Prepare to take the stage

The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting at St. Edward’s University is a competitive program for select students who want to take on artistic training needed to succeed in the field of acting. 

Recognized as “the gold standard” of theater degrees, the BFA in Acting prepares students to compete in the global market or enter a top-tier graduate program. Graduates regularly secure agency representation and work in a variety of markets throughout the country. You'll be surrounded by the best in the business with our location in Austin — one of the nation’s top cities for year-round film production.

  • Develop skills essential for success on stage and on screen
  • Learn every aspect of performance
  • Gain valuable experience participating in our Professional Development Series, including workshops on voiceovers, commercial copy and other media
  • Explore the process of acting, period styles, theater history, play analysis, voice and speech, dialects and movement 
  • Audition for productions where you can participate in the Actor's Equity Association Membership Candidate Program

At the culmination of your studies, you will work in creative collaboration with faculty members to showcase your work for an audience of industry professionals, such as agents and casting directors.

This major is a part of the Performing Arts Department

Degree Plan

Major Requirements: The BFA in Acting requires 66 hours of  major courses, which include core theater coursework paired with acting coursework. 

General Education Requirements: The degree requires 54 hours of general education courses that students complete over four years in addition to their major courses and electives.

View and download the full degree plan for our Acting major (PDF).

A few examples of courses students in this major take:     

  • Performance 1A – An introduction to the process of making meaning through performance, including a historical review of methods of teaching acting and the development of a conceptual vocabulary and a movement vocabulary for use in rehearsal and performance. Introduction to character design and script breakdown. 
  • Acting for the Camera – Development and application of the necessary performance techniques required for film and television acting. Students receive practical experience in front of the camera and are introduced to the unique vocabulary of the medium. 
  • Exploration of Movement – Physical exploration of theatrical movement styles as they relate to performance. Focus is on physical awareness, engagement, breath and approaches to character development.

Faculty and Student Support Services

In my experience, nothing has inspired the creative mind more than an exploration of theatre arts.  They expand the mind and heart in ways that are ineffable. 

Tyler Layton, Assistant Professor of Theatre Arts

We train young artists to be extraordinary in their craft and competitive in their profession.

– David Long, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts

It is such an exciting time to be an actor… stereotypes are breaking down moment by moment.  This can only happen with a shift in the power structure of who produces projects. The industry has a long way to go, but I do feel hope when I tune in or attend a production and see more and more diversified representation of gender, body types, ethnicity, and race. 

– Sheila Gordon, Associate Professor of Theatre Arts

Student Support Services

Along with personal attention and mentorship from their professors, our students have access to offices and programs outside of the classroom that support their success. We encourage students to take advantage these resources that help them thrive and excel:

  • Academic counseling and advising
  • Supplemental instruction and tutoring
  • Career preparation and advising 
  • Writing Center consultation
  • Health and wellness counseling
  • Student disability support

 

 

Learn more about these services.

Outside the Classroom

Students majoring in Acting can explore career paths and practical application of their studies through internships and interactions with the greater Austin community.

On Campus Projects

Not only are students are encouraged to participate in the four Mary Moody Northen Theatre mainstage productions happening throughout the academic year, there are also opportunities to perform with the student organizations Transit Theatre Troupe and Box of Chocolates Improv Troupe.  These student organizations are constantly producing shows and all St. Edward's students are encouraged to participate.

Visiting Artists/Professionals

Guest artists from the world of professional theater, film and television work with faculty and students in production. Students will also have the opportunity to engage in hands-on work in acting, writing, design and directing.

Austin's Theater Scene 

In addition, students in the Theater Arts major are uniquely positioned to take advantage of the variety of arts supported by the vibrant culture of Austin. While studying at St. Edward's, you will be connected to the pulse of a cosmopolitan city. Austin is home to a community of people who appreciate the beauty of human expression. Engaging with the local culture will feed your soul. It's also an epicenter to creativity and attracts world class events. Your immersion in such a colorful art scene will enrich your educational experience and connect you to people who share your passi

 

Alumni Outcomes

Career opportunities with this degree span the entire entertainment industry — including roles in theater, film, television, new media, radio and video gaming. Audition opportunities are more abundant than ever before. Casting agents are accessing a wider pool of talent through digital casting resources. Students in the Acting program at St. Edward's University are prepared to market themselves for both traditional acting opportunities as well as work using new digital technologies. 

Jessica Akin '07 is a middle-school Drama teacher with AlSD.

Aaron D. Alexander '05 makes his living in Austin as a freelance actor, stunt man, and fight choreographer with 10 film credits.

Rachel Dendy '07 works as a free-lance stage manager and seamstress, and is company member of both Paper Chairs and the Austin Playhouse.

Natalie George '02, a former Production Director of the Fusebox Festival, finds frequent employment as a free-lance producer and lighting designer.

Katie Goan '98 is Director of Programming for Sweetwood Productions specializing in producing original entertainment. 

Nitra Elisa Gutierrez '96 is a creative-learning specialist for AISD and founded Changing Lives Youth Theater Ensemble. 

David Higgins '02 is a free-lance lighting designer, electrician and actor--most notably with the tour of Intergalactic Nemesis.

Jarrett King '08 is an actor represented by Collier Talent and a frequent guest at MMNT who is now a professional stage actor in Chicago.

Jenny Larson '00 is an award-winning actress and director and the ArtisticDirector of Salvage Vanguard Theater.

Melissa Livingston-Weaver '00 is an award-winningdirector and co-founder of Chick and a Dude.

 Chris Loveless '00 is a company member of Austin Playhouse.

 Gabriel Luna ’05 has appeared in lead roles in the TV series Matador and Wicked City.

 Elle Mahoney '08 is Production Manager for Emmy-nominated vocal ensemble Conspirare.

 Bianca Malinowski ’07 has appeared in the TV series Nashville and Halt and Catch Fire.

 Annie Bradley McCall '07 is a free-lance stage manager, a props and set builder for Trouble Puppet, and an art teacher for Austin Parks and Recreation's "Totally Cool Totally Art.”