A student actor is wrapped in ribbons held by other actors
The Adding Machine, 2017
A group of women sing together
Spring Awakening, 2020
Two students stand apart with their hands up towards each other while a line of shoes in on the floor beneath them
We Are the Wake, 2018
Three students hold dolls and kneel before two others who look on
The Long Christmas Ride Home, 2017
Several student actors hold luggage and a few wear sunglasses
Into the Woods, 2019

The University of Colorado Department of Theatre & Dance houses the Bachelor's- Accelerated Master's (BAM) Degree Program in Theatre. This is an accelerated degree track aimed primarily at high-achieving undergraduates who may be planning to pursue a Ph.D. at another institution or who wish to challenge themselves in advanced critical thinking.


The Bachelor’s–Accelerated Master’s (BAM) degree program offers currently-enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate students pursuing a bachelor's degree in Theatre the opportunity to earn a BA and MA in a shorter period of time. Students receive the bachelor’s degree first, but begin taking graduate coursework as undergraduates (typically in their senior year). A student can enter as a freshman Theatre Major and graduate with a BA in Theatre and an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies within a five-year period (dependent upon criteria described below). A student writing an Honors Thesis may use that project as the basis for developing the MA thesis, though this is not mandatory. 

Benefits of the BAM

Because some courses are allowed to count towards both the bachelor’s and the master’s degrees, students receive a master’s degree in less time and at a lower cost than if they were to enroll in a standalone MA program after completion of their BA degree. In addition, staying at CU Boulder in a bachelor’s–accelerated master’s program enables students to continue working with their established faculty mentors.


Interested students should apply for admission to the BAM by December 15 of their junior year.

Admission and Program Requirements

  • Junior year: Apply for BAM by December 15
  • Fall semester of senior year: Begin BAM program
  • End of senior year: Mid-Program Review
  • Spring semester 5th year: Write and defend thesis (thesis track)
  • Spring semester 5th year: Take/defend written exam (non-thesis track)
  • End of 5th year: Graduate with BA and MA

Minimum standards for admission require a cumulative GPA of 3.0 and completion of all MAPS deficiencies. Interested students should apply for admission to the BAM by December 15 of their junior year.

The admissions process consists of the following:

  1. A complete BAM Application for Admission
  2. An unofficial transcript
  3. A 5-10 sample of scholarly writing

Applications should be turned in to the Graduate Program Assistant. The Graduate Admissions Committee reviews applications for the BAM. Students will be notified of acceptance or denial by the end of February.

BA/MA students are required to complete the BA degree program requirements as well as the courses outlined in the Accelerated Master's tab in the CU Catalog. All graduate level coursework applying towards the graduate degree must be taught by members of the graduate faculty holding current Graduate Faculty appointments.

The 5-year Theatre BAM program has a thesis track and a non-thesis track. These two track options are outlined in detail in the MA Degree Plans section of the CU Catalog. 

In addition to traditional paths of a general BAM in Theatre and Performance Studies, we offer two additional optional emphases. Students are also welcome to propose and design their own emphasis for their BAM with their advisor.

1. Applied Theatre/Arts in the Community

List of possible courses, taken as electives

  • DNCE 5048: Performance and Community Engagement
  • THTR 5049: Problems in Theatre: Performing Voices of Women
  • DNCE 5901: Graduate Technique/African Dance

Students wishing to emphasize Arts in the Community with their BA/MA are advised to get involved with additional opportunities.

Additional Opportunities

2. Dramaturgy

List of possible courses, taken as electives:

  • THTR 5051: Special Topics in Theatre: Contemporary Theatre
  • THTR 5061: Seminar: Asian Performance
  • THTR 6007: Colorado Shakespeare Festival Dramaturgy
  • THTR 6011: On-Stage Studies: Global Ancient and Classical Theatre
  • THTR 6021: On-Stage Studies: Shakespeare
  • THTR 6031: On-Stage Studies: American Theatre
  • THTR 6041: On-Stage Studies: Modern Theatre
  • THTR 6091: Production Research and Practicum Dramaturgy Dramaturg for department shows in Theatre or Dance or for non-campus productions (with faculty approval)

Additional Notes on Coursework

  1. Students taking coursework not applying toward the degree may do so for a letter grade, no credit, or pass/fail. If taken for a letter grade, the course will be calculated in the student’s graduate GPA. If taken pass/fail, a failing grade will be calculated into the GPA.
  2. Once accepted to graduate status a student may not register for more than 15 hours per semester, fall or spring. A student may not register for more than six hours in one five-week summer term or more than ten hours in one summer session. These limitations are set by the Graduate School.

  1. Students who are admitted to the concurrent degree program may not pursue a double degree or double major of any other kind.
  2. Issues of satisfactory academic progress, petition/appeal, transfer credit and grievance shall be monitored by the Theatre Director of Graduate Studies regarding departmental major requirements and minimum standards of achievement. In addition, the Dean of the Graduate School will consider appeals and review standards regarding Graduate School or university requirements and will confer with college Deans as appropriate for issues that cross undergraduate/graduate or school/college lines of authority.
  3.  Concurrent degree students may not participate in the Time Off program. Exceptions may be granted only after consideration by the Dean of the Graduate School based on a review of extenuating circumstances.
  4. Time limits for the concurrent degree program will generally be 5 years as specified in the departmental guidelines. Extensions of time limits will be approved only after consideration by the Dean of the Graduate School based on a review of extenuating circumstances.
  5. Minimum cumulative GPA for all students enrolled in the concurrent degree program must be maintained at 3.0 for the duration of the program. The Graduate School will be responsible for monitoring the minimum standard and notifying students who are placed on probation. Concurrent degree students may not be admitted to a Ph.D. program prior to completion of both the Bachelor's and the Master's degrees.
  6. Students are awarded the undergraduate and master's degrees simultaneously at the completion of the concurrent degree program.
  7. Concurrent students who are permitted by their department and the Graduate School to double count courses toward both the bachelor’s and the master’s degrees, as allowed by the approved concurrent degree proposal, may not use those overlapped courses toward a subsequent Ph.D. at the University of Colorado Boulder.
  8. Students in the concurrent degree program are generally not eligible for TA/RA appointments within the department.  
  9. Appeals related to the automatic change to graduate status may be considered in some extenuating circumstances. Information on this process can be found on the Registrar's site. All other appeals of, or requests for exceptions to concurrent degree standards, rules or policies of the departments, schools/colleges will be reviewed by the Dean of the Graduate School.

Each BAM student will undergo a Mid-Program Review at the end of the senior year in which the faculty will determine if that student is eligible to continue in the BAM program. A student will be considered eligible to continue upon meeting the following minimum standards and criteria:

  • completion of 120 hours
  • completion of the department and School/College requirements for the undergraduate degree
  • maintenance of a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better as required by the individual department
  • maintenance of full-time status with the completion of 24 credits per year

To comply with Title IV Higher Education regulations, students pursuing a BAM degree will automatically be changed to graduate status after the completion of 130 credit hours. Note: a student may be taking graduate courses prior to this formal admission into the Graduate School.

It is important to note that transfer and advanced placement hours are included when determining the total credit hours completed. Students at graduate status are assessed graduate tuition rates and are no longer eligible for the College Opportunity Fund (COF). In addition, graduate students receiving financial aid are considered “independent” and are no longer eligible for aid requiring undergraduate status.

Students who want to advance to graduate status before completing 130 hours, but after completing all undergraduate requirements, should submit a Mid-program Review and Recommendation for Advancement to Graduate Status Form.

If a student withdraws from the program and completes the requirements for the bachelor’s degree as described in the policies, they may receive a bachelor’s degree. Any students not recommended for continuation in the concurrent degree program will be eligible to complete their bachelor's degree. If a student wishes to pursue a regular master’s degree or a doctoral degree after withdrawing from or completing this program, they must apply and be admitted to the Graduate School

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