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National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST) Accreditation

Theatre Department Accreditation Cycle

  • Date of Initial Accreditation: 03/01/2002
  • Year of Most Recent Comprehensive Review: 2013
  • Academic Year of Next Scheduled Comprehensive Review: 2023-2024

NAST Accreditation Requirements

Overall Requirements

  • Standards
    • The theatre unit shall have library, learning, and information resources necessary to fulfill its purposes and appropriate for the size and scope of its operations.
    • The institution shall place importance on the development and maintenance of library, learning, and information resources to support its curricula in theatre.
    • The institution shall have policies concerned with, but not limited to, the following aspects of library operation:
      • Governance and Administration
      • Collections and their Development
      • Personnel Services
      • Access Services
      • Facilities
      • Finances
  • Guidelines
    • The theatre collection should be considered an integral part of the theatre program of the institution.
    • The policies referred to should support both the number and scope of curricular objectives and should be developed in a manner that demonstrates coordination between the library staff and the theatre faculty.

Governance and Administration

  • Standard
    • The functional position of the theatre collection within the total library structure shall be clearly identified, and the responsibilities and authority of the individual in charge of this collection shall be defined.
  • Recommendation
    • There should be a close administrative relationship among all libraries within the institution so that theatre students and faculty may make the best use of library resources.


  • Standards
    • The institution must maintain library holdings and/or electronic access to holdings in theatre of sufficient size and scope to complement the nature and levels of the total instructional program in theatre, to provide incentive for individual learning, and to support research appropriate for its faculty.
    • There shall be evidence that a systematic acquisitions, preservation, and replacement program compatible with appropriate needs has been planned, and that some form of faculty consultation and review is a continuing aspect of this program.
    • Materials in all formats required for the study of theatre, including, but not limited to, books, play scripts, periodicals, microforms, audio and video recordings, film and images, and electronic access to other databases, shall be the basis of the acquisitions, preservation, and replacement program.
  • Recommendation and Comment
    • Whenever possible, cooperative arrangements should be established with information sources outside the institution to augment holdings for student and faculty use.
    • The books, play scripts, films and images, and audio and video recordings held by the libraries of municipalities, radio stations, historical societies, and other schools, and access to various electronic databases, can often provide a breadth of coverage far beyond that of the institution.


  • Standard
    • The library shall be staffed by qualified personnel sufficient to meet the various needs of the theatre unit.
  • Recommendation
    • Institutions are encouraged to engage specialized personnel whenever feasible to organize and maintain the theatre holdings.

Access Services

  • Standards
    • The institution shall maintain appropriate hours of operation for the library.
    • There must be convenient access to the library holdings in theatre through complete and effective catalogs, indexes, and other appropriate bibliographical tools.
    • There must be access to the holdings of other institutions through union catalogs, cooperative network facilities, photo duplication, and interlibrary loan.
    • Instruction in the use of the theatre collection shall be provided.


  • Standards
    • The institution shall provide an environment conducive to study.
    • The institution shall provide and maintain equipment that allows access to the resources of the library including, but not limited to, audio and video equipment, microfilm units, and computer terminals.
  • Guideline
    • Normally, facilities are as centralized as possible to provide access to all library holdings devoted to the study of theatre. For example, play scripts, recordings, and listening equipment are located in close proximity for effective use in conjunction with one another.


  • Standard
    • Budgetary support shall be adequate to provide appropriate services, carry out necessary operations, and satisfy stated requirements of the programs offered.
  • Recommendations
    • Although fiscal policies may vary among institutions, it is desirable that the allocation for the theatre collection be an explicit element in the institution's library budget. The management of this allocation should be the responsibility of a designated staff person.
    • An organized system of involvement by theatre faculty and students should exist to advise the librarian in planning short- and long-range fiscal needs most effectively.

Library Supporting Resources

The following resources are available in CSU Libraries to support the accreditation requirements:

Online Databases