Musical Theatre Minor?

Hi all! Been hanging around for a few years watching & cheering everyone on. I have one of those kids planning for a BFA in MT for the last 10 years, and I’m like many of you - the parent here to enable whatever passion the kid wants to follow.

Well. We hit a very unexpected speed bump in that she is not sure she wants to pursue a BFA in MT any more. It is hard to tell if she is just burnt out or really ready to move on. She is a top scholar as well, and could easily pursue something else successfully. There is a part of me that is extremely relieved at the idea of a “safer” route, and a part of me that is disappointed that we might not go through with this arduous next year (that’s bizarre to type - but we’ve been preparing for SOOOOOOO long).

So now, I’m throwing my energy into understanding other options (she’s the baby). Are there schools that offer a minor in MT for non theatre/dance majors? That doesn’t seem like a thing that is doable - but I thought I’d ask.

And anyone else been here and have any advice - please send it along.

I cannot think of any reason one would need an actual MT minor. I think what you really want is a school where you can take MT classes as a non major. Or maybe even a major that is open enough to allow you to have a double major. Or maybe schools or locations that have great community theater or production auditions open to all. You might want to nail down what she really wants from a “minor.” One school with MT minors I stumbled on: Fairleigh Dickinson. The head of the BFA program at University of Arizona has made clear that nearly all their kids are academic oriented and many have double majors in heavy stuff. Columbia and NYU are going to keep her close to Broadway. You might be more likely to get answers from the non MT portion of these boards. “Those people” seem to know all the stuff about schools for top stats people :wink:


I had sort of looked into this, in the Midwest, for DD’19. I think at the time University of South Dakota had one, but I don’t see it now. A Google search shows one at Drake University, and a variety of others so there are some out there.

My DD settled on a different major, and went to a school where she could squeeze in a Theatre BA with it and maybe take some vocal lessons. Then she dropped that to a Theatre Minor, and now she is just taking theatre classes she wants and auditioning as she pleases. That’s the sweet spot for her and it is allowed at her school.

Good luck, I definitely get it. For DD it was more a flight of fancy, not a lifelong dream that she worked for, but for a while she just HAD to major in it because she liked nothing better. We ended up going through a list of majors and seeing what else caught her interest and checking out the course requirements for them. Then picked a college that had all majors/minors of interest. So if you can divine some other areas of interest, maybe then look for colleges that offer those plus minors or courses in MT.

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LOL. VERY good point. Reasons to ask the question - my brain is very overwhelmed right now. Obviously, there is no “point” in the minor. Just being able to continue to train in some aspects with classes would probably satisfy her. Maybe? And perhaps a school that allows all students to auditions for productions each year and take dance classes might do the trick.

She didn’t really express an interest in a minor - she’s just confused. And she doesn’t want to be broke (maybe that’s been hammered home TOO hard???)

I’m just researching options to try and be helpful. I’m trying to find ways she can keep options open. MT doesn’t feel like the sort of thing you put on the shelf and come back to later. Nor does it feel like something you “figure out as you go”. Maybe I’m wrong about that.

Thank you. I like that thought process. I know what other areas are of interest to her. It makes sense to me. And gives me something to do while she thinks!!!

One of our challenges is that she has NEVER considered what she wants in a college. Standard answer is, “I don’t get to pick. They pick me. If I’m lucky, I have more than 1 option.” We have a list of 32 Dance oriented MT schools she planned on starting the MT audition process with. But those would not necessarily be schools she could pick if she were choosing. Plus, when we first hit “pause” I incorrectly assumed that meant she would choose an in state school for affordability - but that does not seem to be on her radar either!!! My brain is swimming.

Would she make a list of wants? Mine did and I set the budget…and then the challenge was to find the match. I admit I did like the research project and spreadsheets. It was something to do while she was at all her ECs. She looked too, but had a hard time sticking to the budget part.

I don’t know how big a deal cost is for you, but if it is and your DD doesn’t want to be a broke performer, remind her that an affordable college will help her not be a broke something else.

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I dont know anything about the dance part of this but I initially came at this from the other side thinking that my academic kid would have some acting classes so we looked at a lot of schools that have both academics and acting/MT. One that always comes up is Muhlenberg. Huge MT program and lots of academics. And for high stats kids there is nice financial support

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Not to jack the thread, but I know a MT kid who thinks he can minor and possibly transfer to MT from another major, how likely is transferring at a very selective MT school?

Thank you!

It is my understand that everyone has to go through the audition process at selective schools - incoming freshman or transfer.

I think Northwestern could be an option as I believe double majoring is common and you don’t audition for MT until after admittance if I am remembering correctly.

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I don’t know about any options for MT minor (I’m sure they exist, I just don’t know of any of the top of my head). But, my daughter is at Belmont and she told me that they just added a new BA program starting this fall. I just looked it up and it’s a B.A. in Music with an emphasis in Musical Theatre Studies. This is straight from the website: “This degree will provide the opportunity for students to combine a strong music core and musical theatre experiences with an additional major, minor or robust undergraduate research (Honors College) outside the School of Music. This academic path is ideal for those desiring a double major.”

Also check out Samford University in Birmingham They have an MT program that allows you to double major; a friend of ours is class of 25 and he is double majoring in MT and Business.

I’m sure there are others out there as well, but those are the two programs I know of that would allow her to pursue something else, but still keep her hand in MT.

Best of luck!

Correct, because it uses the quarterly system, Northwestern easily allows students to double and even triple major. The true MT program is the MT Certificate which students audition for at the end of their freshmen year.

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FSU and Texas State have open auditions for any student. If I remember correctly from my daughter’s research, Texas also has several non audition based minors or classes such as acting, voice, dance, etc…

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Probably not likely; especially at the very selective schools. Some programs don’t even allow for transfers (or if you do transfer in, you have to complete 4 years in the MT program). I know of a few schools that have taken in transfers via auditions, but only when they have empty spots they need to fill.

Eckerd College has an Honors Program and offers a 2+2 BFA Theater program with Circle in the Square. It might be an option to stay active in theater for the first 2 years and then decide to stay with another major or audition at that time for the last 2 yrs with Circle in the Square.

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A very selective school? Almost none. Like I bet it has happened less than 5 times combined in the history of BFA MT programs. This is definitely not a short cut or something one should plan. Most “very selective” musical theater programs have a strictly prescribed program. So you really need to come in as a freshman or as a transfer from a similar program (which would mean transfer from a different school). I can think on one potential exception. Pace. If he is noticeably not white. And only because they are desperate for diversity right now because they are really on the hot seat for their poor handling of it in the past. Only other potential would be a program that accidentally ended up girl heavy. Again, this is not a reasonable plan.

I stumbled on another MT minor program UNCG. Not at all what I would call an academically selective school. Chapman has an MT minor. USC also has a minor (requires audition). I am actually getting about 50% hit rate for MT minors when I choose schools with MT programs that are not “conservatory style.”

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From a practical standpoint, if D is leaning to a minor or at least coupling MT with another major, she should seriously consider non conservatory programs and, very likely, not do a BFA major at all. There are BA programs with good theater reps out there that would be far more accommodating to other interests. What you’ll find in the conservatories is very little time for anything else. My D is in one and is trying to minor in writing and that will be very challenging. They just don’t have time for those extra 6 classes, even over 4 years. I’ve told her the minor isn’t important, the writing experience is. So get to know a writing prof and seek guidance. Write in your downtime. Other ways to gain experience.

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Wonderful suggestions. I will play the research game. We never really explored BA programs before so that’s a great place to start - and floating the idea of a double major. Or just going to schools where you can take MT / Theatre / Dance classes even if you are not in the program, so she can keep her toe in the water.

I know she will find her own way - I just want to help her with the next step the best I can.

Thank you all for the input!

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