Musical Theatre BA programs

Looking for anyone with personal experience applying to and evaluating BAs in Musical Theatre versus BFAs. Are there BA programs that are as strong? BA programs that allow for more than 40% of studies in MT? Which program(s) have you experienced and what are pros and cons? I am a newbie at this and my daughter wants to pursue MT, has a very strong and well-trained voice, minimal acting training, and almost no dance training (to date - we are working on obtaining acting and dance coaching). Thanks in advance for any and all help/insight you may provide!!! And bonus points for more affordable schools - or schools that are extra generous with academic merit and talent merit money.

I’m a parent of a student who primarily looked at BFA and BM MT programs, but did look at a few BA programs.

As you point out, there are fewer majors requirements to fulfill for a BA (compared to a BFA and BM degrees; I believe most of the latter degrees have 75% - 90% of the coursework in the major) whereas a BA can be at around 33%. Those are just ballpark figures and not the result of a scientific study.

No first hand experience, but my D looked at three BA programs:

Northwestern U.
Muhlenberg C.
SUNY Geneseo

and thought highly of them, within the major, outside of it and the associated extracurricular activities.

Wagner C. seems to have a decent reputation but my D didn’t look at it. A bit of an east coast bias in my listing… It caught our eye that Santa Clara U. offers a minor in MT but we didn’t explore this either.

How students perform academically in high school is the primary driver for merit money offered by schools is what we’ve found. Hope this helps.

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To get an initial list of schools to look at, you might want to start by looking at this thread that has fairly recent entries which breaks programs down by BA/BFA Audition/Non-Audition etc:
https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/t/big-list-of-mt-colleges-by-program-type/

I also found reading through a class’ entire year of their venting/sharing thread as well as the final decisions thread to be very informative and instructive. It’ll take some dedicated reading hours, but it’s definitely worth it. Here are a couple:

https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/t/the-class-of-2024-sharing-venting-discussing-mt/

https://talk.collegeconfidential.com/t/final-mt-decisions-background-class-of-2024/

Best of luck to you and your daughter!

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Arizona is known for good out of state merit aid. ASU has a BMus. in musical theater. Grand Canyon University is trying to grow a program as well I hear, so it might be a less competitive admission. U of A has a great program but it is lottery level competitive. All three give good merit aid.

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Look into these BA in MT by audition programs:
American
Wagner
James Madison

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My son applied mostly to BFA programs, but his coach had him include Northern Colorado. It was one of the three school where he was accepted but did opt for the BFA MT program at UMiami (Class of '21 – those four years went by quickly!). That said, when I compared Northern Colorado’s curriculum with many of the BFA programs, it was not that much lighter than BFA. So I recommend adding it to your list of schools to at least consider.

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Here is a virtual college fair focused on performing arts that likely has some good info. I started going through the schools and found a number of BA programs. https://virtualcollegefairs.org/events/83/exhibitors

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Thank you - - my daughter is actually already registered for this fair. Hopefully she will find some schools that are a good fit that way.

Thanks for the info!