Best Acting Colleges In New York

Birthplace of the world renowned Broadway Theatre, it’s no wonder New York also boasts a number of the highest ranking acting programs in the nation. Students of these prestigious schools will not only have access to top-notch education, but also to the robust theater district located in New York City.

State University of New York - Purchase College

SUNY’s BFA in Acting program is offered through the Conservatory of Theatre Arts and Film. The course of study is intense, with many students not making it through the first two years of the “trial period,” where anyone not meeting the school’s standards can be dismissed from the program. Busy workdays begin as early as 8 a.m. with rehearsals lasting late into the night for students learning various techniques such as improvisation, camera movement, and speech. The end result for the program’s top graduating students is an opportunity to audition for an association of highly acclaimed casting directors, agents, and producers.

The Julliard School

Located in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, Julliard is among the most well known schools in the industry, as well as one of the most competitive programs to gain acceptance in. With over 1,000 applicants for the 20 available freshman spots, attending this school is quite a distinction in itself. Notable actors such as Robin Williams, Kevin Spacey, VingRhames, and Kelsey Grammer claim the school as their alma mater. The program consists of rigorous conservatory-style instruction starting and ending at 8 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. respectively and students are encouraged to discover and cultivate their personal acting style as they work to complete the program.

New York University Tisch School of the Arts

NYU’s Tisch School boasts a stunning number of famous alumni, including Martin Scorsese, Bridget Fonda, and Billy Crystal. Students accepted to Tisch can expect to be placed in one of seven studios for the first two years as undergraduates, where they will focus on specific dramatic styles including comedic, physical, classical, and musical forms. After the second year, each student gets the opportunity to audition for a different studio. Tisch expects its students to be well rounded, with a maximum of 24 hours of rehearsal a week. Other liberal arts classes must be focused on as well and academic standards are high.

Syracuse University

With only 25 students being accepted into the BFA in Drama program out of the 800 average applicants, admission is highly competitive for Syracuse University hopefuls. The approach to teaching here is on giving students as well rounded an arsenal of performance skills as possible, while not focusing on only one particular style. Syracuse Stage, which draws in over 90,000 playgoers per year, is shared between Syracuse’s Drama Department and the area’s Equity Association. This means students have a chance to not only act alongside these actors on the Syracuse Stage, but audition for membership within the ranks.

With New York City being itself steeped in a rich theatrical history, students choosing to study here will not only have access to opportunities within the industry, but a list of some of the nation’s creamiest crop of acting schools to choose from. Very few would ever say that a chance to study at one of New York’s finest acting colleges could be anything but a leap in the right direction.