The B.A. degree in Theater & Performance Studies (TAPS) requires the critical and historical study of theater as well as the study and experience of performance. A total of 60 units are needed to obtain a B.A. degree in TAPS. The major provides aesthetic and critical opportunities for students to develop vital intellectual and creative skills. Students are encouraged to declare a major in their sophomore year.
To schedule an appointment with our student services officer, Justin Higinbotham, please email TAPSstudentservices@stanford.edu.
For a full list of degree requirements, CLICK HERE.
60 units total for the major
A course may be listed in more than one area; however, each course can only satisfy one major requirement. There is no double credit for a course. Additionally, students may petition the department Undergraduate Advisor to have additional courses offered by the department count towards requirements in areas 2, 3, and 4. TAPS 1 MUST be taken for a LETTER grade.
1. Core—4 units (required)
TAPS 1. Introduction to Theater & Performance Studies
2. Theater and Dance Studies—16 units
a)An Identity and Diversity course such as TAPS 110, 153W, 160N or 172 (4 units, required)
b)Any courses between TAPS 150-169, DANCE 160-161
3. Performance Practice—14 units
a)TAPS 30. Introduction to Designing Theater (4 units, students must take TAPS 30 or 101P)
b)TAPS 101P. Introduction to Devising Theater (4 units, students must take TAPS 30 or 101P)
c)Dance courses between DANCE 30-149
d)Acting courses between TAPS 20-29, 103-105, 120-129, 203, 201V, 210
e)Design courses between TAPS 30-31, 34, 39D, 42, 131-133, 137, 140, 231-240
f)Directing and Playwriting courses between TAPS 70-79, 170-179
4. Production—8 units
TAPS 34. Stage Management Techniques (3 units)
TAPS 134. Stage Management Project (3 units)
TAPS 39. Theater Crew (2 units)
5. Electives (approved by Undergraduate advisor)—14 units
Any course in TAPS or Dance.
6. Senior Project—4 units
TAPS 200. Senior Project
All TAPS Majors must complete a Senior Project that represents significant work in any area of theater and/or performance. The project must be an original contribution and can consist of any of the following: devising a performance, choreographing a dance, stage managing a production, designing a large theater work, performing a major role, writing a play, directing a show, or researching and writing a senior essay. Work for this project normally begins in Spring Quarter of the junior year and must be completed by the end of the senior year. Students receive credit for senior projects through TAPS 200. A minimum of 4 units is required, but additional units are available for larger projects. Students pursuing senior projects must submit a two-page proposal to a faculty advisor of their choice, which must be approved by the Undergraduate Advisor and the department faculty no later than the end of Spring Quarter of the junior year.
For more specific information on the B.A. degree, visit the TAPS section of the current Stanford Bulletin.
For a select number of students, the department confers the degree of Bachelor of Arts with Departmental Honors in Theater & Performance Studies. To be considered for departmental honors, students must meet the following requirements in addition to the other requirements of the TAPS major:
1. Application involves a written submission (including transcript) establishing the student's work to date in the department and outlining the area of research that the student wishes to pursue. Students must have at least an overall university GPA of 3.3 and a 3.5 GPA in courses counting towards the major.
2. Students must have completed half of the courses in their specialization by the end of their junior year.
3. Students complete 4 units in the honors colloquia (TAPS 202), beginning Spring Quarter of their junior year and continuing the following three regular quarters. Each quarter's colloquium is offered for 1 unit, S/NC. In extenuating circumstances (overseas study, for example), an honors program student may substitute other equivalent work for one quarter of the colloquium, with the approval of the honors adviser.
4. By the end of the sixth week of the quarter in which they plan to graduate, students in the honors program must submit an honors thesis (described below), to be read and evaluated by their thesis committee.
6. On the basis of a student's work in the TAPS core, in the area of specialization, on the senior project, in the honors colloquia, and on the honors thesis, three faculty readers determine and confer honors on graduating students who have successfully completed the honors program.
7. Entry into the Honors program does not guarantee an Honors degree. The final decision to confer an Honors degree will be made by the student's thesis committee, upon evaluating the quality of the Senior Project and the thesis.
Honors Colloquia and Thesis— The honors colloquia aim to engage honors program students in important issues in the field focusing on the students' areas of specialization and research. The honors program adviser convenes the colloquia three times per quarter and sets the agenda for meetings and discussion. Students discuss their work in the department and present and discuss their research for their honors thesis.
The honors thesis typically consists of a long essay (40-60 pages) presenting the student's research on an important issue or subject, determined by the student. The honors program adviser, the senior project adviser, and another faculty member constitute the student's honors thesis committee. They read and evaluate the thesis, and make recommendations to the faculty at large regarding its strengths and weaknesses. Additionally, students have the option of using their own senior project as a case study. In these situations, the honors thesis will critically analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the creative work. Generally, these essays tend to be shorter (about 20-25 pages) because the creative work constitutes one-half of the honors project.
The Department of Theater & Performance Studies does not admit students directly to its program; all undergraduate applications are handled centrally by Stanford University. Students interested in applying for undergraduate admission should visit the Undergraduate Admissions webpage atwww.admissions.stanford.edu for more information.
However, the undergraduate application does include an optional Arts Supplement submission. Students with extraordinary talent in the fine or performing arts who intend to participate and/or study in one of the arts areas (even if not majoring in the arts) may submit supplementary materials for review. Such applicants are expected to have previously received significant recognition for their talent, usually at the regional, state, national or international level. Submitting an Arts Supplement neither guarantees nor commits a student to participation in the arts at Stanford if admitted, nor does non-submission preclude such participation.
In order to have your Arts Supplement considered in the review of your application, you must submit the Common Application, the Stanford Supplement to the Common Application, the Common Application Arts Supplement, and all supplementary arts materials (Instructor Letter of Recommendation, Arts Resume, and other materials as required by discipline) by the Arts Supplement deadline (October 15 for Restrictive Early Action, December 1 for Regular Decision, and March 15 for Transfer students). If you are requesting a live audition, be sure to indicate “Live Audition” on the Common Application Arts Supplement form and contact our department to schedule your audition. Please review detailed instructions and deadlines for the Arts Supplement here.
While TAPS does offer live auditions as part of the Arts Supplement process, we realize that visiting campus on the selected dates is not always possible for students. If students cannot audition on campus, a DVD may substitute for a live audition.
Audition dates for the Fall of 2013 will be announced soon.
For more information, please email our student services officer.
All students should bring a resume of their theater experience.
- Designers should bring examples of their work in a portfolio and be prepared to discuss them.
- Students interested in directing should be prepared to discuss their approach to a particular play and ideas for production.
- Actors should prepare two selections, each under two minutes long.
- One should be from a contemporary play with a character close in age to you;
- The other should be classical, such as a Shakespearean monologue or excerpt from a Greek or Roman work.
- In addition, students may prepare a song, although there will be no accompanist provided.
Please note that the Arts Supplement is one small piece in the overall application process. A submission can never hurt your chances of acceptance to the university, though it also does not guarantee admission. Stanford is interested in admitting intellectually curious and well-rounded students from a diverse range of backgrounds: if the central Admissions Office is weighing two very similar applications, an Arts Supplement may add extra weight in your favor.