Music Dance Theatre BFA

Program Purpose


This is a limited-enrollment program requiring departmental admissions approval. Please see the college advisement center for information regarding requirements for admission to this major.

The Music Dance Theatre program at Brigham Young University is an interdisciplinary, limited enrollment program designed to train young performers for a career in musical theatre and related performance disciplines. The program couples professional training with a broad-based liberal arts education rooted in the principles and practices of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Program graduates will be professionally competitive performers in acting, singing and dancing. They will understand, interpret, explain, analyze and assess the history and social impact of the musical theatre art form as well as the popular canon of musical theatre works. Graduates will be committed to intellectual inquiry, self-directed learning and professional growth based on the values of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. Ultimately, graduates will be models of leadership, inspiration, integrity, and achievement in the world of performing arts.

Curricular Structure

Students seeking a BFA in MDT take a mix of courses from three different departments: the School of Music, the Dance Department, and the Theater Department. With added electives, students complete 120 hours for the degree. The specific requirements are listed in the first link below:

Major Academic Plan

Catalog Information

School of Music

Dance Department

Department of Theatre and Media Arts

Fine Arts and Communications College Information

Application Procedures

Learning Outcomes


Professional Skills and Preparation

Students will demonstrate professionally competitive performance skills in acting, singing, and dancing.

Courses that Contribute: DANCE 328 MUSIC 113 MUSIC 161 MUSIC 261 MUSIC 290 MUSIC 320R MUSIC 328 MUSIC 360R MUSIC 426
Linked to BYU Aims: Communicate effectively, Competence
Music Theatre in History and Culture

Students will understand the place of music theatre historically, as well as in contemporary culture and assess their position within this construct.

Courses that Contribute: DANCE 328 MUSIC 261 MUSIC 300 MUSIC 320R MUSIC 328
Linked to BYU Aims: Think soundly, Human knowledge
Spirituality, Ethics, and the Music Theatre Industry

Students will critically examine spiritual values and ethical issues relevant to the music theatre industry and the art form.

Courses that Contribute: MUSIC 161 MUSIC 261 MUSIC 290 MUSIC 320R MUSIC 328
Linked to BYU Aims: Faith and testimony, Think soundly

Evidence of Learning


The MDT program must answer to three national accreditation organizations, one each for music, dance and theatre. This continual assessment and adjustment of curriculum with NASM, NASD, and NAST keeps the MDT program vital and relevant to the educational needs of the students. To help students in their progression in the discipline, proficiency examinations are conducted in each of the three areas at the end of each semester. Students are required to pass at least two proficiencies each semester. If a student fails in two or more of the areas in a semester, they will be given a probationary semester to work towards improving their skills. If a student fails two or more proficiency examinations the following semester, major status will be terminated. Failure to take the proficiency examinations in each area will require the student to re-auditon for acceptance into the major. Proficiency exam results are available within one week of the exams from the College Advisement Center. Students who have failed or who have received a probation rating in any of the three disciplines will be notified by mail within two weeks of the proficiency exam. Proficiencies provide an opportunity for faculty to observe student progress and for students to receive feedback from faculty members. Senior interviews are scheduled before graduation providing an opportunity to give feedback to the MDT Steering Committee. This feedback is thoroughly considered and appropriate action is taken each fall as the Steering Committee evaluates the feedback received. Alumni are also asked to provide feedback on an annual basis at the New York Showcase performance.

Assessment Tools: Direct Measures

Music Dance Theatre faculty champion subjective, critical, assessment tools that measure student learning in academic disciplines. Such traditional tools include, but are not limited to:

  1. In class performance assessments
  2. Journals
  3. Performance proficiencies/juries
  4. Written examinations
  5. Written research papers
  6. Quizzes
  7. Monitoring academic progress through the College Advisement Center
  8. Exit interviews with first and second year MDT students

The interdisciplinary MDT faculty further recognize many traditional assessment tools do not adequately and objectively measure learning in the realm of creativity, inspiration, and originality. Other assessment tools, which endeavor to determine student progress in these more intangible performance areas, include, but are not limited to:

  1. Increased objectivity facilitated through faculty representing each of the three performance disciplines in selected performance and academic courses.
  2. Carefully and specifically designed evaluation rubric for each performance discipline.
  3. Immediate verbal and written faculty assessment of in-class performances.
  4. Student assessment of in-class performances.
  5. On-campus public performances with feedback from faculty, students, and published sources.
  6. Faculty assessment of off-campus performances.
  7. Faculty adjudicated performance proficiencies in all three disciplines.
  8. Evaluation of performance in private lessons.
  9. Faculty assessment during mandatory auditions for on-campus performance groups and productions.
  10. Professionally engaged faculty offering a knowledgeable industry perspective to students.
  11. Professional guest artist feedback for students in master classes.

Indirect Measures

Indirect evaluations include reviewing the following information:

  1. Feedback from industry professionals attending the New York Showcase
  2. Professional activity within the musical theatre industry by MDT alumni
  3. Student evaluations
  4. Alumni Questionnaire
  5. Senior Survey
  6. AIMS survey
  7. Student focus groups
  8. Class journals
  9. Daily writing assignments
  10. In class discussions
  11. Essay exams

Learning and Teaching Assessment and Improvement


The MDT Faculty Steering Committee meets weekly to analyze and evaluate the program status. Reports are made to the MDT Executive Committee which is comprised of two Department Chairs and the Director of the School of Music once each year. An annual report to the College Curriculum Committee brings the college up to date on any adjustments and improvements in the curriculum during that academic year.