Best Acting Colleges In The United States

For many a talented young actor, the choice to attain an undergraduate degree in acting signals a desire to take talent to the next level of intellectual and creative ability. Finding the right college can open doors to not only performance opportunities to jumpstart a budding career, but develop a finely crafted skill in acting that can’t be matched elsewhere.

Carnegie Mellon University

Boasting an impressive collection of Oscar and Emmy winning alumni, Carnegie Mellon has just about anything a prospective student could want in a drama college. CMU can proudly claim the title of the first university to offer a conservatory style education. With over 1,200 applicants clamoring for the 28 freshman spots per year, the school has a program worth the effort. Each year features a specific program to develop students, from personal awareness focused, basic skills teaching during freshman year through the development of skills ranging from the classics to modern styles towards the end. The course culminates in an opportunity to perform before industry elites for graduating seniors.

Rutgers Mason Gross School of the Arts

Rutgers is a well-loved favorite, with a program that takes every effort to provide students with the knowledge and skill they’ll need to pursue greatness in the world of performing arts. Rutgers aims to provide students not only a solid conservatory education, butone with a definite attention to the liberal arts. What makes Rutgers ultimately so unique is that all students are sent to study at the Rutger’s Conservatory stationed in London’s renowned Globe Theatre to finish out their third year. Upon completion of the program, graduates will then be able to give a showcase performance in NYC.


At Northwestern University’s Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences, students will study drama, starting with a liberal arts based focus that develops into real life performance experience. Students get to be scholars of the craft as well as practical workers in the field. The beauty of this interdisciplinary program is that students are encouraged to work with faculty in developing their own curriculum and course of study. Budding professionals will also take classes at the college’s School of Speech to further develop their skills.

Yale School of Drama

Considered by some to the best undergraduate arts program in the country, Yale’s School of Drama prepares students through a curriculum rooted in the liberal arts. The idea is that intellectually well-rounded students will become intellectually well-rounded professionals with as much background knowledge of the historical and theoretical basis of drama as technical skill. With an array of famous graduates, including Angela Bassett, Paul Newman, and Sigourney Weaver, it’s clear that Yale’s academically charged approach to acting works, and exceedingly well.

North Carolina School of the Arts

Training is decidedly technically based at North Carolina’s School of the Arts. Students can expect to receive a classical conservatory education with a thorough focus on honing the actor’s skill in a range of creative styles. Not only are intellectually inspired graduates produced from this program, but truly prepared performers, well apt to enter today’s theater and film industry. Notable acting greats such as JadaPinkett-Smith, Mary-Louise Parker, and Chris Parnell claim the UNC as their alma mater.

With so many worthy undergraduate programs in acting to choose from across the United States, it’s certain why the nation has become such a leader in the world of theater and film. For many, gaining acceptance to one of America’s most prestigious art schools will equate a first step in joining the ranks of some of the industries greatest players.