Columbus State’s Theatre Department Earns National Accreditation

Dooley_Larry01COLUMBUS, Ga. — Columbus State University’s Department of Theatre got word Tuesday that its undergraduate programs have been approved for reaccreditation for the next decade by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

“This is the standard that everybody wants to reach, that you get accredited,” said Larry Dooley, chair of the department. “It’s a sign of having a very strong theatre program that we have this national accreditation.”

CSU offers four undergraduate theatre degrees that will remain in “good standing” through the 2023-2024 school year as a result of the reaccreditation:

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in performance

  • BFA in theatre design and technology

  • Bachelor of Arts in theatre

  • Bachelor of Science in Education in theatre education

Columbus State remains the only Georgia university with an accredited theatre education degree, which leads to certification to teach drama in primary and secondary grades. CSU also offers a Master of Education in theatre education.

Tom Hackett, Columbus State provost and vice president for academic affairs, called the theatre department’s favorable NAST accreditation report a “terrific accomplishment.”

“I am very proud of our program and fortunate to have such dedicated and committed colleagues,” he said.

Columbus State had been working toward reaccreditation for a year, completing its self-study early last fall. The self-study, which documents how Columbus State meets or exceeds standards detailed in NAST’s 232-page handbook, had taken Dooley, his faculty and staff six months to compile. Later last fall, an NAST visitation team came to campus, offering its findings in a report at the end of 2013.

Columbus State’s bid for reaccreditation was then approved during the annual NAST convention in March, with Dooley getting official word by a letter he received Tuesday.

The commission ended its letter to Dooley with the following commendation:

"The Commission commends the institution for its excellent facilities, state-of-the-art equipment, and outstanding Theatre Outreach Program. The Commission further commends the institution for drafting an open, honest and clear Self-Study document."

For more on CSU’s Department of Theatre, visit

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