About the Department of Theatre and Dance
In addition to offering undergraduate students the BA degree in theatre or dance, the University of South Carolina is the only school in the state that offers the Master of Fine Arts in Theatre degree, the highest degree possible in the fields of design and performance. MFA studies in Acting, Scenic Design, Lighting Design, Costume Design and Directing are available. Also at the graduate level, the Theatre Program offers MA and MAT (Master of Arts in Teaching) degrees.
The Theatre Program is one of a select group of nationally recognized programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) and holds membership in the University/Resident Theatre Association (U/RTA).
The USC Dance Program is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Dance (NASD) and recently achieved national recognition in the April 2014 edition of Dance Magazine, which listed USC as one of the top three non-conservatory programs to consider which offer specialization in classical ballet. Working from a solid foundational core of dance courses, students have the option of developing additional competencies with an emphasis in either Performance and Choreography or Dance Education K-12 Certification.
The Theatre Program takes an interdisciplinary approach that includes historical and critical studies as well as studies of texts, culture, and production. On the undergraduate level, students seeking a B.A. in theatre have the opportunity to act, direct, design, stage-manage or learn about technical theatre and marketing as a member of a fully independent theatre organization that plans a diverse roster of plays each semester. Study-abroad and student exchange programs allow undergraduates to learn more about theatre internationally or at other U.S. universities. The ratio of faculty to undergraduate students is five-to-one.
USC is the only school in South Carolina that offers an MFA in theatre, the highest degree possible in the fields of design and performance. MFA students work at the highest-level of artistic achievement on a wide variety of department productions, and gain practical professional experience on internship at nationally-recognized theatres across the country.
The MA Program in Theatre is designed for those seeking preparation for the Ph.D., as well as for experienced and certified secondary-school teachers who want intensive academic course work in theatre.
The MAT program prepares students seeking initial certification in theatre for careers in public education. Students participate in two extensive internships in public schools in addition to other teaching opportunities in combination with the coursework.
With BA degrees offered in Performance and Choreography and Teacher Certification, the USC Dance Program provides specialized career training. The program strives to instill a sound foundation of guided practice in the disciplines and principles of classical ballet, modern, jazz and related academic course work, offering students intellectual, aesthetic and physical benefits through individual collaborative experiences. With more than 75 technical and theoretical courses, the dance program provides professional training in performance and pedagogy and prepares students for graduate work and advanced studies in dance. The curriculum includes daily classical ballet classes at beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as intensive pointe work and classical repertory studies.
The USC Dance Company, more than 72 members strong, performs several major concerts per year at The Koger Center for the Arts, as well as guest performances throughout the east coast. The USC Dance Company is recognized both nationally and internationally as a pre-professional dance ensemble as finely tuned as a symphony orchestra, with a repetoire that runs the gamut from the treasured classical ballets of Marius Petipa and George Balanchine to the work of modern luminaries such as Twyla Tharp, Lynne Taylor-Corbett, Lila York and Kevin O'Day. Company members have performed in Europe and at the National Gala for the American College Dance Festival hosted by the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C.