Musical Theatre B.F.A.

SUNY Cortland’s bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) program seeks talented students who aspire to perform professionally after graduation. 

This sought-after major emphasizes studio training and creative work. Expectations include seven semesters of ballet training and working with a voice teacher plus course requirements in acting, spoken voice, theatre history, jazz dance, tap dance and theatre dance. Students are prepared to be working creative artists.

In addition to earning admission to SUNY Cortland, prospective musical theatre majors must audition for the program.

What makes SUNY Cortland special?

Cortland is one of only three SUNY institutions to offer a B.F.A. in musical theatre, having built a program recognized for its contemporary training standards, new facilities and diverse performances.

Proof points include:

  • Student success: SUNY Cortland hosts musical theatre industry showcases in New York City and on campus to highlight current seniors and young alumni. Graduates have gone on to be actors, singers, dancers, choreographers, directors, theatre technicians and educators.
  • Dazzling facilities: Dowd Fine Arts Center, which houses the Performing Arts Department, received a $22 million renovation in 2014. That project included a 400-seat theatre, private practice rooms and many other modern features.
  • Strong faculty relationships: Students share genuine bonds with approximately 20 faculty and staff members from the department. Areas of expertise are far-reaching and include skills such as acting, ballet, piano, voice, technical theatre and more.
  • Individual attention: Musical theatre is the only major offered within the Performing Arts Department, which means all performances are planned to expose students to a variety of experiences, from musicals to classic plays to modern dramas.

About the audition

Prospective musical theatre majors must earn admission to the university and audition for the program.

Program Auditions for 2023-24:

  • Nov 4       On Campus       
  • Nov 11     MARCAS (Mid-Atlantic Regional College Auditions-South)  
  • Jan 27     NYC
  • Jan 28     NYC - Open Call
  • Feb 24     NYC
  • April 6      On Campus

Next steps

Contact Us

Chair: Kevin Halpin
Office: Dowd Fine Arts Center,
Room 216
Phone: 607-753-2811
Fax: 607-753-5728

Fast Facts

  • An audition is required to gain admittance in this program.
  • The department produces a full year of performances ranging from musicals to various ensembles.
  • Past performances have included: “Hair,” “Legally Blonde,” “Spring Awakening,” “The Drowsy Chaperone,” “Rent” and “Sweeney Todd.”

Type of Degree

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.)
Credit Hours: 124


We recognize excellence in our students with awards and scholarships.

  • Charles T. Griffes Award
  • Andrew M. Banse Award
  • Ruth E. Dowd Award
  • Helen Y. Nelson Award
  • Spiegle Willcox Scholarship
  • Adams-Hill Theatre Award

See all scholarship opportunities

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