Theatre Major: Secondary Theatre Education Option B.A.

Theater students performing
Theatre Major: Secondary Theatre Education Option B.A.

Program Overview

What is the secondary theatre education option?

One of only a few programs of its kind in the country, UNH’s secondary theatre education option will prepare you to teach theatre and direct productions working with students in kindergarten through 12th grade. You’ll study the history of theatre and directing, the elements of design and theatre technology, and methods of teaching in theatre. You’ll gain hands-on practical teaching experience with K-12 students. As you complete your studies, you’ll have the option to enter theatre education directly, or pursue a fifth-year master’s in teaching program through the UNH Education Department.

Why study secondary theatre education at UNH?

In addition to our award-winning faculty, the UNH Department of Theatre and Dance offers more than 25 performance opportunities every year in musicals, plays or dance concerts, including student productions. You’ll be able to pursue independent studies and you’ll be eligible to apply for R.E.A.C.H., financial assistance provided to students who participate in internships with professional theatre or dance organizations. Our Cultural Stages program brings acclaimed playwrights, choreographers and other theatre artists from around the world to campus. With the addition of the fifth-year Master of Arts in Teaching program, you’ll be able to achieve your New Hampshire teaching certificate.

Potential careers

  • Arts specialist
  • Drama teacher
  • Professional theatre education director
  • Theatre director
  • Theatre professor
  • Visiting teaching artist
  • Youth programming director


Department of Theater and Dance
Paul Creative Arts Center
University of New Hampshire
30 Academic Way
Durham, NH 03824

Phone: (603) 862-2919
Fax: (603) 862-0298

Curriculum & Requirements

Candidates interested in passing on their love of theatre to future generations will find that the secondary theatre education option offers practical and theoretical training for teachers. As one of a few programs in the country, UNH’s Secondary Theatre Education option boasts a robust offering with six courses specifically focused on how to teach theatre. Through comprehensive course and laboratory work, students obtain hands-on theatre teaching experience, so that by the time they reach graduation, they have spent significant hours working with the K-12 age group. Students are provided with extensive training and practical teaching experience specifically geared towards the goal of being a theatre teacher, either in a traditional classroom or as a teaching artist. Whether pursuing the fifth year graduate certification program or entering the professional theatre education world directly after the undergraduate degree, students can expect to leave UNH prepared for the rigorous task of teaching.

Contact Raina Ames, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-3044,

In the freshman and sophomore years, students should enroll for at least two major and two Discovery courses per semester. The minimum grade requirement for major courses is C- per course. Any grade lower than C- will not count toward the major. Under department policy, students who complete both COMM 401 American Sign Language I and COMM 502 American Sign Language II satisfy the bachelor of arts language proficiency requirement. All majors must take courses in the following areas: performance, design/theatre technology, and theory/history as well as fulfill between four and eight practicums and complete a capstone course. Although timing will vary with each option, it is strongly suggested that all introductory courses be taken prior to the end of the student's sophomore year.

The required minimum overall GPA in major coursework is 2.0.

Candidates for a degree must satisfy all of the University Discovery Program requirements in addition to satisfying the requirements of each individual major program. Bachelor of arts candidates must also satisfy the foreign language proficiency requirement.

Theatre department majors may use one major-required course to satisfy one Discovery category requirement.

All UNH B.A. degrees require a minimum of 128 credit hours.

Required Courses
THDA 436History of Theatre I4
THDA 438History of Theatre II4
THDA 459Stagecraft4
THDA 460Elements of Design4
THDA 463Theatre Dance I4
THDA 475Stage Makeup2
THDA 551Acting I4
THDA 589Practicum (A - D) 14-8
THDA 624Theatre for Young Audiences4
THDA 721Arts Integration4
THDA 727Methods of Teaching Theatre 24
THDA 729Community Oriented Drama Programs4
THDA 741Directing4
THDA 760Teacher Planning for Theatre4
THDA 799Capstone Project ( must be taken in senior year)2
Design/Theatre Technology
Select 4 credits of the following:4
THDA 458
Costume Construction
THDA 546
Costume Design for the Theatre
THDA 548
Stage Lighting Design and Execution
EDUC 500Exploring Teaching 24
Total Credits64-68

NOTE: It is understood that students will fulfill 20 internship contact hours with theatre students in their option area: elementary, middle, or high school. Projects for THDA 729 Community Oriented Drama Programs cannot count as internship hours. Students may fulfill this requirement through a variety of teaching opportunities with the department's outreach program (both during the school year and in the summer), or they may work with local schools teaching, coaching actors, assistant directing, choreographing, or in some other capacity as specifically arranged with their theatre adviser.

It also is understood that students involved in the above course curriculum in order to get state theatre arts certification must apply to either the UNH Department of Education or another university for acceptance into a fifth-year master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.) or master of education (M.Ed.) degree program that fulfills state requirements for certification.

State K-12 Teacher Certification

In order to obtain state theatre arts certification, students must apply to either the UNH Department of Education or another university for acceptance into a fifth-year master of arts in teaching (M.A.T.) or masters of education (M.Ed.) degree program, which fulfills state requirements for certification. Students who are accepted into early graduate admission may take up to 12 credits toward the 32 credit masters while finishing their undergraduate degree. For further clarification regarding fifth-year certification options, contact Raina Ames, Paul Creative Arts Center, (603) 862-3044,

Education Courses Required for Certification 1
EDUC 700/800Educational Structure and Change4
EDUC 701/801Human Development and Learning: Educational Psychology4
EDUC 705/805Contemporary Educational Perspectives4
EDUC 751B/851BEducating Exceptional Learners: Secondary4
Total Credits16