Note: the major requirements have recently changed. The new requirements below apply to students expecting to graduate in 2027 or later.  Majors in the classes of 2024, 2025, and 2026 should read the following page for modified requirements that now apply to them.

Requirements for majors in the classes of 2024, 2025, and 2026 | Major Requirements | Amherst College


Theater and Dance majors are responsible for completing the following requirements.

Course Requirements

Majors complete 11 courses minimum, offered or approved by the department. Selections must be distributed across course levels, and in other specific categories. This includes:

  • at least three 100-level courses.
  • at least four 200-level courses.
  • at least two 300- and/or 400-level courses.

And also, must include:

  • at least one 100-level course in collaborative and improvisatory techniques (e.g., THDA 110 or THDA 111).
  • at least one course in a physical performance practice (e.g., acting or dance/movement)
  • at least one course in design
  • at least three courses in critical and contextual studies

Focus Area

In collaboration with their advisor, each major chooses courses to support achievement in a focus area. While not all courses counting toward the major should apply to a focus area, about seven of the minimum eleven courses should be chosen with a major’s focus area in mind. (See Pathways Through the Major.)

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Requirement

As part of the major requirements, at least one of your courses must focus is on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion. For more information about this requirement, see Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Production Service Requirements

Majors must 

  • serve at least two times in a crew role for a departmental production; and 

  • serve at least one time in a creative support role for a departmental production. 

Examples of crew roles include back-stage crew, lighting or sound operator, and costume crew.  
Examples of creative support roles include stage manager or assistant stage manager, dramaturg, 
assistant director or choreographer, designer or assistant designer. 

Majors may elect to receive academic credit for their service. However, only one full course (or two half-courses) in this area may be counted toward fulfilling the 11-course minimum requirement for the major. Majors may also elect to complete production service without receiving academic credit, as long as service is completed successfully.

Season Planning Requirement

All declared majors participate every year in a collaborative planning process for the following year's performance season. This process involves a number of meetings in the fall semester, and final meetings early in the spring semester.  As part of this process, majors will be required to reflect on their prior year's learning. In addition, in concert with season planning, junior majors wishing to pursue optional senior honors work will complete senior project proposals by early in the spring semester.

Comprehensive Requirement

To satisfy the comprehensive requirement of the Theater and Dance major--and to be certified as having completed the major--students must complete the requirements in all three areas: course requirements, production service requirements, and the season planning requirement.

Declaring the Major

Prior to declaring the major, a student must successfully complete the required 100-level course in collaborative and improvisatory techniques (e.g., THDA 110), and also serve in one production service role.  Students considering majoring must also confer with a faculty member about a possible focus area before declaring. (See Getting Started in the Major.)