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This archived information is dated to the 2009-10 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 a 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. There is no double credit for a course. Additionally, you can petition to the department undergraduate advisor 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—14 units

    DRAMA 30. How Theater is Designed (4 units)

    DRAMA 34. Stage Management Techniques (2 units)

    DRAMA 101H. How Theater Thinks (4 units)

    DRAMA 101P. How Practice Practices (4 units)

  2. Theatrical Literature/History—14 units

    Any course between DRAMA 150-169. The following courses are offered in 2009-2010:

    DRAMA 150T. Racial Erotics

    DRAMA 151T. Great Books

    DRAMA 153T. Irish Drama

    DRAMA 160. Performance, Dance, and History: The Ballerina

    DRAMA 161R. Texts in History

    DRAMA 164S. Introduction to Queer Theory

    DRAMA 165M. Musical Theater

    DRAMA 166H. Historiography of Theater

  3. Theatrical Performance Courses: Acting, Directing, and Playwriting—8 units

    Any course with the subject code DANCE

    Acting courses between DRAMA 20-29, 120-129, 210. The following courses are offered in 2009-10:

    DRAMA 20. Acting for Non-Majors

    DRAMA 24. Shared Experience and the Experimental Actor

    DRAMA 26. Performing Bodies

    DRAMA 120A,B. Fundamentals of Acting

    DRAMA 120V. Vocal Production and Audition

    DRAMA 121S. Acting Shakespeare

    DRAMA 122. Contemporary Vernacular Dance in New Musical Theater

    DRAMA 122P. Undergraduate Acting Project: Our Country's Good

    DRAMA 110. Identity, Diversity, and Aesthetics: The Institute for Diversity in the Arts (IDA)

    Playwriting and Dramaturgy courses between DRAMA 70-79. The department is not offering any courses in the 70 series in 2009-10.

    Directing, Playwriting and Dramaturgy courses between DRAMA 170-179. The following courses are offered in 2009-10:

    DRAMA 170A. Concepts of Directing

    DRAMA 170B. Advanced Directing

    DRAMA 177. Writing for Performance

    DRAMA 178. Playwriting

  4. Theatrical Production—12 units

    DRAMA 134. Stage Management Project (4 units)

    DRAMA 39. Theater Crew (3 units)

    Design, Stage Management, and Production courses between DRAMA 31-38, 131-133, 135-139. The following courses are offered in 2009-2010:

    DRAMA 31. Introduction to Lighting and Production

    DRAMA 32F. History of Costume and Fashion

    DRAMA 131. Lighting Design

    DRAMA 132. Costume Design

    DRAMA 133. Stage Scenery Design

    DRAMA 137. Hand Drafting for Designers

  5. Senior Project—2 units

    DRAMA 200. Senior Project

    Work for this project normally begins in Spring Quarter of the junior year and is completed by the end of the senior year. The student has the option of writing an essay associated with the project. Students receive credit for senior projects through DRAMA 200 or DRAMA 205. Students pursuing senior projects should consult with both the undergraduate adviser and a faculty adviser in the project's specialty area early in the junior year. Students must petition for approval of senior projects through the department's undergraduate adviser. Projects are typically approved by department faculty at the end of Spring Quarter of the junior year or the end of Autumn Quarter of the senior 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. It should describe in detail the purpose and methods involved in the project; a bibliography, if appropriate; and a 1-2 page abstract of the associated essay if an essay is part of the project.

  6. Electives—10 units

    Any courses with the subject code DRAMA or DANCE.


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. Application involves a written submission (including transcript) establishing the student's work-to-date in the department and outlining the area of research that the student wishes to pursue. No students are admitted to the honors program with a grade below 'B-' in any course that constitutes part of their Drama major.
  2. Students must complete the Drama core requirements by the end of their junior year, earlier if possible. 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.
  3. Students must have completed half of the courses in their specialization by the end of their junior year.
  4. Students must complete 4 units in the honors colloquia (described below), beginning Spring Quarter of their junior year and continuing 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.
  5. GPA in courses counting towards the major must be 3.5 by the time of graduation.
  6. By the end of the seventh 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.
  7. 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 successfully completed the honors program.
  8. Failure to meet any of these requirements, or to make satisfactory progress on the honors thesis, leads to dismissal from the honors program.

Honors Colloquia and Thesis—The honors colloquia aim 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 colloquia 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. Student must enroll in DRAMA 202, Honors Thesis.

The honors thesis typically consists of a long essay (40-60 pages) 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 will 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—An honors program in Humanities is available for Drama majors who wish to supplement their major with related, guided studies. See the "Interdisciplinary Studies in Humanities" section of this bulletin for a description of the honors program. Students who enroll in this program may take HUMNTIES 160 and two seminars from 190-198 in fulfillment of the departmental elective requirement.

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