Sep 18, 2020  
2020-2021 Catalogue 
    
2020-2021 Catalogue

Bachelor of Fine Arts, B.F.A.


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General Requirements (Students who entered prior to Fall 2020, and transfer students entering in Fall 2020)


1. A minimum of 31 course credits. No more than two 100-level courses maybe taken in the senior year without the permission of the Academic Standing Committee. No more than four All-College Independent Study course credits (280/380,289/389,290/390,297/397,299/399) may be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirement for this degree.

2. First-year Program

  •  FIRST-YEAR SEMINAR: Enrollment in any course with an “FYS” designation on the Course

Schedule, during the first Block of the first year.

  • FIRST-YEAR WRITING COURSE: Any course with a “W” designation on the Course Schedule, taken in the first year.

3. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

4. A minimum of 10 courses from outside the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance, to include a writing-designated course (W) and two* humanities courses (not counting the W course) from at least two of the following groupings: (1)English and Foreign Language; (2)History; (3)Philosophy; (4)Religion; (5)Art; and (6)Education. *Students will complete a third Humanities designated course within the department.

5. Foreign Language: Credit for one of the following: (1) French, German, Greek, Japanese, Latin, Russian, or Spanish 103; (2) one course above 103 in the target language if students test above 103 through an examination administered online prior to New Student Orientation; international students whose native language is other than English satisfy this requirement through completion of or exemption from the English as a Second Language program.

6. Music Theory: MUS 110  and MUS 210  (may require MUS 101  to prepare)

7. Vocal Pedagogy: MUS 308  

8. Vocal Diction: MUS 207  

9. Conducting: MUS 306  (the Music department is lowering the pre-requisite to MUS 210 ).

10. Dance: THE 282   and THE 283  and THE 284   

11. Acting: THE 115  and THE 310  and either THE 332  or THE 333  

12. Voice and Movement: THE 216  

13. History of Musical Theatre: THE 344  and MUS 217    

14. Play Analysis: THE 201   

15. Design and Production: THE 107    or THE 108    

16. Completion of a senior capstone experience. Intended to be a showcase performance to be completed during spring break of final year of study in Chicago at McLennan Center.

17. A grade of “Pass” on all parts of the Piano Proficiency Requirement. 

  • All BFA candidates must pass the Piano Proficiency Requirement by the end of the sophomore year. If this requirement is not passed by this time, the student must take applied piano (MUS 761  or MUS 762 ) until the requirement has been passed. The requirement consists of six components: performance of a prepared work; scales; arpeggios; sight reading; lead sheet reading; and accompanying. A student may pass the requirement in segments. 

18. A grade of “Pass” on all parts of the Aural Proficiency Exam, level 2. 

  • All BFA candidates must pass the Aural Skills Proficiency Requirement through stage 2. Students will be tested in the following Aural Skills areas: intervals, chords, scales, melodic dictation, harmonic dictation, and sight singing. These topics will be taught both within the required Music Theory courses, as well as in a longer-term self-paced, computer-program-assisted, proficiency-based mode.

19. Voice lessons: Two credits selected from MUS 781 , MUS 782 , MUS 783  

20. Dance ensemble: One credit (four semesters) of THE 755  

21. Acting ensemble: One credit (four semesters) of THE 756  

22. Chorus: One credit (four semesters) of MUS 712  

23. Production practicum: One and one half credits total to include four quarter credits of either THE 715  or MUS 718 , one quarter credit of THE 750 , and one quarter credit of either THE 751 , THE 752 , or THE 753 .

24. Audition is required for entrance to the degree program. Students may audition more than once. Incoming students may audition at any time prior to arriving on campus. Existing students may audition annually in the spring for entrance the following year (NOTE: No courses are restricted to BFA students, so students may begin pursuit of this degree at any time).

25. BFA Musical Theatre students are required to audition for all Cornell musical theatre productions, and must accept their assigned role. Special exceptions may be granted for offcampus study conflicts and/or special circumstances by the joint agreement of the director andprogram heads.

  • A student who enters Cornell with no Foreign Language and Music Theory would have to complete 31 credits to complete the degree (requiring MUS101 and three blocks of language).  A student who came to Cornell with Foreign Language proficiency and was prepared to enter MUS 110 would also complete 31 credits (these students simply have the ability to choose three additional courses).

Note: Students are not allowed to earn both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Students are also not allowed to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Music degree.

General Requirements (First year students who entered Fall 2020 or later)


  1. Admission Requirements
    Audition is required for entrance to the degree program. Students may audition more than once.  Incoming students may audition at any time prior to arriving on campus.  Current students may audition annually in the spring for entrance the following year. 
  2. Degree Requirements

a. A minimum of 31 course credits. No more than four All-College Independent Study course credits (280/380, 290/390/490, 296/396/496) may be counted toward satisfying the minimum credit requirement for this degree. 

b. A cumulative grade point average of 2.0 or higher.

c. Foundations: All-College Seminars

i. First Year Seminar- (Block 1 and Student Success Component in Blocks 1-3. 1 credit) All first-year, first-time college students will enroll in a First-Year Seminar (including those who have earned an AA degree while in high school). All transfer students with less than 7 credits will enroll in a First-Year Seminar. Credits granted to students from examinations cannot be counted towards the total credits needed to exempt a student from a First-Year Seminar.

ii. First Year Writing Seminar (1 credit): Topically based courses, with some common elements, taken in a student’s first year, and focused on the further development of academic writing skills.  Through both informal and formal writing, students will focus on the process of writing, explore writing techniques and strategies, reflect on their work, and use the revision process to develop and communicate their ideas more effectively. Students are only allowed to earn credit for one first-year writing seminar. 

iii. Sophomore Year Seminar Citizenship in Practice (Block 1, 1 credit) All students who will have less than 14 credits at the end of the spring semester will enroll in a Second-Year seminar. Credits granted to students from examinations cannot be counted towards the total credits needed to exempt a student from a Second-Year Seminar. Students who will have 14 or more credits at the end of the spring semester are not required to take the SYS, but may choose to take an SYS if they have not already earned credit for one. Students are only allowed to earn credit for one SYS during their time at Cornell.  

  • Topically based courses encouraging citizenship in practice by focusing on informed, creative problem-solving of real-world issues through disciplinary or multidisciplinary approaches.These courses may include community engagement and/or hands-on experiences such as field trips, off-campus study, service learning, simulations, performances, installations, exhibits, or lab work.SYS courses do not have prerequisites.

d. Explorations Requirements: A minimum of 10 courses from outside the Department of Music and the Department of Theatre and Dance, including the First Year Seminar, the First Year Writing Seminar, and:

i. Two Humanities Courses - From at least two of the following groupings: (1)English and Foreign Language; (2)History; (3)Philosophy; (4)Religion; (5)Art; and (6)Education.

e. Essential Abilities- (Can also be counted toward major/minor requirements or electives and/or Explorations requirements)

        i.  Writing- 2 credits Intensive and/or Encounter coursesAt least one course must be within one of the            student’s majors. In addition to the All-College Seminars that emphasize writing, students must also take                  two Writing Intensive and/or Encounter Courses. Students must take one of these designated Writing courses              within one of their majors.

ii. Intercultural Literacy-1 credit Intensive Course or 2 credits Encounter Courses Intercultural literacy is the possession of knowledge, skills, and dispositions needed to appropriately and effectively include, communicate, cooperate, and collaborate with diverse individuals in a variety of settings.  In Intercultural Literacy-designated classes, students focus on developing intercultural literacy, communication and critical thinking abilities, and understanding power structures, in order to prepare them for local and global citizenship.  Courses focus on identifying and comparing cultural patterns and the relationship between experiences, ideologies, and culture; focusing on cultural self-awareness, cultural knowledge, and intercultural communication.

iii. Foreign Language-Demonstration of foreign language competency at the 103 level or above.  (Students who take the language placement test and place into the 205 level or above have demonstrated competency at the 103 level and are considered done with the foreign language requirement). International students whose native language is other than English satisfy this requirement through meeting the admissions requirements.

3. Ingenuity in Action-2 Experiences among 6 Categories (can be from the same category and can include      capstone).

The Ingenuity in Action program encourages students to apply their knowledge and understanding, to expand their education beyond the classroom walls, and to find connections among the many activities they engage in. Students must complete two experience selected from the following categories (Civic Engagement, Creative Expression, Global Connections, Leadership, Professional Exploration, and Research).The Ingenuity in Action program requires a reflective component to encourage students to be intentional and form connections among their educational experiences.

4. Ingenuity ePortfolio: Creating My Story-0 credit (Pass/No Pass)  

All students will develop an ePortfolio to curate and reflect on their Cornell experiences.Development of the portfolio is an ongoing process and embedded in curricular and co-curricular work. Metacognitive reflection on learning encourages students to take ownership over their education and to embrace opportunities for improvement in an ongoing, developmental way. The expectations for the portfolio aim to reinforce the college’s educational priorities, as well as students’ ongoing progress throughout their Cornell education.

5. Major Requirements

  a. Music

i. MUS 110 (Music Theory I)

ii. MUS 210 (Music Theory II)

iii. MUS 217 (Opera)

iv. MUS 207 (Vocal Diction)

v. MUS 308 (Vocal Pedagogy)

vi. MUS 306 (Conducting)

vii. A grade of “Pass” on all parts of the Piano Proficiency Requirement

viii. Voice lessons: Two credits selected from MUS 781, 782, 783                           

ix. Chorus: One credit (four semesters) of MUS 712 (Choir)

  b. Dance:

i. THE 282 (Jazz Studio I)

ii. THE 283(Musical Theatre Dance)

iii. THE 284 (Ballet Studio I)

iv. Dance ensemble: One credit (four semesters) of THE 755 (Dance Performance Adjunct)

  c. Acting:

i. THE 115 (Basic Acting)

ii. THE 201 (Play Analysis)

iii. THE 216 (Voice and Movement)

iv. THE 310 (Acting Studio)

v. Either THE 332 (Advanced Acting) or THE 333 (Advanced Acting)

vi. THE 344 (History of Music Theatre)

vii. Acting ensemble: One credit (four semesters) of 756 (Acting Ensemble Adjunct Course)

viii. Production practicum: Six quarter credits of either THE 715 or MUS 718, one quarter credit of THE 750, and one quarter credit of either 751, 752, or 753.

  d. Design and Production:

i. THE 107 (Stagecraft) or THE 108 (Costume Construction)

  e. Capstone Experience: Completion of a senior capstone experience. This capstone is intended to be a showcase          performance completed during spring break of the final year of study. This capstone meets the Ingenuity in Action                requirements of the College.

  f. Production Requirements:  BFA Musical Theatre students are required to audition for all Cornell musical theatre            productions and must accept their assigned role.  Special exceptions may be granted for off campus study conflicts            and/or special circumstances by the joint agreement of the director and/or program heads.  Note: Students are not              allowed to earn both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Students are also not allowed to earn a        Bachelor of Fine Arts and a Bachelor of Music degree.

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