A student actor as Olivia in Twelfth Night
Aziza Gharib, as Olivia, in Twelfth Night
A student actor as Kyle in Unspoken
Peter Bussian, as Kyle, in Unspoken
A student actor as William McKinley in 44 Plays for 44 Presidents
Michael Chen, as William McKinley, in 44 Plays for 44 Presidents
A student actor as Orsino in Twelfth Night
Victor Longman, as Orsino, in Twelfth Night
A student actor as Judith, in Equivocation at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival
Elise Collins, as Judith, in Equivocation at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival
A student actor as Florindo Aretusi, in The Servant of Two Masters
Nate Christensen, as Florindo Aretusi, in The Servant of Two Masters
A student actor as Feste (dressed up as Sir Topas), in Twelfth Night
Ayla Sullivan, as Feste (dressed up as Sir Topas), in Twelfth Night

The Bachelor of Fine Arts degree with a concentration in Acting is the first actor training program of its kind in Colorado; it was founded in 1978. Our alumni have performed on regional and Broadway stages, appeared on network television and in feature films, been admitted to prestigious MFA programs, founded their own theatre companies, and created innovative work around the world. We are Colorado’s original BFA.

Skills You Will Acquire

The BFA in Acting major offers conservatory-style actor training to a limited number of highly motivated and talented students within a liberal arts education on the CU campus. Our students’ individual passions are supported by a rigorous sequence of acting, voice, and movement courses across a range of styles, from the classics to the contemporary. Each class works as an ensemble for three years, exploring the craft and creating work together.

Program Requirements

The Colorado Shakespeare Festival, a professional theatre company in residence at CU Boulder and the second oldest Shakespeare festival in America, hires four Theatre & Dance students every summer as acting interns, through the support of the Dorothy & Carl Nelson Shakespeare Acting Intern Endowed Scholarship Fund. Students are cast in multiple productions alongside professional actors from all over the world. This is an auditioned, paid internship with Equity Membership Candidate points available for all non-Equity actors, and an excellent opportunity to boost a young actor’s professional development.

BFA Requirements BA Requirements & List of Courses Plan of Study

Evaluation of Progress

Students admitted to the BFA in Acting are not automatically entitled to continue toward a BFA degree. Continued enrollment in the BFA Acting concentration is dependent upon an ongoing demonstration of satisfactory progress, as determined by the Acting faculty throughout each semester. Admission into advanced courses will only be with permission from the Acting faculty.


Incoming first-year students are not eligible to audition for the BFA major in Acting. To audition for the BFA in Acting major, students must be enrolled in or have passed Acting 1 (THTR 1003). Typically, students take Acting 1 and audition for the Acting major in their first year, then begin the BFA in their sophomore year.

Admission is based upon talent, academic record, motivation, and demonstration of suitability in the auditions for the major, which are held in the spring semester.

 The next annual auditions for the BFA Acting major will be held on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 10:00 a.m. in the Irey Theatre of the CU Theatre & Dance Building

To apply, please complete the following three steps before Saturday, March 4, 2023.

Step 1: Pass or be enrolled in Acting 1 (THTR 1003).

Transfer students who have taken this course at their prior institution should consult the head of the Acting major.

Step 2: Sign up here for an audition and interview appointment.

  • Please sign up in the earliest slot available.  Otherwise, the open appointment before yours will be skipped and you'll miss your audition.
  • In addition to your individual appointment, you must also attend the ensemble workshop audition on Saturday, March 11, 2023 at 10:00 am in the Irey Theatre, but you do not need to sign up for this workshop.

Step 3: ​​Submit the online application before March 4, 2023.  

This is because the student portion must be completed first, so that your referee can then complete the reference portion.  Required materials include your:

  • acting instructor’s name and e-mail address, so that they can provide your reference. You must confirm this with them in advance
  • cumulative GPA, found on myCUinfo (applicants should maintain at least 2.0, or C-)
  • statement of intention (250 words maximum) describing a significant moment in your life that led you to pursue acting, and your goals for your acting training
  • resume of acting training and experience, no longer than one page
  • headshot (full-page photograph of your face), no larger than 1 MB (Try and PicResize.com > Save As > JPG Max Filesize: 1000 Kilobytes)

If you experience issues with your application, you should e-mail the head of the Acting major.


Auditions are typically held in February or March prior to the first semester of enrollment.

  • 10:00 to 11:00 am
  • Wear clothes that you can move freely in
  • No prepared material is required

  • Prepare two contrasting monologues less than three minutes combined
  • Following your monologues, you will join BFA faculty members for a brief 1-2 minute interview

Peer student coaching for the audition is available. For information, e-mail coloradobfa@gmail.com.

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