Make Your Statement: Find an Audience with Performing Arts

Are you a theater geek with a flair for the dramatic? Do you thrive in front of an audience? Are you looking for a major or career that allows you to exercise your passion for creative expression and storytelling?

If so, the performing arts might be for you.

The performing arts is a category that includes music, dance, and theater. Many performing arts students choose to specialize in just one discipline; however, it’s possible to elect to study multiple, or even all three (the so-called “triple threat!”).

Whichever aspect(s) of the performing arts you choose to study, you’ll enjoy a uniquely hands-on education in which you’ll learn the finer points of creative expression, artistic history and theory, and performance production. You’ll also gain valuable translatable skills that will help you carve out a career in a variety of industries.

Depending on which performing arts discipline you choose to major in, your coursework will likely include subjects such as acting, technical theater, stage management, theater history, choreography, dance technique, voice and/or instrument lessons, and more.

Claflin dance students rehearsing

Claflin University

Careers in Drama, Performing Arts, Dance and Photography

There’s a common misconception that becoming an actor/musician/dancer is the only career open to performing arts graduates. While a performing arts degree will certainly set you up for success in those areas, becoming a professional performer is by no means the only option available to performing arts graduates. As a performing arts major, you’ll learn storytelling and communication techniques, aesthetics and design, creative thinking and collaboration skills, and more.

These, combined with the general education requirements that most colleges have, will make you a valuable candidate in a variety of fields. Below are a few of the careers you might consider as a performing arts major:

  • Actor/actress
  • Musician
  • Dancer
  • Comedian
  • Composer
  • Choreographer
  • Graphic designer
  • Set designer
  • Technical director or theater technician
  • Teacher
  • Screenwriter
  • Dance or movement therapist
  • Theater
  • Studio or theater manager
  • Producer
  • Propmaster
  • Casting director

Want to learn more about performing arts as a possible major or career path?
Have questions about which UNCF colleges and universities offer this program?
Looking for help with financing this degree?

Click Here so We can Help You!

How to Prepare for Success

Students interested in the performing arts should do as much as they can to explore and hone their creative talents leading up to high school. Taking courses in drama or theater, dance lessons, and voice or music lessons can help to build your foundation in your chosen discipline. In addition, participating in school or community theater productions, dance recitals, and bands or choirs will help build your performance and collaboration skills.

Lane College art project

Lane College

UNCF Schools to Consider

Multiple UNCF-member schools offer degrees in the performing arts, including:

PPA logo

Professional Organizations

If you’re thinking about majoring in performing arts, it may be helpful to familiarize yourself with some of the programs, membership options, and resources offered by professional organizations. Exploring these will also give you a good idea of the scope and professional opportunities the field has to offer.

Scholarships Available

There’s no better way to start on your path toward a successful career in performing arts than with a solid financial foundation. Fortunately, many scholarships are available through UNCF, including some specifically for performing arts majors. Keep an eye on the UNCF website for current scholarship opportunities and announcements.

Search for specific scholarships and view those that are currently accepting applications here! Students should also check with each college or university to see if there are additional scholarships available to study performing arts.

As you explore your options, be sure to use our guide to applying for scholarships and grants. You can also receive guidance by submitting a major interest form if you are interested in a career in performing arts. Submit the form on our website to get started, and follow us on UNCF social media channels to receive notifications about our scholarships and member HBCUs. Reach out today!