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How it works

The Bachelor of Performing Arts is a full-time, cohort-based capstone program that enrols 25 students in a fourth year. Students earn the last 33 credits of a 120-credit bachelor’s degree over nine months. To be eligible for admission, applicants will have some post-secondary education and training in at least one performing arts discipline.

In the BPA program, students examine the historical and cultural context of the performing arts in Canada and around the world. They investigate, critique, and challenge the sociopolitical and cultural environment of the performing arts industry – what gets made, why, and how. Students will also extend their experiential knowledge of one or more performing arts disciplines beyond their specific discipline. At the same time, students do practical coursework in fundamental business skills, such as grant writing, founding an arts organization, and individual career development. While doing so, students also form a production company which creates, develops and mounts its own full production – an original, interdisciplinary performance event designed to reflect the creative interests and formal skills of the company members themselves. The program’s 12-credit production phase challenges students to explore, master and apply the interdisciplinary performance theory and skills they have studied, putting it to highly practical use.

There will be considerable variety in the individual educational pathways students follow to be eligible for the BPA program. The program itself is the final (capstone) year, contributing 33 credits towards a bachelor’s degree.

The prerequisites for the BPA are a total of 87 credits of course work as follows:

60 credits (min) of lower level performing arts
6 credits of English
9 credits of Breadth (non-performing classes)
12 credits at the Upper Level (breadth or performing arts)

It is possible to apply for PLA (Prior Learning Assessment) to gain credit for some work/professional experience or education. It is also possible for students to begin the program with one or two qualifying courses outstanding, so long as you can demonstrate a plan to complete these remaining credits. However, the majority of course prerequisites should be met prior to application.

The BPA degree will be awarded to students who, in addition to the admission requirements listed above, complete the additional 33 upper-level credits in the capstone year, thereby bringing their total credits to at least 120, at least 45 of which are at the upper level.

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