Theatre Major: Secondary Theatre Education Option (B.A.)

Candidates interested in passing on their love of theatre to future generations will find that the secondary theatre education option offers practical and theoretical training for teachers. As one of a few programs in the country, UNH’s Secondary Theatre Education option boasts a robust offering with six courses specifically focused on how to teach theatre. Through comprehensive course and laboratory work, students obtain hands-on theatre teaching experience, so that by the time they reach graduation, they have spent significant hours working with the K-12 age group. Students are provided with extensive training and practical teaching experience specifically geared towards the goal of being a theatre teacher, either in a traditional classroom or as a teaching artist. As you complete your studies, you will have the option to enter theatre education directly as a teaching artist at professional theatres, you could plan from your first year to pursue NH Theatre Arts K-12 teacher undergraduate certification, or you could pursue a fifth-year master's in teaching program through the UNH Education Department.  A master's degree can raise your salary significantly when entering the workforce. Whether pursuing the fifth year graduate certification program or entering the professional theatre education world directly after the undergraduate degree, students can expect to leave UNH prepared for the rigorous task of teaching.

Contact Raina Ames, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-3044.

In the freshman and sophomore years, students should enroll for at least two major and two Discovery courses per semester. The minimum grade requirement for major courses is C- per course. Any grade lower than C- will not count toward the major. Under department policy, students who complete both COMM 401 American Sign Language I and COMM 502 American Sign Language II satisfy the bachelor of arts language proficiency requirement. All majors must take courses in the following areas: performance, design/theatre technology and theory/history as well as fulfill between four and eight practicums and complete a capstone course.  Although timing will vary with each option, it is strongly suggested that all introductory courses be taken prior to the end of the student's sophomore year.  Students must also complete a digital portfolio that demonstrates fulfillment of student learning outcomes related to their area of study.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Theatre department majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

All UNH B.A. degrees require a minimum of 128 credit hours.

Required Courses
THDA 436History of Theatre I4
THDA 438History of Theatre II4
THDA 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 463Theatre Dance I4
THDA 475Stage Makeup2
THDA 551Acting I4
THDA 589Practicum (A - D) 14-8
THDA 624Theatre for Young Audiences4
THDA 721Arts Integration4
THDA 727Methods of Teaching Theatre 24
THDA 729Community Oriented Drama Programs4
THDA 741Directing4
THDA 760Teacher Planning for Theatre4
THDA 799Capstone Project ( must be taken in senior year)2
Design/Theatre Technology
Select 4 credits of the following:4
Costume Construction
Costume Design for the Theatre
Stage Lighting Design and Execution
EDUC 500Exploring Teaching 24
Total Credits64-68

Students are required to take at least one practicum for every semester they are a major in the Department of Theatre and Dance. In addition, each student must take each type of practicum at least once (Technical, Costume, Performance, Marketing and Promotion). 


May be taken at the undergraduate level or the graduate level.

NOTE: It is understood that students will fulfill 20 internship contact hours with theatre students in their option area: elementary, middle, or high school. Projects for THDA 729 Community Oriented Drama Programs cannot count as internship hours. Students may fulfill this requirement through a variety of teaching opportunities with the department's outreach program (both during the school year and in the summer), or they may work with local schools teaching, coaching actors, assistant directing, choreographing, or in some other capacity as specifically arranged with their theatre adviser.

It also is understood that students involved in the above course curriculum in order to get state theatre arts certification must apply to either the UNH Department of Education or another university for acceptance into a fifth-year master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.) or master of education (M.Ed.) degree program that fulfills state requirements for certification.

State K-12 Teacher Certification

In order to obtain state theatre arts certification, students must either know from their first year that they are pursuing undergraduate Theatre Arts teacher certification or they must apply to the UNH Department of Education or another university for acceptance into a fifth-year master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.) or masters of education (M.Ed.) degree program, which fulfills state requirements for certification. Students who are accepted into early graduate admission may take up to 12 credits toward the 32 credit masters while finishing their undergraduate degree. For further clarification regarding both undergraduate and graduate certification options, contact Raina Ames, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-3044,

4-Year Teacher Licensure B.A. Program

The 4-year teacher licensure B.A. program includes the same requirements as the B.A. secondary theatre education option but with the following modifications.

  • The THDA 798/799 requirement is replaced with EDUC 694 Courses in Supervised Teaching
  • The following requirements are added.
EDUC 605Educational Perspectives in Critical Times4
EDUC 694Courses in Supervised Teaching8
EDUC 701Human Development & Learning: Cultural Perspectives4
EDUC 751AInclusive Elementary Education: Literacies and Learning for Diverse Learners4
or EDUC 751B Methods of Inclusive Secondary Education: Literacies, Learning, and Transitions
THDA 791Internship in Theatre and Dance2

5-Year Teacher Licensure M.A.T. or M.Ed. Program

The 5-year teacher licensure M.A.T. or M.Ed. Program includes the same requirements as the B.A. secondary theatre education option but with the following modifications:

  • The following requirements are added.
EDUC 605Educational Perspectives in Critical Times 14
EDUC 701/801Human Development & Learning: Cultural Perspectives 24
EDUC 751A/851AInclusive Elementary Education: Literacies and Learning for Diverse Learners 24
or EDUC 751B/851B Methods of Inclusive Secondary Education: Literacies, Learning, and Transitions
EDUC 900AInternship and Seminar in Teaching6
EDUC 901AInternship and Seminar in Teaching6
8 credits from THDA 700-level or EDUC #700/800-level elective courses. 28

Must be taken before the teaching internship.


Must be taken before the teaching internship.  May be taken at the undergraduate level or the graduate level.

Core Student Learning Outcomes for the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre major: On completion of the B.A. in Theatre, students will:

  • Recognize and distinguish between various styles and forms of theatre or dance that have shaped the evolution of these disciplines.
  • Effectively communicate artistic ideas and/or critical analysis of theatre or dance works through appropriate oral, written or practical means.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and fundamental skill level of the basic areas of theatre or dance production in areas related to performance, design, technology or management.
  • Create and demonstrate informed and personal artistic choices in coursework and productions (i.e., design, dance, directing, acting).

Additional Student Learning Outcomes for Option in Secondary Theatre Education: In addition to the shared department learning outcomes for all THDA students, upon completion of the major with an Option in Secondary Theatre Education, students will:

  • Develop and compile effective lesson plans and teaching materials appropriate to student developmental levels and individual learning styles.
  • Define a personal teaching philosophy.
  • Demonstrate effective teaching strategies.
  • Evaluate teaching abilities through analysis and reflection.
  • Develop directing and production skills.
  • Match to teaching materials the appropriate national educational standards for arts and non-arts subjects.