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 PhD 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.

  • Junior year: Apply for BAM by December 15
  • Fall semester of senior year: Begin BAM program
  • End of senior year: Graduate with BA degree
  • End of 5th year: Graduate with MA degree

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 submitting the following:

  1. An online BAM Intent Application
  2. An unofficial transcript
  3. A 5-10 sample of scholarly writing
  4. A 1-2 page cover letter discussing your research interests, your motivation for pursuing graduate studies in our department, and any faculty you might wish to work with. This is the space to highlight important information from your material you would like us to pay close attention to, including the qualifications, skills, and experience that make you well-suited for this program. Demonstrating clarity of purpose is extremely important. The cover letter should be double-spaced and no more than two pages in length.

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 Bachelor’s Accelerated Masters Coursework (BAM) section of the MA in Theatre & Performance Studies Handbook.

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 Bachelor’s Accelerated Masters Coursework section of the MA in Theatre & Performance Studies Handbook

  1. All graduate level coursework applying towards the graduate degree must be taken for a grade and taught by members of the graduate faculty holding current Graduate Faculty appointments.
  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.



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