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This archived information is dated to the 2011-12 academic year only and may no longer be current.

For currently applicable policies and information, see the current Stanford Bulletin.

Bachelor of Arts in Drama

The requirements for the B.A. degree in Drama are designed to integrate the critical and historical study of drama with the study and experience of performance. A total of 60 units are required to obtain a B.A. degree in Drama. The major provides aesthetic and critical opportunities for students to develop special aptitudes. Students are encouraged to declare the major in their sophomore year.


Prospective majors in the first two years of study at Stanford are encouraged to take part in casting opportunities in department productions or independent undergraduate performing arts groups.

Recommended Preparatory Courses—Two years of a college-level foreign language.


Required Courses—60 units total for the major

A course may be listed in more than one area; however, each course can only satisfy one major requirement. A course cannot be double-counted for different requirements in the major. Additionally, students may petition the department undergraduate adviser to have additional courses offered by the department count towards requirements in areas 2, 3, and 4. All introductory courses are required with no exceptions.

  1. Introductory Core Courses—12 units
    1. DRAMA 30. How Theater is Designed (4 units)
    2. DRAMA 101H. How Theater Thinks (4 units)
    3. DRAMA 101P. How Practice Practices (4 units)
  2. Theatrical Literature/History—14 units
    • Any course between DRAMA 150-169, DANCE 160-161(Instructor on leave; no courses offered in DANCE 160-161 for academic year 2011-12). The following courses are offered in 2011-12:
      • DRAMA 151T. Great Books
      • DRAMA 152H. Food and Performance
      • DRAMA 155H. Our Town
      • DRAMA 157H. Pop Up: Race and Popular Culture
      • DRAMA 159H. Comedy and Identity
      • DRAMA 162H. Baroque Modernities: Dance, Theater, Film, and Political Theory
      • DRAMA 163S. New Black or Postblack Drama in the Age of Obama
      • DRAMA 164. Performance and Gender
      • DRAMA 164T. Queer Theory
      • DRAMA.165T. Africa in the African American Imaginary
      • DRAMA 166H. Historiography of Theater
      • DRAMA 167T. Critical Theory
      • DRAMA 168H. Avant Garde Theater ll
      • DRAMA 168T. Inside Story: Biology and Biography in Performance and Art
      • DRAMA 169T. Photography and Memory
      • DRAMA 176H. Black Women Playwrights
  3. Theatrical Performance Courses: Acting, Dance, Design, Directing, and Playwriting—13 units
    • Any course in DANCE 30-149
    • Acting courses between DRAMA 21-29, 103-105, 120-129, 203, 201V, 210. The following courses are offered in 2011-12:
      • DRAMA 103. Beginning Improvising
      • DRAMA 105V. Improv and Design
      • DRAMA120A. Introduction to Acting I
      • DRAMA 120 B. Introduction to Acting ll
      • DRAMA 120V. Vocal Production and Audition
      • DRAMA 121S. Acting Shakespeare
      • DRAMA 122. Contemporary Vernacular Dance in New Musical Theater
      • DRAMA 122P. Undergraduate Acting Project
      • DRAMA 110. Identity, Diversity, and Aesthetics: The Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA)
    • Directing, Playwriting and Dramaturgy courses between DRAMA 170-179. The following courses are offered in 2011-12:
      • DRAMA 170B. Actor/Director Dialogue
      • DRAMA 171. Performance Making: Process
      • DRAMA 174A. Performance Making: Production
      • DRAMA 177. Writing for Performance
      • DRAMA 178. Playwriting
      • DRAMA 179F. Flor y Canto: Poetry Writing
    • Design, Stage Management, and Production courses between DRAMA 31, 131-133, 137-39D, 42, 140, 231-240. The following courses are offered in 2011-12:
      • DRAMA 28. Makeup for the Stage
      • DRAMA 31. Introduction to Lighting and Production
      • DRAMA 32F. History of Fashion
      • DRAMA 34S. Fundamentals of Sound in Performance: Theory and Technique
      • DRAMA 42. Costume Construction
      • DRAMA 131. Lighting Design
      • DRAMA 132. Costume Design
      • DRAMA 133. Stage Scenery Design
      • DRAMA 137. Hand Drafting for Designers
      • DRAMA 138. Digital Production
  4. Theatrical Production—9 units
    1. DRAMA 34. Stage Management Techniques (2 units)
    2. DRAMA 39. Theater Crew (3 units)
    3. DRAMA 134. Stage Management Project (4 units)
  5. Senior Project—2 units
    • DRAMA 200. Senior Project
      • All Drama Majors must complete a Senior Project. The project must be a significant work in any area of theatre/performance, such as: creating a performance through devising an original piece; writing, directing, and/or performing a major role; or another creative enterprise that requires an original contribution.
      • The student has the option of writing an essay associated with the project.
      • All majors must submit a two-page proposal to a faculty adviser of their choice area early in the junior year; details available from the undergraduate adviser. Students considering projects that include practical production should consult with the Director of Production. Practical projects are typically approved by department faculty at the end of Spring Quarter of the junior year.
      • The proposal should include an outline of the courses the student has taken and grades received in the area requirements, and should describe the courses in which the student plans to enroll as part of the project.
      • The proposal should describe in detail the purpose and methods involved in the project; it should include a bibliography, if appropriate, and a 1-2 page abstract of the associated essay if an essay is part of the project.
      • Students receive credit for senior projects through DRAMA 200; 2 units minimum are required, but additional units are available for larger projects.
  6. Electives—10 units
    • Any courses with the subject code DRAMA or DANCE.
  7. WIM—Writing in the Major.
    • The following courses are offered in 2011-12:
      • DRAMA 101H. How Theater Thinks
      • DRAMA 168H. Avant Garde Theater ll


For a limited number of students, the department confers the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Departmental Honors in Drama. To be considered for departmental honors, students must meet the following requirements in addition to the other requirements of the Drama major:

  1. Prospective honors students must submit a written application, including transcript, establishing the student's work to date in the department and outlining the area of research that the student wishes to pursue.
  2. To be admitted to the honors program, students must have an overall minimum University GPA of 3.3, as well as a GPA of 3.5 in courses counting towards the Drama major.
  3. For transfer students, the same GPA requirement applies at the time of transfer.
  4. Students must complete the Drama core requirements by the end of the junior year. Only in exceptional circumstances can this requirement be waived. Transfer from another university, extended overseas study, or temporary withdrawal from the major due to illness might constitute extenuating circumstances.
  5. Students must have completed half of the courses in their specialization by the end of the junior year.
  6. Students must complete 4 units in the honors colloquia, described below, beginning in Spring Quarter of the junior year and continuing in the following three regular quarters. Each quarter's colloquium is offered for 1 unit, S/NC. In extenuating circumstances (overseas study, for example), an honors program student may substitute other equivalent work for one quarter of the colloquium, with the approval of the honors adviser.
  7. By the end of the sixth week of the quarter in which they plan to graduate, students in the honors program must submit an honors thesis, described below, to be read and evaluated by their thesis committee.
  8. On the basis of a student's work in the Drama core, in the area of specialization, on the senior project, in the honors colloquia, and on the honors thesis, the faculty determines and confers honors on graduating students who have completed the honors program.
  9. Failure to meet any of these requirements, or to make satisfactory progress on the honors thesis, leads to dismissal from the Honors program.
  10. Entry into the honors program does not guarantee a degree with honors. The final decision to confer honors is made by the student's thesis committee, upon evaluating the quality of the Senior Project and the thesis.

Honors Colloquium—The honors colloquium aims to engage honors program students in important issues in the field focusing on the students' areas of specialization and research. The honors program adviser convenes the colloquium three times per quarter and sets the agenda for meetings and discussion. Students discuss their work in the department and present and discuss their research for their Honors thesis. Students must enroll in DRAMA 202, Honors Thesis.

Honors Thesis—The honors thesis typically consists of a 40-60 page essay presenting the student's research on an important issue or subject, determined by the student. The honors program adviser, the senior project adviser, and another faculty member constitute the student's honors thesis committee. They read and evaluate the thesis, and make recommendations to the faculty at large regarding its strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, students have the option of using their own senior project as a case study. In these situations, the honors thesis must critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the creative work. Generally, these essays tend to be shorter (about 20-25 pages) because the creative work constitutes one-half of the honors project.

Honors in Humanities—The Program in Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities is not accepting new students; it will provide courses and advising for students already enrolled. See the "Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities" section of this bulletin for a description of the honors program. Students who are already enrolled in this program may take HUMNTIES 160 and two seminars from 190-198 in fulfillment of the departmental elective requirement.

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