Top Acting Colleges in the United States

Most top acting schools provide conservatory training, in which students work together as a group to learn the art and craft of acting through classes, workshops and performances. Continue reading for more information on some of the top acting schools in the nation.

View 4 Popular Schools »

Top Acting Schools in the U.S.

1. State University of New York (SUNY) - Purchase College in Purchase, NY

SUNY - Purchase College was ranked among the best public schools in the National Liberal Arts Colleges rankings of 2011 by U.S. News and World Report. The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Acting program, offered through the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film, is a 4-year course of study, which includes movement, speech, voice, dramatic literature and theater history.

Students are exposed to a wide variety of other areas in acting including improvisation, Lecoq technique and acting for the camera. Designed as a professional actor-training program, the schedule keeps students busy with classes and rehearsals from early in the morning to late at night. The BFA program culminates in the top students being selected to audition for a consortium of producers, agents and casting directors from Los Angeles and New York City.

2. New York University in New York, NY

New York University was ranked 33rd overall among national universities by U.S. News and World Report in 2011. The BFA program in acting at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts provides conservatory training in acting.

Incoming students are placed in one of seven primary studios, such as the Stella Adler School of Acting and the Meisner Studio, where they remain for the first two years of the program. During the second two years, students may choose another studio, such as Atlantic Acting School, Experimental Theatre Wing and Playwrights Horizons Theatre School. Studios focus on areas including musical theater, design, directing and stage management. After the first year, students may audition for several performances, ranging from full-scale productions to experimental theater pieces.

3. American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco, CA

The Tony Award-winning American Conservatory Theater is primarily a theater; however, since 1965 it has been a small school for actors wishing to develop their craft. The conservatory has ten studios and a black box studio theater for performances, which are also used as part of the classroom experience. A Master of Fine Arts (MFA) is offered to the 35 students admitted every year. Graduate study is divided between classic and contemporary works of theater, and it culminates in the MFA showcase. Summer courses are also offered through the Summer Training Congress through 5- and 2-week intensive training sessions.

List of Ten Good Acting Colleges in the United States

School Name Distinction Location
American Conservatory Theatre MFA Showcase San Francisco, CA
Boston University Boston Center for American Performance (BCAP) Boston, MA
California Institute of the Arts Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) Valencia, CA
The Juilliard School The Scholastic Distinction honors program for undergraduates New York, NY
New York University Classical Studio and six other studios for students New York, NY
Northwestern University WAA-MU Show Evanston, IL
SUNY - Purchase College Four schools offered in the Conservatory of Theatre Arts & Film Purchase, NY
University of California - Irvine Drama/Theater Guild Irvine, CA
University of Miami Jerry Herman Ring Theatre Miami, FL
University of Texas at Austin The Performance as Public Practice (PPP) program Austin, TX
Show me popular schools

Related to Top Acting Schools

  • Related
  • Recently Updated
  • Popular
BuildOn Is Both Thinking and Acting Globally

The non-profit organization buildOn is helping students globally through after-school programs in the United States and the...

Study Shows Acting Can Help with Reading Comprehension

The old school of thought is: find a quiet corner to go off to when reading. But new studies seem to suggest that a stage might...

Acting Career Information: Becoming an Actor or Actress

Learn how to become an actor. Research the education requirements, training information and experience required for starting a...

Acting Degree and Certificate Program Information

Actors perform in stage, television and motion picture productions, as well as in a variety of audio and visual presentations....

Best Graduate Schools with Acting Programs: List of Schools

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (1 campus)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BFA - Fine Art
        • BFA in Art Education
        • BFA in Undeclared

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Florida (2 campuses)
    • Nevada (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
        • Acting
        • Theatre Design and Technology
        • Theatrical Production
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Miami include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
        • Acting
        • Theatre Arts Management
        • Theatre Design and Technology
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Temple University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
        • Acting
        • Theatre Design and Technology
        • Theatrical Production
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
        • Acting
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • Connecticut (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Connecticut include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
        • Acting
        • Theatre Design and Technology
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Texas (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Baylor University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
        • Acting
        • Theatre Design and Technology
        • Theatrical Production
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Copyright