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Northeast Colleges where you can minor in Theater

capemomcapemom 25 replies16 threads Junior Member
edited October 2009 in Theater/Drama Majors
We are desperate to find a competitive school in the Northeast where our thespian can minor in a great quality theater program. She's determined to major in theater. We are trying to steer her in the direction of something a little more practical. We'd like her to get a BA in something else. She's very bright, great SAT scores, great GPA, an athlete, singer, etc. She's currently a Junior at a very competitive high school. She'd like a medium to large school in or near a city. Help!
edited October 2009
18 replies
Post edited by capemom on
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Replies to: Northeast Colleges where you can minor in Theater

  • BrownEyesBrownEyes 122 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Your daughter may want to consider:

    Vassar (Poughkeepsie, NY); Skidmore (Saratoga, NY); Sarah Lawrence College (Bronxville, NY); Bard College (Annandale-On-Hudson, NY); Williams (Williamstown, MA); Wellesley College (Wellesley, MA); Brandeis University (Waltham, MA); Brown University (Rhode Island); Yale University (New Haven, CT); and while it's not in the Northeast, Northwestern University (Evanstown, Illinois).

    All offer competitive academics, plenty of theater studies and performance opportunities, and each campus (other than Northwestern University), has a very artsy feel. While the NY schools listed above are small by comparison, all are located in suburban locations that are an easy train-ride or drive into Manhattan. The Massachusetts schools listed above are all very close to Boston, MA.

    Northwestern is considered by some to be the "Ivy of the Midwest", and offers challenging certificate programs in Acting and Musical Theater which are by admission only after sophomore year. Evanston is a suburb of Chicago.

    Brown and Yale probably speak for themselves. Even Georgetown University in Washington DC now offers a Theater minor; and if your daughter is looking at the Ivies, she might also want to consider Dartmouth and/or Tufts, in addition to the others mentioned.

    I hope this helps! Best of luck to you and your daughter ...
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  • BrownEyesBrownEyes 122 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Oops ... forgot to mention Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA) and Boston University, either of which might also fit the bill for your daughter. :)
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  • HSNHSN 336 replies64 threads Member
    I would just like to add that the OP mentioned that his D was looking for a medium to large school in or near a city. Bard, Sarah Lawrence, Williams, Skidmore and Vassar do not qualify, either because they are too small or too far from a city or both. And here's my two cents about getting a BA in theater. I would be THRILLED if my D wanted that. She wants a BFA in Musical Theatre! A BA in theatre usually means that 1/3 of the classes are in the theatre department, leaving lots of room for more "practical" classes. Also, there are many, many careers wherein theatre/acting training is helpful. Any career in which public speaking is necessary, any career which prizes social/people skills, I could go on and on. I am simply saying that I wouldn't discourage majoring in theatre per se unless you really research it. That said, I would add NYU, Boston College, Tufts (oh, that was mentioned by Brown Eyes), and Barnard to any list. I'm not sure, however, that you can minor in theatre at Carnegie Mellon or even major in it if you aren't doing the BFA program, but you'd have to check the website. Good luck!
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  • BrownEyesBrownEyes 122 replies8 threads Junior Member
    HSN: Concededly, many of the schools I mentioned in response to capemom's post are small (as was noted in my original reply), however, as a long-time resident of Westchester County, just north of New York City, I can attest to the fact that Bard and Vassar are no more than a 45 minute train ride into Manhattan. Sarah Lawrence is even closer to NYC - maybe 1/2 hour by train. The trains I am referring to are Amtrak, not the subway, and they are generally safe, easily accessible and run multiple times every hour. Skidmore is located just outside of Albany, and is approximately a 2 hour drive to both Manhattan and Boston. There is also an Amtrak train from the Albany area into Penn Station (NYC) - - again, approximately a 2 hour ride. I'm no expert, but I think all of those campuses might be very appealing to a bright, arts-oriented kid, in spite of the comparably smaller size of each school.

    Still, I wholeheartedly agree that a BFA MT degree would prepare a student for many different career paths, including those HSN mentioned, and in many ways, a BFA Degree, whether it's in MT, Drama, Stage Management or Theatre Studies, may be more practical for an arts-oriented kid than a traditional liberal arts degree.

    Also, from what I remember from the Information Sessions I attended last year with my college-bound son, many of the Ivies (like Tufts) are actively seeking arts-oriented kids who meet their academic standards.
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  • alwaysamomalwaysamom 12281 replies217 threads Senior Member
    That said, I would add NYU

    You cannot minor in theatre at NYU.
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  • ProudDadFLProudDadFL 100 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Cornell University also offers a Theatre minor although it's not located in a huge city.
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  • BrownEyesBrownEyes 122 replies8 threads Junior Member
    Hi Proud Dad:

    I purposefully omitted Cornell, Colgate and Ithaca College from the list I suggested to the OP, because they're all in pretty remote locations that are approximately 4 - 5 hours from NYC.

    But I believe all 3 offer BA or minor Theater opportunities and beautiful theater facilities.
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  • NotMamaRoseNotMamaRose 3973 replies117 threads Senior Member
    I do not believe one can minor in theater at CMU.
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  • KatMTKatMT 4152 replies71 threadsCollege Rep Senior Member
    capemom -- at many BA program schools your D could most likely could double major in Theatre and something else. There are many schools where this is more the norm than the exception.

    Also -- if she majors in Theatre (even without a double major) she will be able to work in many fields upon graduation... I do not think that a BA in Theatre is any more impractical than a BA in English... well if you listen to Garrison Keeler :)

    I have a BFA in Musical Theatre... and many of the BFA students in Acting and Musical Theatre with whom I attended school have gone on to graduate school or to pursue other advanced degrees.... there are Doctors, Lawyers, MBA's, Therapists... among the group. Others (many who did not pursue advanced degrees in another area) work on the non-performing side of the entertainment business as writers, agents, directors, choreographers, television, theatre, and film producers.

    A BA in Theatre can be great training for many careers. A double major in Theatre in a complimentary area can also provide amazing undergraduate preparation for a plethora of career paths. Good luck to you D!!

    As far as BA programs that I do not think have been mentioned above..... Smith College and Amherst are both part of the five college consortium, and offer theatre opportunities. Boston College could also be worth looking into.
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  • capemomcapemom 25 replies16 threads Junior Member
    Thanks for all the great advice. We are slowly working toward a point where both parent and child are happy with the plan for a major. She is now realizing that she can have theater in her life in college along with exploring a whole other major.
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  • famcruisefunfamcruisefun 65 replies17 threads Junior Member
    I know it's been mentioned, and it's small/not near NYC - but I would suggest at least looking at Skidmore. My daughter is there, theater major, and she has lots of friends who are double majoring, or majoring and minoring - any combo of the above. She loves it there. The theater department has something going all the time - mainstage productions, workshops, directing class scene performances... Also a very active music department that is better than half way done with their new building.
    The degree at Skidmore is a BS - which is different from anything else she looked at. I believe the BS rather than BA is because of the amount of "lab" time the theater majors put in during their 4 years. (Classes in which there is active doing of the subject matter are considered labs) The classes in which they actually "do" seem to far outnumber the classes in which they read about how to do.
    They are also in the process of starting an arts administration minor - which would result in a Theater major and an Arts Administration minor. This is supposed to be up and running by fall of '09. Other concentrations are available within the major. Here's a link to the Skidmore Theater Dept curriculum page Theatre Academics
    It's a great school overall - wonderful community - both on campus and the town of Saratoga. A lot of things going on all of the time.
    Good luck with the process of deciding!
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  • ColdWindColdWind 1583 replies15 threads- Senior Member
    BrownEyes: I am not sure, but I don't think that students can minor in theatre at Northwestern University. Theatre at Northwestern University is a very demanding major; many freshmen are admitted as theatre majors if they apply to the School of Communications as a theatre major. If you don't apply as a theatre major from high school, then the wait to be eligible to declare theatre as one's major is about a year. Many regard Northwestern University's theatre major/program as the best in the country. Northwestern's theatre program is conservatory level training. All theatre majors can double major and/or minor in the College of Arts & Sciences, but I do not think that students can minor in theatre.
    The good news, however, is that any student regardless of major can participate in the dozens of theatre productions put on each year at NU.
    For a minor in theatre, I suggest looking into Skidmore College.
    P.S. BrownEyes: If Northwestern does in fact offer theatre certificate programs, it would only be for theatre majors desiring a special certification. P.P.S. Do not attend Northwestern unless you are Ivy League calibre academics.
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  • peggysuepeggysue 173 replies35 threads Junior Member
    As a student who sounds a bit like this D and has always been top two or three in the class, a year ahead in English, great test scores, varied extracurriculars, etc... this post really bothered me. No, we're not here to give parenting advice, and yes I am sure the OP of this thread will have some role in paying for her child's education, but a major in college only defines someone's career if they allow it to. This mother seems pretty close-minded/unsupportive of her D's interests if the D is determined to major in theatre. Yes, one can have a theatre life alongside academics, but it is tough at really selective schools. Academics, sleep, and social life are difficult enough to balance without being forced to pursue her primary interest through extracurriculars. To any parents who read this, please remember that just because your child majors in theatre does not mean that they have stars in their eyes or are going to spend their lives eating ramen and trying to scrape together enough money for NYC rent. It could be a legitimate concern for a BFA program- I'm in a somewhat similar situation with my mom, who has ruled out all BFA programs because they're impractical and limiting. But a BA? The D has a greater chance of regretting not pursuing a theatre major than pursuing one.
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  • Gwen FairfaxGwen Fairfax 2380 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Peggysue, I had the same feeling when I saw this a while back....I'd love to know where this girl ended up and I hope she's happy. Different people are different, and the parents are usually footing the bill, but....a good BA in theater is much like one in English, or philosophy-- a deep study of what really matters in life, that leaves the door to the future wide open.
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  • Gwen FairfaxGwen Fairfax 2380 replies55 threads Senior Member
    Just to add-- I do worry about my dear, theater-obsessed D and the difficult world she wants to enter. But then I realize that the passionate energy she has for theater is a real blessing-- so many kids her age have no strong interest. What she learns day by day in the theater will apply to everything she does in her life.
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  • NJTheatreMOMNJTheatreMOM 3629 replies44 threads Senior Member
    ^^ Well said, Gwen Fairfax. I couldn't agree more.
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  • GeneseogradGeneseograd 410 replies84 threads Member
    SUNY Geneseo - competitive state school in New York (AVG SAT 1340, HS AV 94) has a minor in Theatre.

    Theatre: Minor Information

    Just a couple of more links about the school:

    Student Profile
    SUNY Geneseo

    Focus on Undergraduate Education
    SUNY Geneseo
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  • hudsonvalley51hudsonvalley51 2386 replies96 threads Senior Member
    BrownEyes -- I regularly take the train into Manhattan from Poughkeepsie or Rhinecliff. I can tell you for a fact that it takes 1 hour, 45 minutes to get from Rhinecliff to Penn Station. Add the 15 minute drive from Bard and you're looking at 2 hours. The trip from Poughkeepsie takes an hour and a half to Penn Station by Amtrak, 20 minutes longer by Metro North.
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