Study Theatre and Acting at the University of Montana

Learn the art and craft of acting at the premier theatre arts school in the Pacific Northwest. As the largest accredited theatre program in the region, we provide the opportunities and resources you want — large scale productions and state‐of‐the‐art studios and performance venues — combined with small classes, individualized learning and personal mentorship to help you achieve your best.

At UM, you’ll benefit from numerous performance opportunities, including professional experiences with the Montana Repertory Theatre, a touring Equity company and our theatre‐in‐residence at the University of Montana. You’ll also develop skills in your interest areas through a wide range of classes in directing, physical performance, musical theatre and more.

Graduates of our acting degree have gone on to perform and direct on and off Broadway, in films, television and radio, at prestigious theatres and performance venues around the world.


productions per year, on average


degrees available: BA, BFA, MA, MFA


student to faculty ratio

Other degree options for theatre at UM

What can you do with an acting degree?

While acting is a competitive profession, it’s one that offers diverse and richly rewarding opportunities to those who have a passion for the craft. Earning your bachelor’s in theatre will give you an edge in landing a part, particularly in stage productions. The problem‐solving, communication and creative thinking skills you gain as an acting major also apply to many different types of careers.

Acting jobs

Our graduates go on to a variety of acting and theatre jobs, from working on TV shows to performing on Broadway or with regional theatre arts programs. Here are a few examples of careers for majors in acting:

  • Actor
  • Director
  • Teacher
  • Voice actor
  • Dramatist
  • Choreographer
  • Dancer
  • Community arts director
  • Drama therapist

Acting salaries

How much can you make with an acting job? According to, the range for acting salaries typically falls between $47,547 and $70,447, with an average nationally of $57,698. The average annual pay for voice acting jobs in the United States is $76,297.

Video: Acting at UM's School of Theatre and Dance

Discover the opportunities available at UM’s School of Theatre and Dance and what these experiences mean to our students.

Lily Gladstone, a graduate of our theatre program, was recently cast in Martin Scorsese’s next film, “Killers of the Flower Moon” alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. Bobby Guiterrez was seen in a recurring role in the series, “Perry Mason,” while David Errigo has been active in his voiceover work, recently providing the voice of Ferb in the animated show “Candace Saves the Universe.”

Experiential learning in the acting degree

When you major in acting at the University of Montana, you’ll have outstanding opportunities to perform, create and develop a solid professional portfolio that will help you land jobs. From working on mainstage theatre productions and film projects to writing and directing short plays for student‐produced festivals, our acting and theatre majors participate in a variety of activities each semester.

Performance and community outreach in the acting degree

Participate in School of Theatre and Dance productions (ranging from dance concerts to original works to award‐winning musicals), as well as professional opportunities with the Montana Repertory Theatre. Our acting and theatre major also offers numerous service-learning opportunities, such as community-based projects or teaching and performing in local schools.

Study abroad for acting majors

International programs offer exciting opportunities to take your acting studies overseas, explore new cultures and gain first‐hand experiences that will enrich your life and your education. Learn more about study abroad opportunities for acting and theatre majors.

Career development in the bachelor's degree in acting

Personal mentorship and individualized training can go a long way toward helping you prepare for a successful career in acting and the theatre arts. At UM, we’re here to support you every step — from your first day of acting classes to graduation and beyond.

Faculty experience and mentorship in the acting program

Our faculty have wide-ranging skills and professional experiences and are well respected internationally. Many have worked for professional theatres around the world and have published important articles and books in the world of theatre arts. Our faculty also serve in key leadership roles with professional organizations such as NAST, ACTF and USITT.

Student organizations for acting majors

Develop your craft, grow your professional network and make new friends through opportunities offered in our active student organizations. Our student clubs produce scripts, plays, dance performances and more to develop skills beyond the classroom.

Theatre scholarships

We award $30‐40K in scholarships each year to students in the theatre degree program. Work‐study opportunities in the theatre office, box office and shops are also available. Learn more about theatre scholarship opportunities at UM.

Explore classes in the theatre acting major

Our curriculum includes classes in directing, voice for the stage, physical performance, musical theatre, theatre history, performance theory and drama education. We also offer many special‐topic courses designed to suit the needs of our acting majors.

View all classes for the bachelor's degree in acting.