Where in Maryland Can I Take Acting Classes to Start a Career As a Professional Actor?

Learn about acting classes in Maryland. Get information about classes available and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Acting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Acting classes are offered through undergraduate and graduate programs in Maryland. You might study topics such as theatre history, dance, lighting design elements, stagecraft and movement, among others.

What You Need to Know

Classes and programs for aspiring actors are offered at various 4-year schools located throughout the state of Maryland. You could earn a 4-year bachelor's degree in theatre arts, acting, drama or theatre, film & media studies, with various areas of specialization, like production or musical theatre, available. Auditions may be required during programs or for admittance. If you already hold a bachelor's degree, you might pursue a 3-year master's degree in acting that addresses all aspects of theatre arts. Check out the following information to find a program that appeals to you.

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Maryland

Bowie State University

Bowie State University's undergraduate program in the theatre arts allows you to study every aspect of theatre, from directing to stagecraft. You will also be required to complete rotations working in design, crew and casting. Students are encouraged to audition outside of the program, which would give you the opportunity to gain valuable work experience. The concentration in musical theatre would help you build strength in the areas of singing, dancing and acting. You would still have to complete all basic education requirements set by the university to earn the degree.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts
  • Specialization Area: Musical Theatre
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $7,660 per year for residents; $18,142 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Requirements: Auditions during freshman year and at the end of sophomore year to stay in the program
  • School Type: 4-year, public, with about 5,700 students (about 4,500 undergraduate)

St. Mary's College of Maryland

St. Mary's College of Maryland offers both a major and minor in theatre studies. In addition to your general education requirements, you will also need to complete 48 credit hours of theatre studies courses to earn a bachelor's degree in this field. Required courses include elements of design, stagecraft, movement, acting and theatre history. You can choose from a range of electives, including modern dance, Shakespeare and lighting design. You will be required to participate in at least three major theatrical productions during the course of your undergraduate studies. Furthermore, you can choose to complete the St. Mary's Project (SMP), which requires that you either write a thesis or create an artistic presentation independently over the course of two semesters. The minor in theatre studies requires a mere 20 credit hours in theatre coursework.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts in Theater, Film and Media Studies; also a minor
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,895 per year for residents; $28,745 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, public, approximately 1,700 undergraduate students

Towson University

The Theatre Arts Department at Towson University allows for various tracks, including acting. You must audition and complete an interview for admission, and even once in the program, you are not guaranteed to advance. You must have permission from your instructors to simply complete it. Required courses in movement, voice, acting and improvisation form the foundation of the curriculum. Electives include musical theatre, mime, makeup design, Shakespeare and scene study.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts
  • Specialization Areas: Acting, Design and Production, Theatre Studies
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $9,182 per year for residents; $20,788 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Audition and interview for admission
  • School Type: 4-year, public, about 22,300 students (roughly 18,800 undergraduate)

University of Maryland - Baltimore County

The Department of Theatre at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, is home to the only Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Acting program in the state of Maryland. It's geared toward aspiring professional actors, as well as students who are interested in pursuing graduate study in acting. You also can choose the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) program in theater with an acting emphasis or a minor in theater. If you choose to pursue the B.F.A. program, you'll take introductory theater courses for the first year until you receive faculty approval for admission to the B.F.A. program. Your acting courses might cover voice training, scene study and costuming.

  • Program: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting; Bachelor of Arts in Theatre; minor
  • Specialization Areas: Acting; Theatre Production and Design
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,006 per year for residents; $23,770 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Requirements: Audition at the end of freshman year required for B.F.A. degree
  • School Type: 4-year, public, approximately 14,000 students (11,400 undergraduate)

Washington College

The Department of Drama at Washington College would allow you to experience many different roles as both an actor and a behind-the-scenes crewmember. Potential courses include theatre technology, dramaturgy, directing and musical theatre. Ten drama courses are required for this major, and you will need to complete a senior capstone project. This obligation can be met by a production thesis, a traditional research thesis or by a playwriting thesis presented as either a staged reading or a full production.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts in Drama
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $43,850 per year (costs for 2015-2016)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit, approximately 1,500 undergraduate students

Master's Degree Programs in Maryland

Towson University

Founded in 1866, Towson University is the second-largest public university in the state of Maryland. This graduate program is designed to be exploratory and experimental, focusing on original projects and group collaboration. The curriculum focuses on practical labs supported by guest workshops and original projects. The emphasis in the M.F.A. program is on acquiring a well-rounded grasp of all aspects of theatre arts, not just acting.

  • Program: Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Theatre Arts
  • Program Length: Three years full-time
  • Tuition: $6,696 per year for residents; $13,860 per year for non-residents (costs for 2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • School Type: 4-year, public, about 22,300 students (roughly 18,800 undergraduate)

You will find acting classes in Maryland through a variety of programs at regional schools. Undergraduate programs can be found at Bowie State University, St. Mary's College, Towson University, the University of Maryland Baltimore County and Washington College; a graduate option exists at Towson University where one can earn a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
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