Speech Communication and Theatre Arts (BA)

Arts and Sciences
Performing and Fine Arts
HEGIS Number: 1506

The Online Bulletin is for information purposes only. Current students must complete the requirements as outlined in the York Bulletin as applicable.
Course Descriptions
Course descriptions can be found in the online PDF version of the Bulletin

Program Mission

As a fundamental element of the humanizing process inherent in a liberal arts education, the Speech Communication and Theatre Arts major seeks to address the theory and practice of human communication, in its various settings and across diverse cultures, to foster students' abilities to think critically and communicate creatively, and to train students in the written, physical, and technical skills of interpretive performance and rhetorical arts.

Students may pursue an emphasis in either speech communication or theatre arts. Each concentration includes tracks of study designed to provide students with both a solid liberal arts foundation while preparing them for graduate work in all areas of speech communication and theatre including rhetoric, communications studies and theory, journalism, public relations, media studies, acting, acting for television, theatre history, and technical production design in scenery, costuming, sound and lighting.

Program Goals

  1. Demonstrate graduate entry level proficiency in one or more technical and/or physical aspects of the theater and speech communication including, but not limited to, acting, directing, design (sets, lighting, costumes, sound, scenic painting, props), and stage management and/or research, organization, and presentation of material as producers and consumers of speech and communication.
  2. Integrate creative conception and execution with modern cultural relevancies and/or the historical foundations of theatre and/or speech and rhetoric including major authors, periods, movements, key historical concepts, theories, and applications.
  3. Lead in the creation of a theatrical presentation and/or communication projects which demonstrate professional standards, judgments, ethics, discipline, and an appreciation for the production necessities, responsibilities, and collaborative nature of theatre and/or the intrinsic practices and productions of speech communication scholarship.
  4. Employ graduate level critical writing and/or listening skills of creative work, theatre history, literature and/or speech and communicative texts and presentations with the creation of logical argument, well-founded ethical research, and/or judicious and insightful criticism.
  5. Develop an evocative, creative career-driven purpose and/or professional goals by establishing a relation between one's artistic creativity or managerial skills and/or speech and communication research, expression, and analysis with meaningful interdisciplinary study, societal application and community outreach, ethical awareness, and/or business studies, economics, or scientific inquiry, befitting the breadth of career possibilities within the communication field and the understanding and motivation of a global citizen.

Speech Communication and Theatre Arts BA


Major Discipline Requirements


Required Speech Communication and Theatre Arts Courses

SPCH101Oral Communication in Contemporary Society 
SPCH182Voice and Diction 
TA210History of Theatre 
TA211Basic Acting 
SPCH303Ethics & the Freedom of Speech 

Speech Communication/Theatre Arts

Choose one of the following: 
SPCH490Independent Research 
TA490Independent Research 

III. Speech Communication/Theatre Arts Electives

Students must concentrate in either Speech Communication or in Theatre Arts and complete at least twelve of their eighteen elective credits in the Concentration that they have declared. (A total of 12 credits of Speech Comm/TA coursework must be at the 300-level or higher.) 

NOTE: Although Speech Communication students may take as much Theatre Arts practica as they please, no more than 6 credits of Theatre Arts practica may be applied toward the fulfillment of the Speech Communication Concentration; however, Theatre Arts students may apply 9 credits of Theatre Arts Practica toward the fulfillment of the Theatre Arts Concentration. Theatre Arts practica courses currently include TA215-19.

Majors in Speech Communication/Theatre Arts must fulfill their General Education Requirements in a discipline other than their major.