<Undergraduate Courses and Programs
General Information for Fine Arts Students
York's Department of Theatre, with 22 full-time faculty members teaching more than 60 half- or full-year courses for majors, is the largest theatre department in Eastern Canada. Because of the department's location in Metropolitan Toronto, students have access to Canada's biggest concentration of English-language professional theatre companies and artists.
The Department of Theatre offers BA, BA Honours and BFA Honours degree programs, providing students with different approaches to achieving their own theatrical goals. (For information on the MFA in acting, directing and playwriting or the MA/PhD in theatre studies see the Faculty of Graduate Studies calendar.)
All students must be evaluated by the department before being admitted. Students with credits from other postsecondary institutions may possibly be placed in first- or second-year courses, depending on their background and ability. Admission to courses above the first-year level is usually by audition, portfolio and/or interview, with the student's work in first year both within the department and the University given particular emphasis. Advancement within the department is based upon demonstrated proficiency in one or more aspects of theatre and a satisfactory academic standing as defined in this calendar. It should be noted, however, that a satisfactory academic standing in itself does not guarantee admission to any course. Be aware that the study of theatre requires a special commitment and demands enormous amounts of time and energy.
The first undergraduate year is a foundation year for theatre majors to learn about all aspects of theatre, to get involved in both acting and backstage work, and to understand theatre as it existed in other times and places. In this year, students must also complete several courses in other areas of the University. In their remaining years, students may choose a broad program of study or apply to follow a more specialized option in acting, creative ensemble, production, design, playwriting and dramaturgy, criticism, dramatic literature, educational theatre or theatre history.
Most majors take far more than the minimum number of courses in theatre and, for that reason, the department recommends completing the general education requirements as soon as possible. The BA Honours degree, which is usually chosen by those considering graduate study and careers in teaching or writing, requires at least 48 credits in theatre with a majority of these in theatre studies. The BFA Honours degree for professionally-oriented students in acting, directing, playwriting and dramaturgy, production and design allows students to take up to 81 credits in theatre, the majority in studio. Detailed regulations and programs of study are available in the Faculty of Fine Arts section of this calendar and in the department's handbook.
Students pursuing an Honours degree in the Faculty of Arts may combine a 42 credit or 48 credit Honours major in an arts discipline with a second major in theatre (theatre studies or production streams only). Honours degree students in the Faculties of Arts, Environmental Studies, Science and Engineering or Fine Arts may also qualify for a 30 credit theatre minor in theatre studies or theatre production. For details contact the department.
Department classes and productions are only part of the excitement of studying at York University. The Centre for Film and Theatre provides a focus for most departmental activities. Winters College is a designated fine arts college and home for many students. Professionals from across Canada, the US, England, France, Eastern Europe, China and other countries have come to York University to share their vision and expertise.
Three-credit courses usually meet three to six hours a week for one term. Six-credit non-studio courses meet either three or four hours a week for the whole academic year. Six-credit studio courses meet either six or eight hours a week for the whole year. Additional rehearsal and/or crew hours are often required. Not every course listed here is offered every year.
Faculty of Fine Arts