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Types of Degrees for Acting & Musical Theatre Study

Associate Degree (A.A. or A.S.):

An associate’s degree prepares for entry-level careers in selected fields and provides the completion of general education requirements for more advanced degrees.

I don't focus a lot of time on certification only programs or associate degrees because I've met too many people who pursue them without continuing onto a bachelor's degree. Many, especially those who don't stay in theatre or are interested in teaching, regret it later in life. I highly encourage completing a bachelor's degree program in the event you find another field, such as teaching, a good fit. I know I did! Educators tend to be sticklers with regard to education, and unless you have a notable performance career and want to leverage that in the higher ed setting, you'll need the four-degree to validate your training.

Baccalaureate Degree:

  • Requires a minimum of 120 college credits

  • Typically 30-36 credits in area of study

  • Includes general education/liberal arts courses, about 36-42 credits

Types of baccaluareate or undergrad degrees you find in the performing arts:

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.):

A B.A., the most "general" degree, explores the liberal arts with fewer courses within their concentration. Typically a major such as writing, languages, including English, communications, the performing arts.

Bachelor of Science (B.S.):

The B.S. degree is more content-specific. Common majors include economics, nursing, biology and business.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.):

A B.F.A. is considered another content-specific degree typically for those interested in entering the creative arts. Students pursuing a B.F.A. often aspire to be dancers, actors, singers, painters, and sculptors. More focus on the specific area of concentration than on general studies. Generally requires 130-142 credits.

Bachelor of Music (B.M.):

A B.M. is a content-specific degree typically for those interested in entering the field of music. More focus on specific music concentration than general studies.

A Few Tools

- FSU's Choosing a Major or Occupation Guide 



- FSU's BA in Theatre

- FSU's BFA in Musical Theatre

- FSU's BM in Musical Theatre

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