Program Details

Bachelor of Arts in Theatre EducationInitial Program – Leads to Initial Teacher Licensure

Offered By: College of Fine Arts and Production

Earn Your Degree to Teach Drama & Theatre Education

Theatre education opens up a world of possibilities for young minds. As an aspiring drama teacher, you may one day share your love of theatre and stagecraft with students who need positive and inspiring role models. Begin your journey in theatre education with the Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Education degree program at Grand Canyon University. All applicants are required to undergo an audition prior to acceptance.

The theatre education degree is offered through the College of Fine Arts and Production. It blends theory and practical application. Students will closely examine theatre production and performance, while learning evidence-based pedagogical methods for instructing the next generation of drama enthusiasts. Throughout the course of their studies, theatre education majors are strongly encouraged to become active participants in the Ethington Theatre Series. A variety of opportunities in onstage and offstage disciplines enable students to gain a thorough understanding of every aspect of theatre production and performance.

This degree program leads to initial teacher licensure. Practicum hours, state exams and student teaching experiences are requirements for teacher certification, along with an institutional recommendation from GCU. All coursework for this degree program is aligned with the standards of the Interstate New Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC).

Combine Theatre Knowledge With Teaching

GCU strives to graduate students who are accomplished communicators and compassionate servant leaders. All students are encouraged to reflect upon the coursework through the lens of the Christian worldview, and to integrate ethical practices into all aspects of life. The theatre education degree program affords students the opportunity to learn from a broad array of diverse perspectives and experiences, which gives them keen insight into how best to connect with their future K-12 students.

In courses such as Fundamentals of Theatrical Design, Technology for Theatre Educators and Theatre Pedagogy, students explore the following topic areas:

  • Objectives and methods of teaching theatre in K-12 and postsecondary settings
  • Essential elements of scenography, including scenic, lighting, costume and makeup design
  • The promotion of inquiry, collaboration and interaction in the classroom through the application of theatre technologies
  • Theories and principles of psychology that have influenced instructional practices

In addition, all students are required to complete a student teaching experience. Aspiring drama teachers gain practical classroom experience and fulfill teaching duties that allow for the development of multiple Teacher Work Samples.

Prepare to Teach K-12 Theatre Education

Theatre education can be a personally fulfilling career path. According to the American Alliance for Theatre & Education (AATE), students who take drama classes demonstrate better reading comprehension, higher standardized test scores and better school attendance rates than students who do not participate in theatre activities. The arts are an essential part of a well-rounded education.

Graduates may pursue theatre education jobs in public or private K-12 schools. Other career possibilities may be found within for-profit and nonprofit organizations. GCU’s theatre education degree leads to initial teacher licensure. Graduates may be eligible to sit for the state licensing exam. Students are responsible for understanding the licensure requirements of the state in which they plan to teach.

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Total Program Credits: 120
Campus: 15 weeks
Up to 90 credits, only 84 can be lower division
Campus: $8,250 per semester [More Info]

Course List

The programs offered at Grand Canyon University may vary by content and course length. You are currently viewing the program version available in Arizona. For information about specific course content, credit length and VA approval in your state, please contact a counselor at 1-855-GCU-LOPE or click here to request more information.
General Education Requirements:
34-40 credits
80 credits
Open Elective Credits:
0-6 credits
Total Degree Requirements:
120 credits

General Education Requirements

General Education coursework prepares Grand Canyon University graduates to think critically, communicate clearly, live responsibly in a diverse world, and thoughtfully integrate their faith and ethical convictions into all dimensions of life. These competencies, essential to an effective and satisfying life, are outlined in the General Education Learner Outcomes. General Education courses embody the breadth of human understanding and creativity contained in the liberal arts and sciences tradition. Students take an array of foundational knowledge courses that promote expanded knowledge, insight, and the outcomes identified in the University’s General Education Competencies. The knowledge and skills students acquire through these courses serve as a foundation for successful careers and lifelong journeys of growing understanding and wisdom.

Program Core Courses

Course Description

This course identifies principles of pantomime and dramatic action designed to establish the proper relationship of the voice to the body and its functions in the interpretation of character. It is designed to help develop physical presence and facility in the actor, vocalist, teacher, athlete, and other persons involved in public performance.

Course Description

This course is the study of set and prop construction. Practical application of construction techniques is gained through theatre productions.

Course Description

This is an advanced acting course emphasizing scene study and textual analysis, allowing students to concentrate on the method and technique of building a character. Prerequisite: TRE-145.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is an in-depth study of the history and development of theatre from early Greece to the English Restoration.

Course Description

This course is an introduction to scenography. Topics include scenic, lighting, costume, and makeup design, with an emphasis on drafting, modeling, and rendering. Students will have the opportunity to assist designers for the University’s Ethington Theatre Series.

Course Description

This course is a comprehensive study of the major periods and forms of dramatic literature dating from early Greece to the Restoration.

Course Description

Students study and utilize a variety of theatre technologies such as computer software, hardware, networking, multimedia, interactive media, and the Internet in order to foster inquiry, collaboration, and interaction in the classroom in order to meet the needs of a diverse student population.

Course Description

This writing intensive course is an in-depth study of the history and development of theatre from the 18th century through modern times.

Course Description

This course provides a thematically arranged study of the theories and principles of psychology that have influenced instructional practices. Behavioral and cognitive approaches to learning, motivation, and instruction are explored. Practicum/field experience hours: None. Fingerprint clearance not required.

Course Description

This course is a survey of Arizona history and government, as well as American government. It meets the teacher certification requirement for Arizona government and American government.

Course Description

This course educates the student in methods of teaching theatre in elementary school, secondary school, community college, and the university. It encompasses the basic objectives of theatre education and the components of excellence in teaching and art. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course explores an integrative arts model, using methods and assessments for teaching theatre and dance in elementary curriculum. Lesson planning and curriculum design are tied to state standards for theatre and dance education. Practicum/field experience hours: 20. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course presents the historical, legal, theoretical, and sociological foundations of programs of instruction for English language learners. It includes an examination of the role of culture in learning and instructional program models, with a focus on Structured English Immersion. Teacher candidates are instructed in immersion strategies and the use of assessment data. Practicum/field experience hours: 10. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course is a comprehensive study of the major periods and forms of dramatic literature dating from the Restoration to the present.

Course Description

This course concerns the art of designing lighting and scenery for the theatre. Students will actively participate in designing Grand Canyon University Theatre productions and classroom projects. Prerequisites: TRE-130 and TRE-245.

Course Description

This course is a study of theories and techniques for interpreting and directing plays through lectures and demonstrations. Students are required to participate in laboratory projects in directing one-acts or scenes from full-length plays. Prerequisites: TRE-253 and TRE-335 or TRE-339.

Course Description

In this course, teacher candidates continue to examine the fundamentals of the legal, historical, and educational foundations of Structured English Immersion and other instructional programs for English language learners. Theoretical principles of language acquisition and the role of culture in learning are examined. Methods of assessment are identified and analyzed. Teacher candidates identify strategies to promote English language development and improve student achievement. They plan, deliver, and evaluate instruction for English language learners. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

Students study the historical, philosophical, and sociological influences that have shaped theatre and theatre education and the issues faced by educators today, as well as the challenges of the future that await persons now entering the teaching profession. The course also examines the unique learning needs of exceptional students. Emphasis is placed on definitions, etiology, characteristics, and prevalence of various exceptionalities; laws, and litigation protecting the rights of students with special needs and their families; current issues affecting persons with special needs; social perceptions, assessment, inclusion, and transition; and basic curriculum accommodations and supportive services for teaching students with special needs in the theatre classroom. Practicum/field experience hours: 15. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course is a study of methods for developing and conducting the theatre program in junior and senior high schools. Methods, materials, topics, and issues in theatre education are used to prepare theatre education majors to enter the teaching profession. Practicum/field experience hours: 30. Fingerprint clearance required.

Course Description

This course consists of a K-12 classroom-based student teaching experience. The teacher candidate is assigned an approved school with a certified cooperating teacher, a university supervisor, and a student teaching course instructor. The course includes practical classroom experiences, research and analysis, and teaching duties that support the compilation and creation of a Teacher Work Sample (TWS). Fingerprint clearance required. Prerequisites: Fingerprint Clearance; successful completion of all courses in program of study and content area; senior status; a 2.8 GPA; successful completion of state mandated basic skills and content area exams or Praxis I® (Basic Skills) and Praxis II® (Content Area); Arizona residents are required to take the Arizona Educator Proficiency Assessments. All paperwork for student teaching must be submitted by the due date the semester prior to student teaching.

Program Locations


Join Grand Canyon University’s vibrant and growing campus community, with daytime classes designed for traditional students. Immerse yourself in a full undergraduate experience, complete with curriculum designed within the context of our Christian worldview. New modern classrooms, suite-style residence halls, popular dining options, resort-style swimming pools and a focus on creating a dynamic student life make GCU a top choice for high school graduates and transfer students. Exciting events, well-known guest speakers and Division I athletics round out the traditional student experience. Our welcoming campus community is the perfect place to find your purpose.

* Please note that this list may contain programs that are not presently offered as program availability may vary depending on class size, enrollment and other contributing factors. If you are interested in a program listed herein please first contact your University Counselor for the most current information regarding availability of the program.

Program Domains

* The Department of Education defines how an institution must calculate a program's On-Time Completion rate for federal disclosure purposes. The On-Time Completion rate is based on a program's published required number of months to complete all degree requirements as provided in the institution's catalog. Completion statistics are updated every January and are based on the cohort of students who started the program in the same year and then graduated within the published program length .

On-campus program disclosures (54 months) Additional Disclosures

* Please refer to the Academic Catalog for more information. Program subject to change.