Prepare to work as a performer in all recorded media — film, television and new media — as well as on stage.
Prepare to work as a performer in all recorded media — film, television and new media — as well as on stage.

»B.F.A. in Screen Acting

The lights go down. Hushed voices fade as the dark screen comes to life. Suddenly, your face appears on the screen — larger than life — speaking the words it took you days to memorize… but only three takes to satisfy the director. The audience laughs-- just at the right moment. The movie title appears with your name above it.

If you dream of seeing your face on the big (or little) screen, then Chapman University’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts is the place to be. While there are many acting programs out there, no other college or university offers a B.F.A. in Screen Acting designed to prepare you to work as a performer in all recorded media — film, television and new media — as well as on stage.

Offered cooperatively through Dodge College and the Chapman University Department of Theatre, part of the College of Performing Arts, the Screen Acting degree will help you meet the current demands of the motion picture and television industries as well as the evolving opportunities on the Internet and through mobile media, which may use computer-generated digital effects demanding specialized green screen and motion-capture performance techniques. No other acting program can provide you with that kind of range, which, of course, translates to better marketability.

The tightly integrated B.F.A. program provides flexibility, too. You could focus on screen acting, and also appear in a number of plays. Or never be in a play, just a lot of films. And there’s nothing like being a part of Dodge College, where you’ll collaborate with students who are just as passionate about storytelling, and looking to you to contribute great things to their productions. You’ll perform on a real sound stage, on location or even in a virtual world, then watch yourself on a big screen surrounded by an audience of your biggest fans. And unlike most acting programs, when you’re finished with us, you’ll have a reel of your best work to show the industry you’ve got what it takes.

+-You'll Study

Along with firsthand experience in acting for the screen combined with a broad liberal arts education, you’ll study:

  • Traditional acting techniques with a strong emphasis on techniques specific to working in front of a camera
  • The fundamentals of visual storytelling, screenwriting, directing and editing
  • How to work with a director and be part of the collaborative team

+-Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the Screen Acting program, students will:

    •    Demonstrate an understanding of the processes for preparing and executing an acting role in a variety of situations and styles

    •    Possess an understanding of story structure, story analysis, and character analysis

    •    Possess an understanding of the development of filmmaking, theater, and acting aesthetically and historically

    •    Possess adequate technical proficiency to understand your collaborators and manage your careers

+-Degree Requirements

Core requirements (57 credits)

TH 100

Introduction to Theatre Technology

TH 105

Theatre Practicum (2 semesters, ½ credit each)

TH 111

Introduction to Performing Techniques

TH 112

Acting Fundamentals

FTV 130

Introduction to Visual Storytelling

FTV 140/140L

Introduction to Film Aesthetics/Lab

TH 170

Creating Theatre: From Page to Stage—the Art of Collaboration

TH 218

Character Building for Performance

TH 230

Screen Acting I

FP 239

Directing I

FS 244/244L

History of Film (to 1945)/Lab

FS 245/245L

History of Film (1946-present)/Lab

TH 311

Voice Production and Techniques I

TH 317

Movement for the Performer

TH 330

Screen Acting II

TH 379

Text Analysis and Scene Study for Performance

SCAC 383

Screen Acting in Production Workshop

SCAC 483

Thesis in Screen Acting Workshop

additional requirements

one of the following (3 credits)

FP 115

Editing I

SW 227

Screenwriting Fundamentals


12 credits of the following

FP 115

Editing I

TH 210

Acting Shakespeare I

SW 227

Screenwriting Fundamentals

FP 315

Editing II

TH 315

Acting Styles

FP 325

Art and Craft of Foley and ADR

SW 327

Feature Screenwriting I

TH 333

Acting for Television Workshop

TH 335

Actors and Filmmakers Workshop

SW 357

Film Script Analysis

CRPR 360

Overview of Producing

TH 388

Directing for the Theatre I

TH 389

Directing for the Theatre II

TH 410

Acting Shakespeare II

TH 411

Voice Production and Techniques II

TH 417

The Business of Acting

TH 476

The History of Acting in American Film from 1890-1970

FTV 490

Independent Internship

TH 490

Independent Internship

TH 497

BFA Showcase

additional electives (6 credits)


Upper-division electives (300-400 level courses)

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