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Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Frequently asked questions about our programs and facilities.


Visits to TDPS

Where is the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies located?

The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) is located in the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, at the corner of Stadium Drive and Route 193. The office is located in the back of the building on the second floor. Turn right after Applause Café, then go through the double doors and turn left.

2810 Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center 
University of Maryland  College Park
Maryland 20742-1610

Visits to the School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies should be arranged at least one week in advance. We are glad to provide a tour of the facilities and answer your questions about our curriculum and activities. Email Susan Miller at to schedule a visit.

The University of Maryland sponsors a "Visit Maryland Day" each semester. This is an open house for prospective students and their families. Throughout the day there are information sessions, student panels and tours of campus, so you can experience Maryland live and in person. If you would like to attend one of these programs, please make reservations at least one week in advance by calling 1-800-422-5867 or visiting Undergraduate Admissions on the web. Fall sessions are specially geared towards high school juniors and seniors; spring sessions are specially geared to students offered admission. All prospective students are welcome to join the TDPS Open House Session from 11 a.m.-noon as part of the "Visit Maryland Day" event. Visits to the campus can also be arranged through the Visitor's Center.

The University of Maryland can be reached by air (Washington Dulles, Baltimore Washington International, and Reagan Washington National), train (Metrorail, MARC, Amtrak) and automobile. Once in the Washington area, College Park is easily accessible by Metro and Shuttle-UM will take you to the campus. For driving directions to the campus call (301) 314-MAPS. You can also visit the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center website for directions and parking information.

Undergraduate degree questions

How do I declare my major as theatre or dance? Are there auditions?

If you’re applying to the University of Maryland, simply indicate that your desired major will be theatre or dance. If you’re already a student at Maryland, follow the directions for how to declare your major on academic program pages for theatre or dance.

There are no auditions to gain admission into our undergraduate programs.

Are there undergraduate minor programs?

The School of Theatre, Dance, and Performances does not offer minors in theatre or dance.

The College of Arts & Humanities offers a minor in arts leadership, which provides students with the opportunity to acquire the practical and strategic skills to become leaders in the arts, as artists, entrepreneurs or cultural leaders. Find more information on the arts leadership minor program page.

Can I double major?

Most TDPS students double major. Majors range from Communications, Business, Kinesiology to Engineering, Animal Sciences or pre-professional tracks in Dentistry, Law, Medicine, etc. With a B.A. program in both dance and theatre, students are better able to double major and still graduate in 4
years. Students are required to meet with a TDPS academic advisor each semester, and it is highly
recommended that students meet with all major advisors each semester to keep on track with
graduation goals.

Variables that may affect graduation goals include: number of credits transferred with AP, IB, dual
enrollment and transfer classes, number of credits taken each semester, when students declare the
second major, and in some cases what the double major is. For example, students in Engineering
may need to stay an extra semester or two and/or take summer classes.

Please take a look at the course requirements for the B.A. programs in theatre and dance.

What does Major course work look like with a double major?

There are set courses for first-year students to take for both the dance and theatre majors. Usually 2-3 classes each semester. See sample academic plans for dance and theatre. After your first year, your schedule may look different based on your other major, your goals, and your interests. Your TDPS academic advisor is here to help you make those decisions and guide you! Each semester will be a bit different. We usually recommend students take two classes each semester for their TDPS major, two for their other major, and 1-2 Gen Eds a semester. Gen Ed and major classes can overlap, so there is a way to double/triple dip classes for degrees.

How many opportunities a year are there for performances?

There are about 14 performances each year. 4-5 theatre main stage productions, which are directed by faculty or guest directors, 5-6 dance main stage productions—including M.F.A. Dance Thesis Concerts, Fall Dance Concert and Spring Dance Concert. In addition, there are Experimental Performance Series student productions, which are all student-run, for both dance and theatre.

Can I audition for a production if I’m not a theatre or dance major? When are the auditions? 

Auditions are open to all UMD students.
Theatre auditions are held the semester prior to the production. Fall shows are cast in March; spring shows are cast in October. Students can audition for spring shows in the fall semester of their freshman year.

Auditions for dance performances are held the first Friday of classes in both the fall and spring semesters. Faculty, graduate students and visiting artists attend these auditions.

Does participating in TDPS productions confer course credit?

Yes! For main stage productions, students can earn course credits to count towards their TDPS major.

If I am currently a University of Maryland student and I want to take a theatre or dance course, how can I do that?

For theatre classes, you need to wait until the first day of classes. If there are any seats free, you can go to the class and ask for the professor’s permission to take the class. If you gain permission, email Susan Miller at or stop by her office room 2808 for an electronic stamp on your student schedule to be able to sign up.

Most dance major classes are open to non-majors when space is available, providing the student has completed any prerequisites for those classes. In some cases, non-majors may need to wait until the first week of classes to add a class to ensure room in the class for incoming freshmen and transfer students.  A few of the classes may fill regularly with dance majors.

Could you describe what a sample four-year curriculum would look like? How many students
are so far enrolled in the program?

There are set courses for first year students to take for both the dance and theatre majors. Usually 2-3 classes each semester. See sample academic plans for dance and theatre. After your first year, your schedule may look different based on your other major, your goals, and your interests. Your TDPS academic advisor is here to help you make those decisions and guide you!

What is the average class size?

  • Theatre performance classes are usually 12-16 students.
  • Dance studio classes can be 10-18 students.
  • Design/production classes are about 8-10 students.
  • TDPS foundation classes/history tend to be larger, with about 15-25 students.

What styles/choreographers is UMD dance most influenced by?

There is a variety of modern techniques and influences taught by dance faculty. In addition, we have visiting artists here for 1-2 years, guest teachers and guest choreographers. You can see faculty bios for more detailed information.

How many hours a week does a typical dance major dance?

This depends on the number of dance classes you take each semester and on rehearsals. Typically, modern dance and choreography classes are three days a week for 1.5 hours. Ballet classes are twice a week, and other classes tend to take place twice a week. A typical freshman semester, students will be dancing 5 days a week for 2-3 hours. Rehearsals for productions will take place in the evenings 2-3
days a week.

Do you have a musical theatre program?

No, we do not offer a musical theatre major. However, we do offer musical theater classes, which allow students to focus on musical theater, as well as participate in musicals that are part of the TDPS Main Season. There is also the option to minor in voice through the School of Music.

How often does UMD perform main stage musicals?

We produce a musical once every other year.

What kinds of opportunities are there for students interested in technical theatre?

Design/production students are able to work closely with design faculty and graduate students to work as assistants of main stage productions, and as lead designers for Experimental Performance Series productions. Stage management students will work closely with our production manager and take stage management classes in order to work as ASMs and SMs for theatre, dance and opera productions. All of this work is done for course credit to count towards your theatre or dance majors.

What are some career outcomes for TDPS majors?

Graduates of TDPS pursue a wide variety of careers upon graduation! Career paths include: acting, stage management, design, performance, choreography, education, physical therapy, law school, medical school and arts management. Others become freelance artists and then apply to M.F.A. programs in acting, stage management, design, dance, choreography and more.


How do I work for the shops, ticket office or front of house at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center?

Undergraduate students are eligible to work at the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center. Find out more on their website.

Can I borrow from or donate items to the Costume Shop or the Properties Shop?

Please get in contact with the Costume Shop at (301) 405-6689 or the Props Shop at (301) 405-2535 to find out more information.

Can I reserve the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center spaces?

Please call the Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center Scheduling Office at (301) 405-8176 for theater rentals. To rent theater or dance studio space, visit our rental spaces page or contact Jocelyn Callister at

Can I reserve theater or dance rehearsal rooms? 

To rent theater or dance studio space, visit our rental spaces page or contact Jocelyn Callister at

How can I get tickets to theater or dance productions?

Call the Ticket Office at (301) 405-ARTS (2787) or visit The Clarice website.