This article was originally published in Backstage on August 1, 2023. By Allie White
Maybe you starred in every one of your high school’s plays, or maybe you’ve been cast in a few local commercials. Whatever your experience has been so far, you’ve fallen in love with acting—and now it’s time to figure out where to pursue your undergraduate theater degree. To get you started, we’ve compiled a list of 27 top acting colleges in the U.S., from NYU to UT Austin.
These are some of the country’s best colleges for acting [in 2023]. Below, we’ll break down why these acting programs stand out—and what they can offer in terms of training, experience, and exposure for young actors.
If you’re undecided about how exactly you want to pursue an acting degree, BU College of Fine Arts is a good choice as it offers two BFA options: acting, which focuses on the development of technique and skill through a broad “toolbox approach,” and theatre arts, a more flexible, interdisciplinary approach. Classes are identical in the freshman year, after which students choose one of the more focused tracks. What’s more, acceptance is based 50 percent on audition and 50 percent on academics, a different weighting than most acting schools.
BFA Acting at BU
Boston University’s acting program is designed for students who have a strong desire to focus primarily on actor training while recognizing the craft of acting as a means to approach, comprehend, and illuminate the complexity of the human spirit.
BFA Theatre Arts at BU
The Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in theatre arts, performance at BU School of Theatre offers in-depth and integrated training for students seeking a broad and holistic approach to the art form, allowing students to deeply explore a wider range of areas of interest, including but not limited to acting, directing, playwriting, dramaturgy, and producing.