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What’s the Difference Between a BFA and a BA in Theatre?

08.04.2022 | By: Texas Wesleyan University
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We offer two different types of theatre degrees — a BFA and B.A. Each one brings you a unique experience that is customized to your career goals and interests. Let’s talk about each one and how they can help you reach your education goals. 

Narrow your focus with a BFA 

With a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts, you’ll focus more on a specific field in theatre. The BFA is a pre-professional degree that provides a foundation in theatre while allowing you to pursue your passion in a specific interest.  

In the BFA program, you’ll get hands-on courses that challenge you to expand your skills and understanding of theatre production and finish your degree with a Senior Project presentation. Check out some of the paths you can take: 


Love getting into character? As an actor, you can perform roles in plays, films or television — and our BFA in Acting can help get you there. You’ll take advanced acting courses including voice and speech for actors, movement and classical styles. You’ll also learn how to develop the more emotional aspects of characters and get involved in different styles, such as drama, comedy, on-camera acting and more. 

But don’t just take our word for it. We have several alumni actors who’ve made it big — like: 

  • Mike Erwin, actor on Teen Titans, Everwood, NCIS and CSI 
  • Dana Schultes, actor and executive producer of Stage West 
  • Charlie Parrish, actor and stuntman/coordinator for The Suicide Squad, Transformers: Age of Extinction, Willy’s Wonderland and more 

Design & Technology 

Want to work behind the scenes? Films, stage productions and TV shows take a lot of work to get set up. Have you ever stayed to watch the extra scenes after the credits of a Marvel movie? Those credits list a lot of people — each with specific roles.  

In your design & technology degree, you’ll take classes that help you dive into sound engineering and design, stage lighting, scene design, costume and makeup and more. You’ll also learn how to organize and manage a production, including budgeting, marketing, finding personnel and more so you can learn how to take the reins in producing your own show.  

Our alumni have gone on to be award-winning producers — Mike Skipper is a Tony Award-winning producer of In the Heights, Tamlyn Wright is a production designer and four-time Emmy award winner and Meredith Lucio is also a Tony Award-winning producer of Porgy & Bess.  

Musical Theatre 

Curtains. Action! If you love singing, dancing and acting, our musical theatre emphasis can bring your skills to center stage. In your small classes, you’ll learn the ins and outs of theatrical dancing and music while also workshopping your acting skills.  

Our classes are designed to help you not only learn about performing — but build upon your talents to take you where you want to go. You’ll get plenty of time learning movements and dance practices from the experts and receive private voice lessons. Who knows, you might just be the next Hugh Jackman or Barbra Streisand — or Heather Spore, a TXWES alumna who’s performed Wicked on Broadway! 

Broaden your skills with a BA  

If you’d rather learn a little bit of everything, getting a BA in Theatre is your route. You’ll get a solid foundation in acting, stage management, theatre history and more — and then have the flexibility to mix and match other theatre courses such as dance, theatrical makeup, costume design and theatre technology, based on your interests and career goals. It’s great for students looking to grow a career in theatre education.  

With a BA, you'll get more freedom to pursue different aspects of theatre than a BFA while also getting more time to focus on different elective classes that can build skills in a variety of job opportunities, like communication, project management, marketing and more.  

Either way, all theatre majors and minors participate in university productions and get hands-on experience learning how to be a part of the show. It’s up to you if you want to learn a little bit of everything with a BA or build on a specific skill set with your BFA. When in doubt, our theatre professors are always here to answer any questions about which degree works best for you and your career goals.  


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At Texas Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a Texas-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.