Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre program prepares students for life as working artists in the musical theatre field with fully developed skills in music, dance and acting. Practical training and creative experiences are coupled with an interdisciplinary liberal arts curriculum and a foundation in theatre history and theory.  In their senior year, students in the Musical Theatre program may audition to participate in the Musical Theatre Showcase in New York City. The Showcase experience enables students to perform for prospective casting directors, managers and agents An audition is required for admission into the Musical Theatre program. 


For those aspiring to a career in Musical Theatre, Kent State offers a program designed to train talented young men and women in an intensive interdisciplinary study of music, theatre, and dance. In recent years, there has been an increased demand in the professional world for trained singer/actors who have well-developed movement and vocal skills as well as dancers who can project their voices, establish a believable character, and "sell" a musical number. Kent State's Musical Theatre program was created to train such "total performers," who feel comfortable with today's diverse musical forms and demands.

Kent State is currently one of the few schools in Ohio that offers a program encompassing these three major disciplines. The program at Kent was one of the first established programs of its kind in the state. The course work consists of 129 semester hours in the humanities, social sciences, natural and physical science, and fine and professional arts. The basic concentration is composed of courses in each performance discipline.

In addition students are required to participate in co-curricular productions prepared for the public. Musical theatre students will be evaluated at the end of their freshman, sophomore, and junior years to help them review past accomplishments and set future goals.

Like any program, the proof of its effectiveness lies in the work and accomplishments of its alumni. Kent's Musical Theatre BFA program has alumni in New York, Chicago, and California, as well as some who are furthering their training in MFA programs throughout the United States. We at Kent State firmly believe that our Musical Theatre program offers solid intellectual training for the dedicated future theatre artist. We also work hard to further the growth of our program and students.

The faculty of this program is comprised of members from each specific performance discipline. Working together, they train students within the structures of each individual art form while they facilitate the student's understanding of each specific art's unique interdependency within the Musical Theatre format.

Terri Kent, Musical Theatre Coordinator

The BFA Musical Theatre Program is coordinated under the leadership of Terri Kent, Professor and Artistic Director of Porthouse Theatre, Kent State University’s professional summer venue. She is a member of Actor’s Equity Association, SAG/AFTRA, the Society and Choreographers union and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.  Directing credits include:  Big River, Brigadoon, South Pacific, My Fair Lady, Oliver and Oklahoma (Porthouse Theatre); Cabaret and Children of Eden (Halle Theatre); Bye Bye Birdie, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Little Shop of Horrors, and Damn Yankees (Cain Park); and Godspell, Side show, Chicago, The Fantasticks, and Guys and Dolls (Kent State University). Terri Kent can be reached at

Learn More About Terri Kent

Career Opportunities

The Musical Theatre program allows students to embark on a life of performance in the areas of acting, music, and dance. Alumni of Kent State University's Musical Theatre program have worked in local, regional, national, and international performance venues including Broadway, London's West End, and in film and television. Graduates of the Musical Theatre program also go on to careers as directors, composers, choreographers and educators.

Admission and Audition Requirements

General Admission for Freshman Students

Students most likely to be admitted and succeed at the Kent Campus are those who have graduated with at least 16 units of the recommended college preparatory curriculum in high school, who have achieved a cumulative high school grade point average of 2.5 or higher (on a 4.0 scale), and whose composite ACT score is 21 or better (980 combined critical reading and math SAT score). For more information on admissions, visit the Admissions website for new freshmen. 

Apply for Freshman Admission to Kent State

General Admission for Transfer Students

Generally, a transfer applicant who has taken 12 or more semester hours with a college cumulative GPA of at least 2.0 on a 4.0 scale may be admitted. An applicant who has taken fewer than 12 semester hours will be evaluated on both collegiate and high school records. For more information on admissions, visit the Admissions website for transfer students. 

Apply for Transfer Admission to Kent State

School of Theatre and Dance Application and Musical Theatre Program Audition 

Students that wish to enroll in the Musical Theatre program at Kent State University must also complete a separate application for admission to the Musical Theatre program and participate in a Musical Theatre audition.

Musical Theatre Application and Audition Requirements

Degree Requirements

Students in the Musical Theatre program must complete a minimum of 124 credit hours and maintain a minimum 2.5 GPA in major courses and overall 2.0 GPA to graduate. The Musical Theatre program can be successfully completed in 4 years (8 semesters) if an average of 15-16 credit hours are taken per semester. 

In addition to 36 credit hours taken in Kent Core requirements, Musical Theatre majors can expect to take courses in musical theatre performance, voice, making theatre, fundamentals of production, dance, acting process, music theory, script analysis, piano, character and scene study, and theatre history. Students must demonstrate continuing progress and are thus evaluated annually through auditions, coursework and production responsibilities. Students are also required to complete practicum classes and a capstone project. Students are required to audition for all MainStage theatre productions and accept roles if cast. The B.F.A. candidate is expected to develop theatre, vocal and/or dance skills equal to entry-level positions in the profession or as expected for admission into Master of Fine Arts programs.

View Musical Theatre Program Roadmap

View Musical Theatre Program Requirements

Read Musical Theatre Program Etiquette Policy