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Musical Theater

Learn how to flourish in one of the most demanding of the performing arts professions.

Develop your technical skills in voice, music, acting, and dance, and integrate them with your personal repertoire to add expressiveness and versatility. A foundation of liberal arts and theater history will anchor your college experience.

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Sample courses for musical theater majors include:

  • Musical Theater Practicum
  • Introduction to Musical Theater Performance
  • Intro to Scene Study: Acting
  • History of Musical Theater
  • Auditioning: Musical Theater
  • Ballet, Tap, and Jazz courses

View official major requirements.

Practical Experience

The bachelor of fine arts program broadens your drama experience with classes in design, stage lighting, costume history, dramatic literature, and state management. You can also work behind the scenes as part of a running crew or assistant stage manager.

Don’t just learn to sing and dance—acquire a variety of singing techniques for every style from operetta to rock, and study the different types of dance that are unique to stage productions. Add acting and audition techniques, and embrace opportunities to perform in stage productions throughout your undergraduate career.

There are many opportunities for community engagement in the drama department at Syracuse. Work with young adults with special needs through the All Star C.A.S.T. (Community Actors and Students’ Theatre), designing the program for that term, guiding exercises, producing, and acting in a play with community participants. This allows you to explore careers in drama therapy and educational theater.

A supportive network of VPA alumni are always willing to help you achieve success, both at Syracuse and after you graduate. Notable alumni include Tony Award-winner Jessie Mueller ’05, screenwriter Aaron Sorkin ‘83, actor Taye Diggs ’93, and actress/singer Vanessa Williams ’86. 

Study Abroad

As a musical theater major, you will have the opportunity to spend a semester immersed in the theater world of London. Take classes and workshops at the Globe Theater and attend live performances at the National Theater and Royal Shakespeare Company. Syracuse Abroad  also offers more than 100 programs in 60 countries.

Domestic Studies

Musical theater majors also have the option to study in New York City or Los Angles and learn from industry professionals through combined workshops, lectures, internships and more.

The Tepper Semester, a capstone program offered to seniors, provides rigorous training in the vibrant setting of New York City and the chance to work with professional artists.

The Sorkin in L.A. Learning Practicum is a week-long program that provides students with a "hit-the-studios-running" experience in the heart of America's film and television industries, where students learn from alumni and industry insiders.

Syracuse Drama Summer is a six-week industry immersion program held in and around Hollywood. Students are enrolled in evening classes and spend the day participating in a professional internship.

Life After Syracuse University

As a College of Visual and Performing Arts graduate with a major in musical theater, you can explore such careers as:

  • Actor
  • Arts administrator
  • Choreographer
  • Director
  • Singer/musician
  • Stage manager
  • Theater director