Congratulations, you’re almost done with high school! The next step is to apply and choose the college that is right for you. If you are going into the performing arts, you have probably been training and perfecting your craft for many years. The next step is picking a school that will further your growth as a performer, prepare you for your chosen career, and maybe a little fun along the way. Many colleges and universities offer performing arts at the undergraduate level.
If you aren’t sure where you want to go yet, some community colleges offer an Associate of Arts (AA) degree. Community or Junior College can be a stepping stone to hone in on your performing, getting a degree, and being more marketable. Then, you can continue to a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA).
You can’t discuss performing arts schools without mentioning Julliard, Carnegie Mellon, Yale, or the University of Michigan. The undergraduate degree from Yale isn’t even worth it, to be honest. The better performing opportunities are for graduate students. Those schools are prestigious and will instantly get you recognized; however, those schools are not the end-all-be-all of the theater arts at the collegiate level. You can go to a lesser-known school and get excellent training and still fulfill your dreams. We put together the ten best colleges for theatre arts.
If your name on a broadway marque is your ultimate goal, look no further than New York University (NYU). NYU is a huge private, not-for-profit school in the heart of New York City. The Tisch School of the Arts offers undergraduate and graduate programs in performing and cinema studies. They have a long list of programs providing professional training in the arts: acting, dance, design, drama, performance studies, film and television, cinema studies, photography and imaging, dramatic writing, musical theatre writing, recorded music, and interactive telecommunications. The Tisch School of the Arts is also among the most represented colleges on Broadway. As of August 26, 2019, NYU and the Tisch school was the top represented school on Broadway.
The American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) is a private college having campuses in NYC and LA. Their program list includes acting, musical theatre, dance theatre, performing arts, and BA in theatre. For those still in high school, they offer a summer conservatory where you would have training for a week and a half by the AMDA staff. The week and a half, you would focus on: acting for stage and screen, musical theatre, dance theatre, and recording artist. With their focus on acting, dancing, and musical theatre, it is no surprise that AMDA was one of the top represented school on Broadway, coming in at number five.
The College-Conservatory of Music at The University of Cincinnati is a public college located in the city of Cincinnati. Their programs consist of dance, e-media, theatre, and music. Among those four program categories have many sub-categories within them. They are best known for their opera, conducting, French horn, and music composition programs. Getting into the conservatory of music is highly competitive, with limited people brought in to audition and a fraction of those getting in. With that kind of talent pool, it is no surprise that the College-Conservatory of Music ranks number six of the top represented schools on Broadway.
The Boston Conservatory at Berklee is a private college in Boston, MA. Their programs include dance, music, and theatre. They offer highly competitive summer intensives for high school students. They also have summer intensives that focus on one particular area. They provide incentives in dance, vocal/choral, musical theatre dance, and musical theatre acting. Getting into the conservatory is highly competitive, with limited people brought in to audition and a fraction of those getting in. With that kind of talent pool, it is no surprise that the Boston Conservatory ranks number seven of the top represented schools on Broadway.
Northwestern University is a private university located in Boston, MA. They have programs in both music and theatre. There may only be two programs for theatre arts, but they came in number eight for the top schools represented on Broadway, so they must be doing something right. There are many sub-categories for each program that rounds out the programs nicely. The undergraduate programs in music are among the most unique of any college or university. They offer focuses on the music industry, music technology, game design, and music and physics. The theatre has interesting focuses like American Sign Language and theatre, cultural anthropology and theatre, media and screen studies and theatre, and theatre and interaction design.