First Year Focus

For additional guidance, view the: First-Year Resources [pdf]

Getting Started in the Theatre Major

Most students in the theatre major begin in the fall as first-year students in the major. There is a cap of 100 students per class, so there is often a waitlist to gain entry to the major. If you are interested in learning more about the theatre major, and how to get on the waitlist, contact John Haas at j-haas@northwestern.edu.

First Year Theatre Classes

First year theatre students take required theatre classes, referred to as the First-Year Rotation, and Distribution Requirements in WCAS.

The Theatre First-Year Rotation

As a first-year theatre major you are required to take four courses over the course of your first year: 

  • Theatre 140-1, “Theatre in Context,” which includes a separate discussion section. This is an introductory course to the theatre as it is being practiced today. All first-year students will take this course during the Fall Quarter.
  • Theatre 140-2, “First-Year Seminar.” This is an academically focused class that emphasizes research in the history and criticism of theatre, essay writing, and class discussion. You will be assigned to take this course in either the Winter or Spring Quarter.
  • Theatre 140-3, “Production in Context.” This is a theatre production techniques class. It involves serving on a Run Crew, which requires a considerable time commitment for work during weekends and evenings. You will be assigned to take this course either the fall, Winter, or Spring Quarter.
  • Theatre 140-4, “Voice for Performance,” which includes a separate lab section in Movement for the Stage. This is a technical course that introduces you to voice and movement training for the contemporary stage. You will be assigned to take this course in either the Fall, Winter, or Spring Quarter.

IMPORTANT:  The quarter you are enrolled in Theatre 140-3, you cannot be involved, in any way, in another production. This is a hard and fast rule.  It covers both student productions and Theatre Department productions.  The Theatre Department enforces this regulation with no exceptions, because the time commitment for 140-3 is huge. Be sure to remember this as you craft your class schedule and plan your co-curricular activities for the year.  

Distribution Requirements

Your second goal for your first year at NU should be to work towards completion of your distribution requirements.  The distribution requirements are the liberal arts classes that all students in the School of Communication must complete to receive a bachelor’s degree.  There are three categories of distribution requirements: Math/Science/Technology; Individual and Social Behavior; and Humanities and Fine Arts. 

AP and IB Credit

AP and IB credits may be applied to the SoC distribution requirement with certain restrictions. The Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences determines what scores will earn what credit at NU. If your credit is not yet posted, have your scores sent from the College Board to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

Once your AP/IB credit is posted to your transcript, it can be applied to your distribution requirements as follows:

  • One AP/IB credit in each of the three areas: Math/Science/Technology; Individual and Social Behavior; and Humanities and Fine Arts
  • An additional six AP/IB credits may apply as additional distribution classes
  • A final credit may count as an elective
  • The maximum total number of AP or IB credit that may apply is 10

Sample Schedule

Here is what a sample first-year theatre schedule might look like.  

Fall: 

Theatre 140-1 (Theatre requirement)      
Theatre 140-4 Voice for Performance (Theatre requirement)      
Elective I: Philosophy 110       
Elective II: Diversity of Life

Winter: 

Theatre 140-2 (Theatre requirement)
Elective I: Sociology 110
Elective II: Advanced Calculus
Elective III: English 

Spring:  

Theatre 140-3 (Theatre requirement)
Elective II:  Psychology
Elective III:  American History
Elective IV:  Reading and Writing Poetry

Again, this is just a sample schedule.  The term in which you will take your required first year theatre courses (Theatre 140-1, 140-2, 140-3, and 140-4) will vary according to how you’ve been assigned to take them.

Advising

If you have any questions about the theatre major, contact one of our theatre advisors:

Catherine Carrigan, C-carrigan@northwestern.edu

John Haas, J-haas@northwestern.edu

Roxane Heinze-Bradshaw, roxane.heinze-bradshaw@northwestern.edu

Ben Hilb, benjamin.hilb@northwestern.edu

 

Getting Started in the Dance Major

As an undergraduate in dance, you’ll study composition and choreography in depth as you are challenged to write, research, and analyze the field of dance. At the same time, you’ll continue to develop your dance skills with technique classes and performance opportunities.

The foundations of our dance program are contemporary modern dance, which includes the vibrant Jump Rhythm Jazz style, along with ballet and tap. You’ll examine the body in motion, explore collaborations in dance and music, and improvise dance as you develop your own vocabulary for composition and choreography.

Our faculty include award-winning professional dancers, choreographers and renowned researchers and scholars of dance history, theory and education. Guest artists lead master classes in a variety of forms and styles.

The dance and liberal arts curriculum is designed to foster your intellectual, artistic and professional growth and prepare you to pursue career opportunities in performance, dance writing, education, choreography, dance therapy and administration.

What Classes are Appropriate for First-Year Students?

The core courses for the dance major and the dance minor are the same. If you are interested in either program, the 101 series is a great place to start. You do not need to take 101-1,2,3 in order; however, 101-3 is a prerequisite for 225.

Core courses (4 units):

101‐1 Movement Awareness

101‐2 Dance in Context

101-3 Introduction to Improvisation

225 Dance Composition

You may also begin by taking technique courses in the department. Contact the dance program at nu-dance@northwestern.edu for information about placement classes (held in the spring and fall) and registration.

Distribution Requirements

The distribution requirements are the liberal arts classes that all students in the School of Communication must complete to receive a bachelor’s degree.  There are three categories of distribution requirements: Math/Science/Technology; Individual and Social Behavior; and Humanities and Fine Arts. 

AP and IB Credit

AP and IB credits may be applied to the SoC distribution requirement with certain restrictions. The Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences determines what scores will earn what credit at NU. If your credit is not yet posted, have your scores sent from the College Board to the Registrar’s Office for processing.

Once your AP/IB credit is posted to your transcript, it can be applied to your distribution requirements as follows:

  • One AP/IB credit in each of the three areas: Math/Science/Technology; Individual and Social Behavior; and Humanities and Fine Arts
  • An additional six AP/IB credits may apply as additional distribution classes
  • A final credit may count as an elective
  • The maximum total number of AP or IB credit that may apply is 10

Questions?

Contact Dance Advisor Roxane Heinze-Bradshaw at roxane.heinze-bradshaw@northwestern.edu.