Top 10 Acting Schools in the USA

Top 10 Acting Schools in the USA

If you’re looking for an acting school, be prepared to do your research. While there are thousands of acting schools in the USA—some that offer great programs and some that don’t. I’ve drafted a list of the top 10 acting schools in the USA. Some are famous enough in their own right that you will recognize the name right away, but others are worth your attention, too.

1. Tisch School of the Arts

Location: New York City

Famous Alumni: Debra Messing, Pascale Armand, Billy Crudup

Tisch has excellent stage acting classes and is conveniently located next to The Public Theater (where Hamilton was introduced). It also now offers a 5-week intensive for second-year students that focuses on film and television acting.

2. Juilliard School

Location: New York City

Famous Alumni: Robin Williams, Laura Linney, Phillipa Soo

Juilliard is possibly the most well-known school for arts in the country. They previously only offered BFAs, but in 2012 they began an MFA program. The school also boasts top name faculty that draws in students from all over the world.

3. American Conservatory Theater

Location: San Francisco

Famous Alumni: Denzel Washington, Chris Pine, Annette Benning

For over 50 years, A.C.T has offered education and opportunities. The MFA program is so exclusive, only eight students are admitted each year.

4. Yale School of Drama

Location: New Haven, CT

Famous Alumni: Meryl Streep, Lupita Nyong’o, Sigourney Weaver

In 1900, the Yale Dramatic Association was founded. It eventually led to one of the most prestigious acting schools in the nation. Students who get in can receive a BFA, MFA, and DFA.

5. USC School of Dramatic Arts

Location: Los Angeles

Famous Alumni: Tate Donovan, John Ritter, Forest Whitaker

USC’s film school is one of the tops in the nation, but the School of Dramatic Arts is excellent too. Therefore, It offers BA, BFA, and MFA degrees in a variety of concentrations including theater, acting, and dramatic writing.

6. Boston University College of Fine Arts

Location: Boston

Famous Alumni: Alfre Woodard, Julianne Moore, Jason Alexander

The school offers BFA and MFA degrees as well as technical certificates for stagecraft students.

7. Brown

Location: Providence, R.I.

Famous Alumni: Laura Linney, Emma Watson, John Krasinski

Brown is one of the last schools to offer a 3-year internship with an established, professional theater through its partnership with Trinity Repertory Company.

8. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts

Location: New York City and Los Angeles

Famous Alumni: Hank Azaria, Lauren Bacall, Kirk Douglas

The oldest acting school in the USA, this school offers two-year associate degrees for acting (LA) and occupational studies (NY).

9. New York Film Academy

Location: New York City

Famous Alumni: Damon Wayans Jr., Chord Overstreet, Camilla Luddington

Started in 1992, New York Film Academy offers several comprehensive programs and degrees including MFA, BFA, and associates, and conservatories, workshops, youth programs, and summer camps.

10. Columbia College Chicago

Location: Chicago

Famous Alumni: Aidan Quinn, Andy Richter, Erica Hubbard

Above all, Columbia college was initially started as an oratory institution in 1890. Since then, it has gone on to fine arts degrees in many subject areas, and they have several partnerships including with the Getz Theater.


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