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Which Schools Offer Acting Classes in San Diego, CA?

Learn about acting classes in San Diego, California. Get information about degrees available and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education.

If you have ever dreamed of becoming an actor, a degree in the performing arts may be the best way to achieve your goals. There are many options near San Diego, California for education in the performing arts.

What You Need to Know

Students interested in earning an acting degree near San Diego, CA, may elect to complete a bachelor's or a master's degree in theatre, with an emphasis on performance. Degrees related to acting may be earned from a number of four-year, public and private schools in the region. Bachelor's degree programs in the San Diego area may require a practicum element to the curriculum; at least one mandates a period of study abroad. Some baccalaureate programs require an audition process; all master's degree programs require a bachelor's degree and an audition.

Bachelor's Degree Programs in San Diego, CA

Point Loma Nazarene University

As a theatre major at Point Loma Nazarene University, you would be required to take courses in voice, acting, theatre history, movement and directing. You would also get the opportunity to study stagecraft techniques, lighting, makeup and communication theories. Electives in musical theatre, drama in Great Britain and poetry are available as well.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts in Drama
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $35,700 (as of the 2018-2019 academic year)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit, about 4,592 students (roughly 3,135 undergraduate)

San Diego State University

The School of Theatre, Television and Film offers a general B.A. in Theatre Arts program, but you may choose to specialize in several different concentrations, including performance. The performance specialization track includes a study abroad requirement. Potential courses include acting, theatre design, creative drama and directing.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
  • Specialization Areas: Children's Drama, Performance, Television and Film, Design and Technology for Theatre
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $7,488 for in-state students and $19,340 for out-of-state students (as of the 2018-2019 academic year)
  • School Type: 4-year, public, approximately 35,303 students (about 30,586 undergraduate)

University of California - San Diego

Located about ten miles north of San Diego in La Jolla, the University of California - San Diego (UCSD) is a 4-year public university that was founded in 1960. UCSD's Department of Theatre and Dance offers an undergraduate program that is open to all accepted students at UCSD and confers a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Theatre. You'll receive a broad liberal arts education along with practicum opportunities, such as theatre productions or studio projects. Potential courses include classical text, Chekhov, improvisation, singing and movement.

  • Program: Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $14,167 for in-state students and $43,159 for out-of-state students (as of the 2018-2019 academic year)
  • Prerequisites: Audition for admission
  • School Type: 4-year, public with about 37,887 students (about 30,285 undergraduate)

University of San Diego

The theatre arts and performance studies major at the University of San Diego requires you to complete courses in theatre and society, theatrical design and acting before moving on to the upper division where you can specialize in either performance or design. You must complete courses in theatre history, performance studies and technical theatre with lab. Electives include Shakespeare, period drama, modern drama and contemporary theatre. You can then focus on areas such as costume construction, scenic design, movement, playwriting or directing though additional coursework.

  • Program: Theatre Arts and Performance Studies
  • Specialization Areas: Performance and Design
  • Program Length: Four years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $49,358 (as of the 2018-2019 academic year)
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit, about 9,073 students (roughly 5,855 undergraduate)

Master's Degree Programs in San Diego, CA

San Diego State University

San Diego State University (SDSU) has two graduate programs that focus on acting and performance; the first leads to a Master of Arts (M.A.) in Theatre Arts, and the second confers a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Musical Theatre. The M.A. program is more academic in curriculum, and it prepares you for professional teaching or for further study in the field. The MFA in Musical Theatre program combines practical training with academic study and takes two years to complete. The curriculum focuses on developing acting, vocal and dance skills and includes internships and seminars.

  • Program: Master of Arts/Master of Fine Arts in Theatre
  • Specialization Area: Musical Theatre
  • Program Length: Three years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $7,176 for in-state students and $16,680 for out-of-state students plus $1,746 in fees for both in and out-of-state students (as of the 2018-2019 academic year)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree and audition
  • School Type: 4-year, public, approximately 35,303 students (about 30,586 undergraduate)

University of California - San Diego

The graduate program at the University of California - San Diego (UCSD) started in 1974, and it leads to a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree in six different areas, including acting. An intensive study of acting, including movement and sound, is covered in the program; you'll also have opportunities to work on classic and original productions. An externship at the La Jolla Playhouse is another fundamental part of the program.

  • Program: Master of Fine Arts in Theatre
  • Program Length: Three years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $11,442 for in-state students and $26,544 for out-of-state students plus $1,955 in fees for both in and out-of-state students (as of the 2018-2019 academic year)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree and audition
  • School Type: 4-year, public with about 37,887 students (about 30,285 undergraduate)

University of San Diego

The University of San Diego joined forces with The Old Globe to offer a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Dramatic Arts. This program focuses on classical theatre, and only seven actors are invited to participate in each class. In addition, you would get the opportunity to spend two weeks in London for intensive workshops during your second and final year of study. The program also offers you the opportunity to showcase your talents in both New York City and Los Angeles.

  • Program: Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Arts
  • Program Length: Two years full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $26,712 plus $354 in fees (as of the 2018-2019 academic year)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree and audition
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit, about 9,073 students (roughly 5,855 undergraduate)

If you would like to attain your degree in the performing arts in or around San Diego, California, Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego State University, University of California - San Diego, and University of San Diego offer bachelor's degrees and/or master's degrees in the field.