The Department of Theater and Dance encourages creative self-expression and critical thinking via intensive, conservatory-style training for actors and dancers, as well as general studies focused on Dance, Design, Directing, Playwriting, Theater and Community, and Performance. Our faculty members combine research in their specialties with teaching, actively mentoring students. Dance is an integral part of our department, and is approached as a theatrical endeavor.

Undergraduates choose whether to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree or a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in either Theater or Dance, making ours one of few universities in the country that offer a BFA in these performing arts.

In a typical year, students live what they learn as we produce five main stage drama productions and two modern dance concerts. Our performances span the periods and styles we teach, ranging from the classics to contemporary dramas, from comedies to original works. There are also student directed one-act plays, and dance studio presentations. We invite you to learn more about our performances.

UCSB Dance majors take us into the life of a well-rounded dance student at UC Santa Barbara.

Two BFA acting students take us inside their daily lives as students and performers in the Department of Theater and Dance.


UCSB has the distinction of hosting the only Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program in theater and dance offered by the University of California. . . .

Earning a BFA in performance requires a rare level of commitment to a process that unfolds at once rapidly — the days and weeks are packed with hard work — and slowly, as young actors are encouraged to mature and to hone their skills in a sequence of precisely formatted experiences that stretch over three full years.
— Charles Donelan for the Santa Barbara Independent, "From Good to Great with the UCSB BFA Program in Theater"