BFA Acting

The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Acting at Boston University College of Fine Arts prepares students for careers in the professional world of theatre, film, and television. It focuses on the development of imagination, intellect, and acting technique, allowing students to create an array of roles in varying styles.

Degree Type

  • Undergraduate


  • In-Person


  • Full-Time


  • On-Campus
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Acting students at BU are exposed to a wide range of acting and movement techniques and are encouraged to embrace the unknown and be open to new and varied approaches to the creative process. Immersive studio classes in acting, voice, speech, movement, and Alexander Technique provide the foundation for the acting major and encourage students to open up expressive channels through their physicality, voice, and imagination in order to find more freedom, power, range, and sensitivity in their work.

Students explore materials from the classic to the contemporary and prepare for their transition to the professional world through classes in acting for the camera, professional life skills, and audition techniques. At BU, we aim not only to prepare students for careers in the professional world of theatre and the related media of film and television but also to cultivate generous, passionate citizen-artists. We support them as they discover and develop their voices. And we empower them to make bold theatre and to dare to have an impact on the world through their unique personal artistry.

“I have grown a lot as an actor and a person while at BU. I’ve gotten the opportunity to work on great text as well as new plays and devised work. Learning so many different methods, techniques and ideologies surrounding acting has given me freedom in my work to fully play.”

-Blanca Isabella (CFA’24)

Program of Study

All first-year performance students are admitted to the First Year Performance Core. The First Year Core experience establishes a base vocabulary that serves as the foundation for a student’s progression into their chosen BFA degree program. In addition, the First Year Core is designed to provide an appropriate context for faculty evaluation of each student’s strengths, interests, and potential for success in the upper years of training. At the end of the first year, each student will declare a BFA major; these decisions are reviewed and mentored by members of the School of Theatre faculty before a student is officially enrolled in their BFA program.

student-to-instructor ratio

The acting program at BU integrates a sequence of courses in which the actor learns to develop deep self-awareness in order to foster personal transformation. Actors are tasked with the responsibility of being the mirror to society, to provide the necessary reflection that accurately represents who we are in order to inspire who we might be. Students explore materials from the classic to the contemporary. Immersive studio classes in voice, speech, movement, and Alexander Technique provide the foundation for acting majors.

Acting majors are regularly mentored by working professional faculty and advisors through studio class work, hands-on, in-process rehearsal and performance advising, and conferences. With an average class size of 14 and a 5:1 student-to-instructor ratio, students receive exceptional mentoring from faculty. The acting faculty is a passionate ensemble of artists-in-residence who are fierce and fearless professional theatre-makers, educators, activists, and scholars committed to building a better and more inclusive industry and world.

During their senior year, acting students create a capstone thesis, which consists of a solo performance of wide-ranging material requiring collaboration with classmates.

Situated within a large, top-tier research institution, students pursue coursework in the University Hub, the University’s general education program that is integrated into the undergraduate student experience. This provides students with the chance to dive into other topics, from other colleges and schools, to enhance their studies.

Dontrell, Who Kissed the Sea | Photo by Rodrigo Larios

Everybody | Photo by Daniel Bastidas

Hamlet | Photo by Sarah Coleman


Students are guaranteed casting in the School of Theatre productions, allowing students to put what they’ve learned in their classes into practice. Acting majors may pursue music theatre training through our Music Theatre Concentration, and cross-curricular opportunities in CFA.

Speaking of professional development, guest lecturers, visiting artists, and CFA acting alums host masterclasses and workshops for School of Theatre students. Acting students also participate in SOT’s annual Theatre Showcase that takes place in Boston or New York City. The event serves as a celebration of the graduating class and the group’s formal introduction to the professional theatre community. 

Studying in a city like Boston, known for its vibrant arts culture, provides our students with additional acting opportunities in Boston-based professional theatre organizations.

Study Abroad experiences are also available through programs in the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), Academia Dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy, or others through BU Study Abroad. As you can see, our acting students have a plethora of opportunities to continue their acting training beyond the classroom.

Artistic learning opportunities. Sense of community.

“I enjoy learning in an intimate artistic environment within a larger research university as it gives me the opportunity to be surrounded by many different kinds of people and explore other interests that support my artistic growth. The chance to study abroad for a whole semester while getting a BFA was another factor in my decision to apply to BU. So far, my experience has been vibrant and exciting. Being surrounded by such talented and passionate actors constantly inspires me and pushes me to work, listen, and communicate with those around me in order to create a space that gives every person in the room a voice and space to grow all while being supported.” -Nick Zuluaga (CFA’24)

read more about nick’s experience



Faculty Highlights

  • Yo-EL Cassell: Lotte Kaliski Award for Gifted Artists
  • Christopher D. Edwards: Artistic Director of Actors’ Shakespeare Project
  • Christine Hamel: Awarded 2022 Granada Artist-in-Residency (UC Davis); co-author of Sounding Bodies: Identity, Injustice and the Voice
  • Patrese McClain: Winner of Barrymore Award, Best Leading Actress


Notable Graduates

From award-winning film actors to critically-acclaimed theatre actors
  • Jason Alexander (CFA’81, Hon.’95)
  • Michael Chiklis (CFA’85)
  • Geena Davis (CFA’79, Hon.’99)
  • Emily Deschanel (CFA’98)
  • Olympia Dukakis (Sargent’53, CFA’57, Hon.’00)
  • Faye Dunaway (CFA’62)
  • Dan Fogler (CFA’98)
  • David Garrison (CFA’74)
  • Amber Gray (CFA’04)
  • Ginnifer Goodwin (CFA’01)
  • Russell Hornsby (CFA’96)
  • Michelle Hurd (CFA’88)
  • Craig Lucas (CFA’73)
  • Julianne Moore (CFA’83)
  • Nina Tassler (CFA’79)
  • Marisa Tomei (CFA’86, Hon.’02)
  • Baron Vaughn (CFA’03)
  • Alfre Woodard (CFA’74, Hon,’04)

Next Steps for Applicants

The best way to determine if BU is right for you is to explore our admission requirements, financial tools, and resources.

Fill out our request for info about BU theatre programs form to receive additional information about your program of interest and to send us any questions you may have.


We are happy to discuss your educational interests and career goals.


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