Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Ivy League Schools and Theater Majors

It was announced on The Crimson yesterday that Harvard will officially be offering a theater, dance, and media concentration for the next fall semester. Due to high demand from the students, Harvard officially announced the proposal of this major. The institution has so many involved in the arts, so this major will allow those students to incorporate these interests into their core academic study.  Harvard is now the seventh Ivy League school to have a primary degree in theater.

So why did it take Harvard so long to include a theater major in their institution? Princeton is the only Ivy League left to incorporate a theater major, but why haven’t they done so already? Do you think Ivy League schools disregard theater as a “real” discipline of study? I think there is something to say for the fact that Harvard is morphing “Theater, Dance, and Media” into one major, as if those disciplines are not hefty enough to exist separately.



2 comments on “Ivy League Schools and Theater Majors

  1. emkais
    October 22, 2014

    This is interesting! I wasn’t aware of the lack of and eventual incorporation of these programs at Ivy League schools. Admittedly, I’m not familiar with the Ivy League structure. It does seem questionable that they would lump the three into one—and the media portion does seem to follow suit with the trend the art education standards addressed. I am curious to know the course load and the concentration pathway options within the program. However, the cynic in me reads the article thinking the demand for the program is gladly met with a profitable supply.

  2. dianalfreeberg
    October 25, 2014

    It’s not uncommon when a program is first created to see it paired with a more profitable sibling. It’s a safety thing. When Auburn, which is by no means an Ivy, first created their theatre program it was paired with Architecture for close to 30 years. Once the program could stand on its own, it did so. Harvard is most likely following the same path.

    I’ll be interested to see how high their admission to the program is and what enrollment becomes.

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