May 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Undergraduate Catalog This is not the most recent catalog version; be sure you are viewing the appropriate catalog year.

Musical Theatre [BA]

Revised Program [Fall 2022]

Musical Theatre is a highly competitive field requiring targeted training in the three performing arts disciplines of theatre, music, and dance.  Students in this program gain experience that spans the processes of audition, rehearsal, and performance and the practical, day-to-day maintenance and continuing development of those practices.

The Musical Theatre major offers the breadth of curricular and co-curricular training that prepares students to establish and maintain a career in the Musical Theatre industry or for advanced study in graduate and professional training programs.


Students receive academic instruction and hands-on experience in script analysis, acting, singing, vocal technique, auditioning, musical theatre styles, dance, music theory, piano, technical theatre, and history.


Students pursuing this degree have abundant opportunities to engage in our extensive annual mainstage, second stage, and laboratory theatre season and our community-based programming, including touring productions, various student organizations, and local professional theatres.

Graduates of our program have had successful careers in professional theatre and the field of education and have gone on to advanced study in graduate and professional training programs.

School Information

Communication, Media & Theatre Arts 124 Judy Sturgis Hill, 734.487.6956 

Dennis O’Grady, PhD, Director

Advisor Information

Philip E. Simmons, MFA, 124 Judy Sturgis Hill, 734.487.3131

Program Admission

Admission is by audition; acceptance into the program depends upon the demonstrated ability of the prospective student in the combined areas of singing, acting, and dancing. In order to determine their ability in these areas, each student will do an in-depth audition for members of the Theatre and Musical Theatre faculty as well as have a short interview with them. The audition consists of the singing of two contrasting 16-bar cuts of musical theatre repertoire, the performance of a 60-second monologue, and the mastery of a short Musical Theatre dance combination.

Admission is conditional upon the prospective student’s ability to match musical pitch, to demonstrate sufficient acting ability, and to be able to master a short dance combination.

Placement Protocol for Musical Theatre

The process and policies for Musical Theatre students’ admittance into required Music and Dance courses: Applied Voice Lessons, Music Theory/Aural Skills, Piano Studies, and Dance Studies.

  • Musical Theatre students with NO prior experience in a given category may need to take preparatory classes that do not count towards the major.
  • Musical Theatre students with NO prior experience should register for the basic course in a required category (Voice, Piano, Music Theory, and Dance). From there, they can be assigned a more appropriate level of study in that category if necessary.
  • Musical Theatre students with more experience can “test out” of the required Music and Dance classes, but only in the sense that they would move to a more advanced class in that particular category. 
  • The core idea behind the curriculum is that Musical Theatre students take FOUR (4) courses in Applied Voice and TWO (2) courses in each of Piano, Theory, Aural Skills, and Dance that challenge them appropriately.
  • Specific procedures for placement in each category are given below.

General Education Requirements:

For specific requirements, see General Education  or view the General Education Worksheet [PDF] .  

Major Requirements: 69-70 hours

Students must earn a ”C” or higher in all courses in this major.

Applied Theatre Courses: 2 hours

Applied Theatre responsibilities must correspond to the EDT 152 or EDT 153 course taken as part of Required Theatre & Musical Theatre Core.

Applied Voice Courses: 4 hours

Four hours of Applied Voice courses are required. These course can be taken more than once. Two hours of Applied Voice credits are needed from each of the following two courses.

Minor Requirement:

This major does not require a minor.

Program Total:

Students must earn a minimum total of 120 credits at the 100-level or above.

Critical Graduation Information

Each undergraduate student will be responsible for fulfilling the requirements (or their equivalents) of the Eastern Michigan University catalog in force at the time of their initial registration at a college or university or a subsequent catalog, including the one in effect at the time of their graduation.

In the event an undergraduate student does not complete the degree requirements within seven years of the date of their original registration at a college or university, the student may be required to have their credits re-evaluated by the academic department(s) of their major/minor in keeping with catalog requirements in force during the year of their graduation.

Minimum requirements for all bachelor’s degrees awarded by Eastern Michigan University

Some majors and minors require more than the minimum in one or more of the areas below; students are urged to consult this catalog for the requirements of their particular programs.

  • Earn a minimum total of 120 credit hours at the 100-level and above.
    • Courses numbered below 100 are not counted toward this degree requirement.
    • At most, eight credit hours of physical education (PEGN) activity courses are counted toward this requirement.
  • Meet the requirements of the General Education program (see information below), including completing a Writing Intensive (GEWI) course in the student’s major.
  • Earn a minimum of 60 credits from a four-year college or university; courses taken at community colleges cannot be used to meet this requirement (Some formal program-to-program articulation agreements modify this requirement. See specific agreements for details).
  • Earn a minimum of 30 credits from courses taken at EMU.
  • Complete 10 of the last 30 hours for the degree from courses taken at EMU.
  • Have a minimum of 30 unique credit hours in their major and 20 unique credit hours in their minor for a total of at least 50 unique credit hours between them. Some majors that require 50 or more hours themselves do not require a minor. A double major automatically satisfies the need for a minor unless one of the two majors requires a specific minor. Students should check the requirements of the selected major in the undergraduate catalog to see if a minor is required. 
  • Earn no more than 60 credit hours in one subject area (prefix). Credits over the 60 maximum will not be counted toward the minimum of 120 credits required for a bachelor’s degree.
  • Earn the minimum number of credits in 300-level and above courses in each major and minor as specified below - these credits must be earned in distinct courses; that is, no course can be used to fulfill this requirement in more than one major or minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 6 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each minor
    • Earn a minimum of 9 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that requires a minor.
    • Earn a minimum of 15 credits in 300-level or higher courses at EMU in each major that does not require a minor
  • Transfer credit will be awarded for courses taken at colleges and universities that are accredited by one of the recognized regional accrediting bodies only if the courses are college-level (equated to 100-level or above at EMU) and the student earned a “C” (or 2.0 on a 4 point scale) or better. Transfer credit may be awarded on a case-by-case basis for college-level courses in which a “C” (2.0) or better was earned at institutions outside the U.S. or at non-accredited U.S. institutions; individual departments/schools conduct the internal review of such courses within EMU, and additional documentation may be required. Please note: EMU awards only credit for transferred courses; grades are not used to calculate an EMU GPA.
  • Earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 in courses taken at EMU to graduate. In addition, a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0 must be reached in each major and minor. Only courses a student takes at EMU and those applied to their major or minor are used to calculate their major and minor cumulative GPAs. (Note: some programs may require a higher GPA - check with your program advisor.)

General Education Requirements - EMU’s General Education Program requires students to choose from a menu of approved courses in several different areas; do not assume that other courses in the same department or similar names will fulfill these requirements. A detailed description of General Education requirements is available in the General Education  section of the catalog.

Students who transferred to EMU may have modified general education requirements based on Michigan Transfer Agreement (MTA) or articulation agreements; consult your academic advisor for additional information.