Theatre Major: Youth Drama Option (B.A.)

Anyone interested in teaching elementary-aged students would benefit from the youth drama option. Consider pairing this with family studies or early childhood education. Youth drama is for those students who wish to use dramatic arts as a teaching tool, either in the elementary classroom or as a teaching artist. Our comprehensive curriculum is specifically designed to train teachers to use storytelling and creative drama to enrich the classroom. Work with our master puppeteer to take Introduction to Puppetry as well as Advanced Puppetry. Through comprehensive class and laboratory work, students obtain hands-on theatrical teaching experience so that, by the time they reach graduation, they have spent significant hours teaching children. This program will give you hands-on teaching experience and the option to pursue a fifth-year master’s degree in elementary teaching through the UNH Education Department. Whether pursuing the fifth year graduate certification program or entering the professional theatre education world directly after the undergraduate degree, students will leave UNH with sound theoretical training in addition to practical instruction on how to use drama to enhance learning outcomes, address classroom discipline issues and, of course, bring the arts to life in the classroom.

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

Degree Requirements

Minimum Credit Requirement: 128 credits
Minimum Residency Requirement: 32 credits must be taken at UNH
Minimum GPA: 2.0 required for conferral*
Core Curriculum Required: Discovery & Writing Program Requirements
Foreign Language Requirement: Yes

All Major, Option and Elective Requirements as indicated.
*Major GPA requirements as indicated.

Major Requirements

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 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 463Theatre Dance I4
THDA 522Storytelling, Story Theatre, and Involvement Dramatics4
THDA 583Introduction to Puppetry4
THDA 589Practicum (A - D) 11
THDA 624Theatre for Young Audiences4
THDA 683Advanced Puppetry4
THDA 721Arts Integration4
THDA 727Methods of Teaching Theatre4
THDA 729Community Oriented Drama Programs4
THDA 760Teacher Planning for Theatre4
THDA 799Capstone Project (must be taken in senior year)2
EDUC 500Exploring Teaching 24
Total Credits51

The practicum ensures a breadth of experience in the major, including sets, costumes, lighting, props, box office, marketing, and performing.  Students must register for practicum every semester.  They are notified of their practicum assignment at the beginning of each semester.


Must be taken before student teaching internship.

State Teacher Certification

Youth Drama options often pursue elementary education certification. In order to obtain state licensure, students must apply to either the UNH Department of Education or another university for acceptance into a fifth year 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 masters degree while finishing their undergraduate degree. For further clarification regarding fifth-year certification options, contact Raina Ames, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-3044,

5-Year Teacher Licensure M.Ed. Program

The 5-year teacher licensure M.Ed. program includes the same requirements as the B.A. youth drama option but with the following modifications.

  • The following requirements are added:
MATH 601Exploring Mathematics for Teachers I 14
EDUC 605Educational Perspectives in Critical Times 14
EDUC 701/801Human Development & Learning: Cultural Perspectives 24
MATH 703Teaching of Mathematics in Grades K-5 14
EDUC 703F/803FTeaching Elementary School Science 24
EDUC 703M/803MTeaching Elementary Social Studies 24
EDUC 706/806Teaching & Learning Literacy in the Elementary Classroom 24
EDUC 751A/851AInclusive Elementary Education: Literacies and Learning for Diverse Learners 14
EDUC 808Literacy Assessment for Elementary Classroom Teachers4
Must be taken concurrently with EDUC 900A
EDUC 809Supporting Readers in Elementary Classrooms4
Must be taken concurrently with EDUC 901A
EDUC 900AInternship and Seminar in Teaching6
EDUC 901AInternship and Seminar in Teaching6
Total Credits52

Must be taken before student teaching internship.


May be taken at undergraduate or 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 Youth Drama: In addition to the shared department learning outcomes for all THDA students, upon completion of the major with an Option in Youth Drama, 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 and established skills as a group leader in dramatic activities.
  • Evaluate teaching abilities through analysis and reflection.
  • Demonstrate technical skills in storytelling and puppetry performance techniques.
  • Match to teaching materials the appropriate national educational standards for arts and non-arts subjects.