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College MT Guide to Researching Programs

Updated: Jun 17, 2022

Summer is the perfect time to get a leg up on preparing for your college process. When else will your performance schedule provide a little extra time? A little extra research now will set you up for success in the future.

In an attempt to begin narrowing-down your potential program list, I give you the College Musical Theater Program Research Guide:

Step 1: Which Degree?

One starting point is to begin with the degree. You might know you want to study Musical Theatre, but do you know which degree you want to pursue? Though not an absolute answer to this question, this BuzzFeed quiz is an interesting way to help you begin to determine which degree to consider within the performing arts:


Step 2: Where do you want to study? (or do you even care?)

Some students aren't as particular about the location of the school where they study. For others it's extremely important. Others haven't considered this factor at all. Remember, starting your list is the key at this stage of the game. If any of the answers to the following questions help rule out schools or move them on to your list, it's worth the effort.

  • In state? Out of state? International?

  • Urban? Suburban? Rural? (and, do you know how these campus types differ?)

  • Close to family? Far from family?

  • East coast? West coast? Midwest? Anywhere?

  • Don't care where it is, as long as the program is great?

  • Are there places you wouldn't go?

Step 3: Explore Your Program Options

Don't know which schools have musical theatre programs? Look no further! Your guide has provided a comprehensive list with direct links to the school websites on my LIST OF COLLEGE PROGRAMS which can help make this daunting task a bit easier. Make sure you don't just look at the "Highly Selective Programs". Many of these programs are more difficult to get into than gaining acceptance into Harvard or Yale. You'll need a wide range of options in order to find your best fit making this quest worth your time, money, and effort. Oh, and check-out our exclusive COLLEGE PROGRAM SPOTLIGHT INTERVIEWS.

Step 4: Know what to look for and where to look

Most musical theatre program pages are easily accessed by searching the school name and "musical theatre". Look over the school's website. Read the information the program has placed on their landing page. Do the performance images or video clips resonate with you? Who teaches there? Do they offer specialized training? How many students are in the program? What performance opportunities to they offer? Check-out their social media presence. What's the vibe? Can you see yourself there? My highly popular blog post 10 QUESTIONS TO ASK A MUSICAL THEATRE PROGRAM provides further guidance in this area.

Step 5: Ask "What Will I Learn?"

Answering the question, "What will I learn in this program?" is an important part of the selection process and the answer isn't always the easiest to find. Visit the program website and if the curriculum isn't posted there, use the search bar on the school's site (not the browser search bar) and type in terms like: "curriculum", "academic catalog", "course bulletin", or "course catalog".

I created a video guide, accessible through the image below or this link: COLLEGE MT CURRICULUM SEARCH, to help bring some clarity to this important task.

The aforementioned steps will start you on your search for program options and are easily completed virtually. This "long list" can help drive your next steps of the narrowing-down process.

Want some face-to-face time with the College MT Guide? Check out my upcoming workshop!

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