Open Calendar
Actors rehearsing on a stage


Click to print this page

Secondary Education, BSE - Speech Communication and Theatre

Theatre and Speech Communications Degree for Teachers

Do you want to help students pursue their passion for theatre or build their speech communications skills? Consider a career as a teacher and lead students in developing the vital communication skills they’ll need for success in the classroom. At the University of Central Missouri, we offer a bachelor’s in Secondary Education specific to Speech Communication and Theatre. Get hands-on training to lead in the classroom, produce and direct productions and coordinate and coach speech and debate. 

Earn a recognized speech and theatre teacher degree

At UCM, not only will you benefit from our multidisciplinary approach to preparing teachers in speech communications and theatre, you’ll also receive a high-quality education from a respected institution. This is demonstrated by our accreditations, our award-winning theatrical productions and the national recognition our speech and debate team has earned — all evidence of our commitment to excellence in your education.

We’re excited to welcome you to our Warrensburg campus for classes. Some courses are also available online for your convenience. Wherever you are, you’ll enjoy the real-world experiences offered at UCM as you study to become a theatre and speech teacher in secondary education.

CAEP accreditation logo

CAEP- and NAST-accredited

An icon of 3 people with 1 behind a magnfying glass

High job placement rate

A teacher in front of a class

15:1 or less departmental student-to-faculty ratio

A trophy

State champion speech and debate team

An icon of drama masks

Hands-on learning in two UCM theaters

An icon of 2 people

Two program advisors for your success


What you will study

Enjoy a well-rounded curriculum when you learn how to become a theatre and speech teacher at UCM. You’ll dive deep into each discipline, receiving training in your content areas, as well as that specific to teaching high school students:

  • Professional education: Courses such as Methods for Teaching Speech and Theatre, as well as Secondary Teaching and Behavioral Management, set the stage for effective classroom leadership.
  • Theatre: From Acting to Design Fundamentals to Directing, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of all the aspects of the theatre to become an indispensable member of the theatrical, academic and public communities — not only at UCM but also throughout the region.
  • Speech communications: Classes such as Public Speaking, Media Literacy and Teaching High School Speech and Debate will help you guide your students in all areas of communication. You’ll also compete in speech and debate tournaments — while earning course credit — as a member of our award-winning Talking Mules team.

Be confident as you prepare for your future as a speech or theatre teacher

UCM faculty are highly educated and trained in their respective areas. Every step of the program, they’re dedicated to your success and focused on preparing you for student teaching in your last semester. Starting your junior year, we’ll begin work on your placement — with the goal of getting you into your desired school.

Most students complete their BSE degree — learning how to become a theatre teacher as well as a speech teacher and being ready to lead a classroom on day one — in four years.


Excellence in Secondary Education

  • Accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation, and the Theatre program is accredited by the National Association for Schools of Theatre. These achievements and others demonstrate our commitment to providing you high-quality teacher training and a top-notch education.
  • Top 15%: Most Focused Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 6%: Most Popular Colleges for Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • A Most Popular College for Teacher Education (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10%: Best Value in Education (College Factual, 2021)


Unique learning opportunities in speech communications and theatre education

At the University of Central Missouri, you’ll grow into a capable  speech and theatre teacher by participating in hands-on learning opportunities:

  • Speech and debate: Learn multiple facets of speech and debate tournaments — from competing to planning and managing events —  with the potential to travel overseas.
  • UCM mainstage productions: Join your classmates on stage while you learn how to become a theatre teacher. You’ll contribute to UCM’s five-show mainstage production season, including two musicals, in our 440-seat Highlander Theatre. In the spirit of inclusivity, your participation will be based on your skills rather than your major, year in school or other factors.  
  • Richard Herman Black Box Theatre program: You’ll participate in original or published plays or musicals in UCM’s 100-seat Black Box Theatre. This "by students, for students" program is led entirely by students who produce 10 - 15 productions per semester. Join the leadership team, produce your own work or direct your favorite show for hands-on experience while you learn how to become a theatre teacher. 
  • Studio one-acts: You’ll serve as designer and technical director for a one-act play, and then direct your own, for your capstone.
  • UCM student associations: Meet other Secondary Education majors when you join the Dr. Ed See Student Teachers’ Association and make professional connections for the future. You may also join UCM’s United States Institute of Theatre Technology chapter or the UCM Shenanigans improv troupe, as examples, for experience that’ll benefit you as you learn how to become a theatre teacher.
  • Conferences and events: Take part in on-campus guest artist workshops and make the annual trip with UCM’s Theatre and Dance department to the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival. You’ll also attend the Speech and Theatre Association of Missouri Fall Conference to network and learn. Like other UCM students earning a Theatre and Speech Communications degree in Secondary Education, you can even present your own workshops to enhance your resume.


What can you do with a Theatre and Speech Communications degree in Education from UCM?

With your UCM Theatre and Speech Communications degree specific to Secondary Education, you’ll qualify to take the Missouri State Board of Education assessments. After you pass, you’ll be ready to serve as a speech and theatre teacher in Missouri high schools.

Where UCM graduates go to work as theatre and speech teachers 

Employers often tell us that UCM Education graduates begin their careers well-rounded in their content areas and prepared to teach, lead, direct and coach. We’ve been able to maintain a 100% job placement rate for our students, who go on to work in the Kansas City area and surrounding towns. Some even accept positions in other states after transferring their teaching license.

Plan your career as a speech and theatre teacher using the interactive tool below to view the opportunities that await you.




Financial assistance options for your Theatre and Speech Communications degree in Secondary Education

As you research how to become a theatre teacher or speech teacher, know that UCM offers ways to help finance your education. Explore your options for loans, grants, work-study opportunities and scholarships.

What scholarships are available to me?

UCM and our alumni and supporters make available tens of thousands of dollars in scholarships every year for Secondary Education majors in Speech Communications and Theatre. These are just some of the possibilities:

  • James L. Highlander Theatre Scholarship
  • McKean Family Scholarship
  • Harold and Sherralyn Craven Scholarship
  • Speech & Debate Service Awards

Other scholarships, including those specific to theatre and speech and debate, are also available. Use the UCM Scholarship Finder to search for opportunities.



A group of young adults looking at tablets

Take your degree further.

Continue your education to further assist your students in the classroom and to enhance your career with one of these UCM master’s degrees:

Young childern reading a book outdoors

Make yourself more marketable.

Explore these UCM minors to complement or add greater value to your BSE in Theatre and Speech Communications degree:

A director guiding a rehersal

Explore programs related to speech communications and theatre.

If you’re interested in speech communications, theatre or both, you may also want to consider these UCM undergraduate degrees:




UCM is the longest continuously CAEP accredited public institution in Missouri


UCM's Theatre and Dance Department is nationally accredited by the National Association for Schools of Theatre



Request Info   Visit   Apply Today!



  • facebook
  • twitter
  • youtube
  • linkedin
  • instagram