What Are the Best Schools for Acting?
If you're looking for a job that involves wearing many hats, you may want to be an actor. Read on to discover some of the top schools in the country, as well as what degree programs they offer. Find out what to expect from a top program.
What Are Characteristics of the Best Acting Schools?
Top acting schools provide you with physical, vocal and academic training. You may want to look for schools that offer programs that lead to union membership in Actors Equity. Programs should provide you with opportunities to perform in on campus and professional theatre productions. Theatre departments should offer a variety of productions and plays for you to choose from, which can allow you to display your acting strengths.
The best schools usually have opportunities for you to meet with film industry professionals so you can begin networking before you graduate. Additionally, you'll want to consider acting schools that boast illustrious alumni and award-winning programs.
What Are Three Great Acting Schools?
Florida State University in Tallahassee
The FSU undergraduate program gives you the opportunity to audition for performances in three different theatres at the school plus the chance to learn at the Theatre Academy London in your third year. During your final year, you get to be featured in the showcase held in Los Angeles.
The master's program gives you a chance to work with experienced faculty members, some of whom are members of Actors Equity and others who've written books or starred in theatrical releases. The 3-year graduate program is offered through the Asolo Conservatory, and the school provides a full tuition waiver and assistantship opportunities. By the time you graduate, you'll be eligible to join Actors Equity if you choose. FSU offers the following degrees:
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
- Master of Fine Arts in Acting
Pace University in New York City
Pace University's Master of Fine Arts program is the only one of its kind and is supervised by the prestigious Actors Studio. You get to perform in downtown Manhattan in your final year, giving you a chance to display everything you've learned at Pace University. Your program also includes weekly workshops that cover a variety of topics in theater, including auditioning, analyzing scripts and directing, as well as participate in craft seminars. The faculty members have been involved with many different sectors of the acting industry; some have worked alongside well-known actors, while others have directed or coached critically acclaimed actors.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theater
University of California - San Diego
The University of California - San Diego (UCSD) was ranked number 41 on the U.S. News & World Report list of national universities. The UCSD is home to the La Jolla Playhouse, which is a Tony Award winning theatre, and the TheatreForum.
As an undergraduate student, you can audition for any of the shows produced within the theatre department and participate in the studio project. At the graduate level, you'll be performing at the La Jolla Playhouse and may have the opportunity to work with professional actors. The work of some of the faculty members has been presented in multiple countries and on Broadway. You can pursue the following degrees at UCSD:
- Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
- Master of Fine Arts in Theatre and Dance
Ten of the Best Acting Schools
|College/University||Institution Type||Location||Estimated Undergrad In-State Tuition*|
|Yale University||Private, not-for-profit, 4 year and above||New Haven, CT||$53,000|
|The Juilliard School||Private, not-for-profit, 4 year and above||New York, NY||$45,000|
|New York University-Tisch School of the Arts||Private, not-for-profit, 4 year and above||New York, NY||$52,000|
|Carnegie Mellon University||Private, not-for-profit, 4 year and above||Pittsburgh, PA||$55,500|
|Old Globe, University of San Diego||Private, not-for-profit, 4 year and above||San Diego, CA||$49,000|
|Brown University||Private, not-for-profit, 4 year and above||Providence, RI||$55,500|
|Rutgers University-New Brunswick||Public, 4 years and above||New Brunswick, NJ||$15,000|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Public, 4 years and above||Los Angeles, CA||$13,000|
|University of California-Irvine||Public, 4 years and above||Irvine, CA||$14,000|
|University of Southern California||Private, not-for-profit, 4 year and above||Los Angeles, CA||$56,000|
*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education