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BWW Blog: BA vs BFA

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No degree is better than the other, it is just personal preference!

BWW Blog: BA vs BFA

So you've chosen to major in theatre...now what? Now, it's time to choose what kind of degree you want to study towards! Many schools will have the option to study for a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). It can be difficult to understand the difference between the two, the benefits of each and which is the right choice for you. Personally, I chose to study for my BA, but I am going to explain each degree to hopefully help you along this difficult decision!

Before you even choose whether you want to study for a BA or BFA, you first have to decide what you want your focus to be. Some schools will only have the option to study with a general theatre major. However, other schools have focuses and concentrations that you can choose from, such as musical theatre, acting, direction, stage management, technical theatre etc. For this article, I am going to focus on just the general theatre degree, as that is what I know best, but this can apply to any concentration!

Now that you've chosen your focus, it is now time to choose whether to study for a BA or a BFA. I'll start with a BA, since that's what I am studying! A BA is a more broad-based program. This is perfect for students who have an interest in theatre, but also may want to double major or minor in another field. It is less extensive than the BFA program, but you will still be taking the core theatre classes. This is also great for people who want to be theatre educators. The biggest benefit to the BA is that you usually take classes in all elements of theatre, not just one. If you're like me and have an interest in many different fields of theatre, then this is perfect for you! For example, I am taking classes in acting, directing, stage management, costume design, lighting design, audio design, etc. You will also have space to try out other electives in completely different fields. The BA allows you to not be limited to only one field and helps you become more well-rounded. You may even find a passion that you never noticed before!

On the other hand, the BFA program is considered a more prestigious degree in the arts field. It is a more intensive program that is focused on pre-professional training. Once you pick your concentration, the majority of your classes are focused on that aspect of theatre. If your focus is acting or musical theatre, you will most likely take studio classes and other conservatory-style classes. BFA's are typically highly selective and are audition-based. It is a very rigorous and challenging program but it will prepare you for a professional job in theatre. The BFA allows you to gain an impressive degree that will give you as much experience and training in theatre as possible!

No degree is better than the other, it is just personal preference! They usually have the same credit requirements, take the same amount of time and you will still take gen-eds with both degrees. The choice revolves around your personal career goals and interests! Overall, both are good options and I wish you the best of luck on your journey to making this decision!


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From This Author Student Blogger: Holly Stefanik