This website is best viewed in a browser that supports web standards.

Skip to content or, if you would rather, Skip to navigation.

Northwest Missouri State University

Speech and Theatre Education Major

Speech and Theatre Education

The Northwest Difference

Speech and theatre education majors are certified to teach grades nine through 12 as well as serve as a play directors and forensics or debate coaches. Faculty focus on ensuring students have the skills and techniques to effectively teach and a comprehensive understanding of theatre, performing and directing.

Students majoring in speech and theatre education have access to hands-on experiences beginning their freshman years and direct one production prior to graduation. To prepare students for a successful college experience and career, faculty provide a mentoring program that matches new students with an upperclassman to help balance school and extracurricular activities.

Minor in Speech and Theatre Education

A minor in speech and theatre education teaches students the fundamentals of debate and forensics, interpersonal communication and directing. This minor is certifiable. After taking the required courses, students can customize their minor from a list of approved electives. For a list of required courses, visit the academic catalog. This minor requires the completion of 32 credit hours.

Career Opportunities

placement rate

100% of students who graduate with a degree in speech and theatre education find employment or continue their education within six months of graduation.

Profession-Based Learning Experiences

Education majors get experience in the classroom during their freshman year. The Northwest education programs are dedicated to ensuring students are career-ready and prepared for the first day of school.

Freshman-year observation provides students an opportunity to observe a teacher for 30 hours during their first year. Students interact with professionals in the field and learn the operations of a classroom and good teaching practices.

During the sophomore year, students participate in a field experience that involves outlining a unit plan and teaching lessons in grades five through nine.

During the junior-year practicum experience, students spend 90 hours in the classroom, teaching lessons, integrating technology and literacy, engaging learning strategies and using assessment to guide education.

During the senior-year student teaching experience, students prepare lessons and teach in a classroom for 16 weeks.

Learning Resources

Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts

The Ron Houston Center for Performing Arts is home to three performance venues: the Mary Linn Auditorium, Black Box Theatre and the Studio Theatre.

The Mary Linn Auditorium seats 1,022, includes two sound booths, a large scene shop, several dressing rooms, a green room, costume shop, prop rooms and wardrobe areas.

Black Box Theatre

The Black Box Theatre is located directly below the Mary Linn Auditorium and is used for innovative and experimental productions, classroom activities and lab series performances.

The Studio Theatre is a 5,500-square-foot performance drama laboratory that contains state-of-the-art technology.

Student Organizations

Speaking Bearcats

The Speaking Bearcats forensics team has claimed 17 national championships since 2009. Students interested in debate and traveling the country are encouraged to contact Brian Swafford at

University Players

Open to any student interested in theatre, University Players produces up to eight plays per year, performed, designed and directed by Northwest students. The organization also conducts different workshops to benefit the actor. Past workshops include: puppetry, musical theatre, and classical acting. University Players also goes to professional theaters to see different shows.

For a full list of student organizations with in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts »

Study Abroad

Study Abroad

Study Abroad is an opportunity for students to apply hands-on international experience to their own academic development. Faculty members supervise short-term study abroad programs that prepare students before, during and after the program. Two types of study abroad programs are available – faculty-led and traditional study abroad.

The traditional program can be a semester, summer or year-long program and is taught by Northwest’s international partner institutions.

For more information about study abroad opportunities »