in modern dance—a term designating a wide spectrum of styles that focus on an inventive, unrestricted approach to movement. Other dance techniques and styles (e.g., ballet, Afro-modern, jazz) are also offered periodically.

  • Introductory Dance, two of:

    • DANC 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104, 1211, 1212, 1221

  • History/Theory, one of:

    • DANC 1501, 1505; THTR 2502, 2510, 2550

  • Intermediate Dance, one of:

    • DANC 2211, 2212, 2231, 2232, 2241, 2242, 2302, 2401, 2403

  • Advanced Dance, one of:

    • DANC 3211, 3212, 3303; THTR 3301

  • Electives, two of:

    • Any Theater or Dance course at the 2000 level or above, (except by permission of advisor); or by a course outside the Department by permission of advisor.

Interdisciplinary Performance Concentration

The interdisciplinary performance concentration allows students to take courses in both theater and dance to create an individualized curriculum across these disciplines. Students work closely with an advisor to determine a coherent course of study and appropriate electives as needed. 

  • Introductory Performance

    • One of: DANC 1101, 1102, 1103, 1104, 1211, 1212, 1221

    • One of: THTR 1101, 1201, 1202, 1203, 1302, 1503

  • Dramatic Literature, one of:

    • THTR 1504, 1806, 2401, 2510, 2810, 2811, 2823, 2846

  • History/Theory, one of:

    • DANC 1501, 1505; THTR 1504, 2501, 2502, 2510, 2550

  • Intermediate Performance, one of:

    • DANC 2211, 2212, 2221, 2222, 2231, 2232, 2241, 2242, 2401, 2403; THTR 2201, 2202, 2203, 2302, 2401, 2403, 2502, 2503, 2504

  • Advanced Performance, one of:The Intermediate and Advanced Performance classes must be in different subdisciplines; one must be in DANC and one in THTR.

    • DANC 3211, 3212, 3303; THTR 3201, 3202, 3204, 3205, 3206, 3301, 3401

  • Elective, one of:

    • Any Theater or Dance course at the 2000 level or above, (except by permission of advisor); or by a course outside the Department by permission of advisor.



Requirements for the Minor in Theater

The minor consists of five credits to include the following required courses:

  • one course at the 1000 level (Theater 1007, 1101, 1201, 1202, 1203, 1302, 1503)

  • one course in history or theory (Theater 1504, 1550, 2501, 2502, 2510, 2550)

  • three additional courses, including at least two taken at the 2000 level or above

    • One of the three additional courses may be taken in dance. One 2000-level course taken abroad may count toward the minor.



Requirements for the Minor in Dance

The minor in Dance consists of five course credits to include the following required courses:

  • one course in creative process (Dance 1101, 1103, 1104, 2401, 2402, 2403, 3204)

  • one course in history or theory (Dance 1102, 1501, 2502, 2503, 2504, Theater 1550, 2510, 2550)

  • one full credit in studio technique (Dance 1211, 1221, 2211, 2221, 2231, 2241)

  • one full credit in repertory and performance (Dance 1212, 2212, 2222, 2232, 22421, 3212)

  • one elective


Additional Information

  • Students must earn a grade of CR (Credit) or C- or better to have a course count toward their major or minor.

  • Students may not count more than one full credit from courses graded Credit/D/Fail, including those offered only on a Credit/D/Fail basis.

  • Students taking a .5 credit course may repeat the class to earn a full credit.

  • Typically, one course taken at another college or university may count toward the major or minor with departmental approval. No more than one course taken outside the department may be counted toward the major or minor, except by advance departmental permission.

  • One course cannot fulfill more than one requirement for the major or minor.

  • First-year seminars can count toward the major and minors.

  • Independent studies count toward the major or either minor. 

  • No credit is given for Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate.


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.