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Bachelor of Theatre Arts

How do I apply for the Bachelor in Theatre Arts?


Each applicant submits:

  • A UM application form, test scores, transcripts, and your academic teacher and counselor letters of recommendation;
  • Your statement and essays (see below);
  • Your application fee payment.


Writing Requirements

Prepare the writings below in typed, single-spaced format, and upload to your Artistic Profile.

  1. Write a one-page personal statement explaining your personal and professional goals and how a multidisciplinary theatre degree like BTA would aid you in achieving them.
  2. Write a two-page critical essay reviewing a play you have read or have seen performed.  Discuss the play in terms of any of the following: character development, major themes, political context, mise-en-scène.
  3. Using one of the three poems below as a creative catalyst, write a two-page narrative featuring the narrator as the "main character".


    Wislawa Szymborska

    Here are plates but no appetite.
    And wedding rings, but the requited love
    has been gone now for some three hundred years.

    Here’s a fan---where is the maiden’s blush?
    Here are swords---where is the ire?
    Not will the lute sound at the twilight hour.

    Since eternity was out of stock,
    ten thousand aging things have been amassed instead.
    The moss-grown guard in golden slumber
    props his mustache on Exhibit Number...

    Eight. Metals, clay and feathers celebrate
    their silent triumphs over dates.
    Only some Egyptian flapper’s silly hairpin giggles.

    The crown has outlasted the head.
    The hand has lost out to the glove.
    The right shoe has defeated the foot.

    As for me, I am still alive, you see.
    The battle with my dress still rages on.
    It struggles, foolish thing, so stubbornly!
    Determined to keep living when I’m gone!


    Exposed on the Cliffs of the Heart

    Rainer Maria Rilke

    Exposed on the cliffs of the heart.  Look, how tiny down


    look:  the last village of words and, higher,

    (but how tiny) still one last

    farmhouse of feeling.  Can you see it?

    Exposed on the cliffs of the heart.  Stoneground

    under your hands.  Even here, though,

    something can bloom; on a silent cliff-edge

    an unknowing plant blooms, singing, into the air.

    But the one who knows?  Ah, he began to know

    and is quiet now, exposed on the cliffs of the heart.

    While, with their full awareness,

    many sure-footed mountain animals pass

    or linger.  And the great sheltered birds flies, slowly

    Circling, around the peak’s pure denial.—But

    without a shelter, here on the cliffs of the heart.

    Expect Nothing
    Alice Walker

    Expect nothing. Live frugally
    on surprise.
    Become a stranger
    To need of pity
    Or, if compassion be freely
    given out
    Take only enough
    Stop short of urge to plead
    Then purge away the need.

    Wish for nothing larger
    Than your own small heart
    Or greater than a star;
    Tame wild disappointment
    With caress
    Unmoved and cold
    Make of it a parka
    For your soul.

    Discover the reason why
    So tiny human midget
    Exists at all.
    So scared unwise
    But expect nothing. Live frugally
    on surprise.

The application review is a three-step process:

  1. The Admissions Office will screen your application for academic eligibility.  The review will include an examination of your transcript(s), letters of recommendation, and ACT or SAT scores.
  2. If your application passes the initial academic review, the BTA faculty advisor will read your writing samples and make an assesment of the quality of your work. 
  3. The School of Music, Theatre & Dance Admissions Office will make the final determination regarding admission. A letter will be sent to you as soon as that decision has been made.

Is an audition required for the BTA program?

No. The BTA is not a performance or technical training program. It’s designed for students who want to pursue careers such as theatre management or teaching.


School of Music, Theatre & Dance Undergraduate Admissions

UM Undergraduate Admissions

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Photography Credits:

U-M Photo Services

Joe Welsh

Peter Smith

David Smith

Glen Behring

Tom Bower