Top US Graduate Acting Programs

by Chad Gracia

Caps and gowns at graduation

Some of the best graduate acting programs in the United States.

If you're serious about becoming a working actor, one path you may want to take is graduate study. Many theater professionals have perfected their skills in MFA drama programs. I've selected -- with the help of my acting coaches -- some of the best in the United States.

1. New York University
Each year, 18 actors (out of 900 auditions) are invited to join the graduate acting program at NYU. The training is intensive, with classes daily from 10am to 6pm, focusing on acting; voice, speech, and text; and movement. Located in the heart of New York City, it is the perfect place to make theater connections. And as Sean Lewis, one of our coaches, pointed out, they have just added the excellent Richard Feldman of Juilliard fame to their staff. Alumni include Marcia Gay Harden (Mystic River) and Frank Wood (Tony winner).

2. Yale - Connecticut
The graduate drama program at Yale focuses on preparing students for the stage, although they have also turned out leading actors and directors in film and television. Yale is one of the most respected universities in the country, and actors who study here have a huge head start when trying to get work.

3. Rutgers - New Jersey
The graduate drama program at Rutger's is one of the best. It is headed by Israel Hicks (a current Tony nominee and "the man who built Purchase and Temple's programs"). Many have also pointed out that the school's Deborah Hedwall is one of the best acting teachers around. Each year, the school showcases its students at events in Los Angeles and New York.

4. USD/Old Globe - San Diego
The University of San Diego offers an MFA in Dramatic Arts in collaboration with the world renown Old Globe theater. This partnership makes one of the finest acting programs anywhere. Only seven students are chosen each year, and they are given full scholarships and stipends (worth more than $50,000/year). But most important, students are given the chance to perform at the Old Globe, one of America's finest regional theaters. Guest directors have included Jack O'Brien, Daniel Sullivan, Nicholas Martin, John Rando and Matthew August.

5. UC-San Diego
The University of California at San Diego offers a three-year graduate acting program. Founded in 1974, the department has a partnership with the famed La Jolla Playhouse (Tony Outstanding Regional Theater,1993) where students are guaranteed a professional residency. They also offer a PhD program in Theatre and Drama. Past adjunct and visiting faculty include: Anne Bogart, Joesph Chaiken, Robert Egan, Richard Forman, Andrei Serban, and Robert Woodruf.

6. ACT - San Francisco
Not associated with any university or college, the American Conservatory Theater (ACT) offers an MFA program in actor training. One of the advantages to studying here is that you will work intimately with a leading professional theater company.

7. Harvard/ART - Boston
The Institute for Advanced Theatre Training at Harvard is a two-year program conducted in association with the American Repertory Theater (ART). One of the unique aspects of this program is that it includes a three month residency at the Moscow Theatre Art school, where students work closely with their professional acting company on mainstage productions. Upon graduation, students receive a Certificate of Achievement from the A.R.T. at Harvard University and an MFA from the Moscow Art Theatre.

8. UC-Irvine
This is another excellent graduate program, with many alumni heading straight out of school to Broadway and work in Hollywood. The graduate professional training program is ranked among the top 12 in the nation by U.S. News & World Report and listed in the "most highly recommended" category by ARCO The Performing Arts Major's College Guide.

9. The Actors Studio Drama School - New York
This is a three-year intensive program made famous by the Bravo Network television series "Inside the Actors Studio," hosted by James Lipton. It is the only MFA program that is officially sanctioned by the legendary Actors Studio and, according to its brochure, the program is "the only school that offers the authenticity, continuity and authority of the Stanislavski System and the Method." Its curriculum has been structured by the leadership of the Actors Studio, including the Presidents of the Actors Studio, Ellen Burstyn, Harvey Keitel and Al Pacino. The Actors Studio Drama School is located at Pace University in downtown New York City.

10. National Theatre Conservatory (NTC) - Denver
The National Theatre Conservatory has been eliminated.

Honorable Mentions:
The following schools have strong acting programs: University of Miami (FL), DePaul, Boston University, University of Delaware and UMKC.
Chad Gracia is a writer and director. His articles are copyright by Chad Gracia and ActorTips. All rights reserved.
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Reader Comments

my list
1. UCSD Scheduled Audition
2. USD/Old Globe Scheduled Audition
3. NYU Scheduled Audition
4. Yale Scheduled Audition
5. Julliard Scheduled Audition
6. UCI Scheduled Audition/URTA
7. UW Scheduled Audition/URTA
8. Penn State Scheduled Audition/URTA
9. FSU/Asolo Rep Scheduled Audition/URTA
10. ACA/GW Scheduled Audition
11. A.C.T. Scheduled Audition
12. Temple Scheduled Audition/URTA
13. UNC Chapel Hill Scheduled Audition/URTA
14. Case Western/CPH Scheduled Audition
15. UT Knoxville Scheduled Audition
16. LSU Scheduled Audition/URTA
17. SMU Scheduled Audition/URTA
18. MSU Scheduled Audition/URTA

Posted by jason roth (2013-12-19) 6599

What do you all think of SMU?

Posted by frog (2013-03-05) 6425

As everyone else is saying, the list is obsolete. Rutgers, ACT and The Actors Studio have not been turning out good graduates for years now. And Denver is defunct and USSD is not a player. The schools that SHOULD be on this list are DePaul, Delaware and Case Western in Cleveland. All turning out strong graduates who are working consistently.

Posted by Daryl Pierce (2012-11-26) 6341

Any thoughts on DePaul's Theatre School? Where it stands in the ranking, etc.

Posted by gp (2012-05-01) 5875

Any DePaul Theatre School MFA Graduates out there with a word or two on the program?

Posted by Goonparty (2012-04-30) 5873

I'm a regional jobber. I see people mostly from NYU, UCSD, Globe, and Yale working.

Posted by John (2012-04-15) 5745

Having graduated from Juilliard about 15 years ago--well before they offered an MA--and having worked a good deal in regional theatre here's my list for actors:

1.) NYU
2.) USD/Old Globe
3.) Juilliard
4.) Yale
5.) Brown
6.) Harvard
7.) ACT
8.) UW
9.) Florida State
10.) UCSD/ La Jolla
11.) Columbia
12.) UC Irvine
13.) Deleware
14.) UCLA
15.) SMU
16.) Case Western
17.) USC
18.) Depaul
19.) Pace
20.) CalArts

Posted by Juilliard Alum (2012-03-09) 5624

Are there any former NYU students that would like to attest to the state of Tisch's financial aid support? I have been invited to NYU's final callback weekend, for which I am incredibly excited. The only looming fate plaguing me at the moment is the massive, unrecoverable, financial debt students are rumored to be undertaking once they graduate. I would like to get some insider perspectives concerning post-MFA student debt.

Posted by goonparty (2012-02-24) 5551

1. This idea of "top MFA" programs makes absolutely no sense, if you stop and think about it. If you add up the so called top 10 programs, they get less than 200 students per year in total. Now, if they are so good, why do they limit that to 15-20, sometimes 7-8 students per year? Is it because there is no need for top actors out there? - now, that is a ridiculous notion. Clearly, there is demand coming from the industry. Is it because there is no demand coming from people wanting to attend? That we know not to be true. Or is it because there is a shortage of real talent out there that could be educated into becoming top actors. That's against the main definition of acting school.

2. Now, are these really "top schools"? A top school must be a leader in the industry, a trend setter, a visionary. Are they? Over 90% of the films made lose money, even though they are made for "commercial" reasons and not for art.. over 90% of the plays (including on Broadway) lose money and over 90% of the actors cannot find work (including actors coming out of these "top schools"). If these schools are "the industry leaders" they look like terrible leaders, don't they.. There isn't another industry that can claim leaders that show such sub-mediocrity in influencing the industry positively..

3. Most of the "top MFA programs" should be banned. I simply do not understand how they get away with calling their programs "graduate" programs when in fact they are nothing more than "vocational" schools. One recent example is Juilliard's MFA program - they made it 4 years and actors training is exactly the same as undergraduates or people who get a certificate.

4. Most of the "top MFA" programs entrance selection is based 100% on a 2-4 minute audition - with total disregard of people's records - that is the most obvious proof that these programs are "vocational" schools and not graduate schools. For a vocational school it may make sense to admit students on what you can see as talent, because they have no record to base the decisions on. For graduate school, disregarding ones record is total BS. These "gods" pretend that they can look into someone's eyes for 2-3 minutes, or often times not look at all or not listening at all, and tell with 100% precision what his/her future is going to be. So, who needs to look at an existing record, right? Totally, against any notion of a true "graduate" program.

5. Quite a lot of the heads of the top MFA acting programs do not hold any level of graduate studies. For some of them, their educations clearly come from vocational acting schools.

6. Are these schools really in the 21st century? Most of them are relics of a century long gone, it's just that the school leadership is too impotent to adapt.. or worse, it's too "convenient" not to adapt.. One example is the example that Yale is using by pointing to Meryl Streep. Think about it, Meryl went to Yale 40 years ago and she probably followed a program designed decades prior. Does anyone truly believe that a student going to Yale in 2012 will be able to function the same way Meryl does today, 40 years from now? In the era of iPad I really do not think that anyone is that naive.. so, why then, these "top MFA programs" continue to do what they did mid last century?

7. If all of these things were happening in a 3rd world country, I do not believe that anyone would call them "top MFA programs".. rather would think of "corruption" and "crooked" first.. that's what these "top MFA programs" seem to be. A disgusting charade.. or better yet, a scam that keeps perpetuating out there only because people are too afraid to take them to court to force them to disclose what the "real" deal is. False, deceptive or misleading advertising is illegal and they should stop it.

8. Everyone should demand that all MFA acting programs change their admittance procedure as well as programs to adjust for true "graduate studies" rather than "vocational studies" as they are now.

9. Everyone should demand that all MFA acting programs post their records that they have internally, or force them to collect those records to indicate what graduates do 1-2-3 years after graduation.

10. Everyone should demand that all MFA acting programs clearly spell out their admittance criteria. If you look at the "profiles" of people who graduate out of these programs there is a strong indication that they select mostly blue/green eyes/blond red hair/ white skin for anyone to really believe that in the 21st century only those people are talented or "pretty".

Posted by SayItLoud (2012-02-20) 5541

This list is a joke - its nyu, yale, ucsd. that's it

Posted by poppa (2011-10-07) 4878

If one applies to most of the top programs, and their auditions are on the same dates in Chicago, how does one prevent them from conflicting with each other?

Posted by Bob (2011-09-30) 4838

Hi guys

I am a junior at montclair state. I have a major in Biology and a minor in theatre (I started acting in my sophmore year) and I am doing some research on mfa programs I am considering auditioning and applying to. Currently I'm looking at Yale, brown/trinity and pttp online. Is it possible to get in contact with faculty members, current mfa students, or graduate students (email?). Also what are the most important questions that I should ask them about their experiences (about the financial assistance, acting programs, etc)? I don't want to go to a school based just on fame and reputation. I want to get an idea of their experiences so I can see if this particular program is right for me (although i know i'm gonna have to visit to see for myself).

Posted by Marc (2011-09-15) 4759

Juilliard now has a MFA program starting Fall 2012! Check it out!!!

Posted by ID (2011-09-03) 4729

Blah, that's what I get for doing this on my phone ha....fixed!

As of summer 2011, compiling industry talk and also seeing all of their showcases:

1. NYU
3. Yale
4. Old Globe/USD
5. Delaware - PTTP
6. Columbia
7. Brown/Trinity Rep
8. ACT
9. Harvard/ART
10. UC-Irvine
11. UNC - PATP
12. FSU/Asolo

Posted by emmm (2011-08-31) 4720

As of summer 2011, compiling industry talk and also seeing all of their showcases:

1. NYU
3. Yale
4. Old Globe/USD
5. Delaware - PTTP
6. Columbia
5. Brown/Trinity Rep
6. ACT
7. Harvard/ART
8. UC-Irvine
10. FSU/Asolo

Posted by emmm (2011-08-31) 4719

Former graduate of an MFA program. Schedule had me in class from roughly 9-5, M-Th. Then there was rehearsal on top of that and some of us elected to meet on Fridays to explore on our own. Some students were able to hold down a weekend job, others felt overwhelmed. Depends on your previous experience and your unique personality.
I agree that programs may take older students (I entered at age 29) but it is also true that they have shown wariness in taking more experienced, ie "set in their ways", students.

Posted by laserbob (2011-08-18) 4600

Hey, Anna.

As far as your age, it can be a bit of a factor because schools tend to want to take people who haven't established themselves in the business, but it's not a disqualification.

Old Globe/USD tends to exclusively take older actors, thought 22-24 year olds do get in from time to time. UCSD, likewise, tends to take a range as does Juilliard. Not sure about Yale and NYU, though I do think Yale tends to go just a bit younger.

Posted by Bob (2011-08-10) 4203

Anyone know what the age range is of students entering graduate theatre programs? Considering applying next year and will be 38 by then. Is age a major factor in the application process? Also a mom of 4 year old? How intense is the weekly schedule? Any info will be much appreciated. Thanks!

Posted by Ana (2011-08-01) 4103

What abaout The New School of Drama?

Posted by Rafael (2011-07-07) 3881

Florida State University/Asolo Conservatory should absolutely be on this list. They take a maximum of 12 each year, and tuition is free.

And from what I've heard, Rutgers should absolutely not be on this list.

Now that NTC is closed, maybe it's time to redo the list.

Posted by M. Moth (2011-06-10) 3370

I'm interested in programs that incorporate Michael Chekhov technique into their training. I see that Kent State University is Chekhov and Stanislavski based. Does Kent State have a good M.F.A. Acting program? Are there any other programs that incorporate Chekhov into their curriculum? thanks.

Posted by Cassie (2011-05-22) 3277

Hi! I've heard differing opinions on wether or not to apply to all the Top Ten MFA's. How can it hurt? Thank you...

Posted by Chrissy Hogue (2011-05-17) 3157

Also wanted to add:

If the school auditions at U/RTAs, chances are it's not as competitive as some of the ones that dont.

Posted by Kevin (2011-03-07) 2916

Honestly, here's where I see it after working in and around NYC for six years.

1. NYU
3. Yale
4. Old Globe/USD
5. ACT
6. Brown/Trinity Rep
7. Harvard/ART
8. UC-Irvine
9. Delaware
10. FSU/Asolo

Here's the deal. The top five are your biggest name schools, and the top three are the "big three" and NYU is considered tops hands down. Does everyone who goes to these schools have careers? No. Delaware also deserves a mention because they take one class every four years. Their graduates work regionally a bit.

I didn't rank Juilliard because they don't grant an MFA, but they are up there if you're willing to go for four years. Denver Center (NTC) was on the list at around six or seven, but they closed. New School being in the top ten or Pace/Actors' Studio being in the top ten isn't sound. It's a fine school, but look at Broadway and Off Broadway: Mostly NYU, UCSD, Yale, and Old Globe with those who have MFAs. Regionally you see a lot of the previously mentioned along with Delaware, Brown, and maybe Harvard/ART, Irvine, and FSU.

Posted by Kevin (2011-03-07) 2915

I attended the MFA Acting proram at CalArts and I am proud to report it is an amazing program. I would recommend it to anyone who is serious about training and ready to put in the hard work and dedication. The program allowed me to grow as a creative artist and as a person in ways I can't even begin to describe.I have had professional opportunities I never even dreamed were a possibility and forged professional relationships that have continued to advance my career and artistic growth.

Posted by Kat (2011-02-21) 2891

I am wondering about: University of Alabama, Louisiana Tech's MA, University of Georgia, Nebraska, SCAD Savannah, Southern Miss, and Penn State?

Posted by Tybalt (2010-12-07) 2804

For MFA Actors

1.) NYU
2.) USD/Old Globe
3.) ACT
4.) Florida State
5.) Brown
6.) Delaware
7.) UCLA
8.) Yale
9.) Southern Methodist
10.) USC

For MFA Directors
1.) Brown
2.) UC San Diego/La Jolla Playhouse
3.) Columbia
4.) Rutgers
5.) Carnegie Mellon
6.) UW Seattle
7.) Yale
8.) UCLA
9.) Texas
10.) Northwestern

Posted by Columbia Grad (2010-11-27) 2791

9-5 cubicle worker here. sorry to interrupt. seems like good bull going on around here. keep it up.

But what is this?

please send admission details and tuition fee.
Posted by anil kumar D (2010-04-04) 2464
two years acting course in harvard university send tuition fee and visa details
Posted by anil kumar D (2010-04-04) 2465

I don't live in the world of Hollywood and semi-Hollywood that I guess most of you people live in. So maybe this is some spam message like I read on Yahoo online news articles. But if it's not spam then who is this random person who is obviously not babbling about the topic at hand?

BTW, I just gargled up top 10 drama programs in U.S. and I like to read people's discussion. So carry on wayward John Wayne-a-be's.

Posted by Jason (2010-09-06) 2701

No - this list is not accurate. the MFA program at UW and Columbia or Trinity Rep are much higher - ranked than some of these listed. (Specifically New School, UC Irvine and UCSD or Old Globe.)

Yes - Rutgers is known for having an untreated mentally ill alcoholic teacher who terrorizes students (yowza!). The star teacher/program head who left for semi-retirement is named Bill Esper, not Israel Hicks. Many damaged actors have transferred out of there and are *very* open about the abuse that takes place in the acting class over the last five years or so, and the therapy it took to overcome it.

Know the signs and have a back up plan to transfer out after the first semester. Applications for other schools are due in November so don't wait until the end of the semester to assess your ability to learn in that environment and apply to another school. You will see the red flags in the first few weeks and hear from the students in their second year.

FYI The New School will let almost anyone in and is not competitive - it's not a bad thing but very important to note.

Dear web site author: thanks for all your hard work on this web page. Please note that:

Stanislavsky = "The System" = The foundation of all acting training and script analysis.
Strasburg = "The Method" = defunct

The Method was not invented by Stanislavsky. It was Lee Strasburg.
Strasburg incorrectly translated "The System" by Stanislavsky from Moscow Art Theater into "The Method."

The Method was primarily disowned in the 80's when the Moscow Art Theater made the distinctions between the exercises Stanislavsky listed in "The System" and the exercises that Strasburg mistranslated into "The Method."

Posted by Rebecca (2010-08-16) 2673

Please provide updated info on the acting program at PACE and at Fordham (Lincoln Center) of NY

Thank you

Posted by Lanier (2010-08-02) 2655

It's delightful to see the USD/Old Globe program ranked so highly. In particular, it is often over-shadowed by the UCSD?La Jolla Playhouse program, but most people I've talked to "in the know" give the nod to USD as the better program overall for ACTORS. The USD/Old Globe program nationally recruits SEVEN--and only seven students. You receive a full-ride scholarship and are also paid a stipend from day one. There is also a better relationship between USD MFA's and the Old Globe than there is between UCSD MFA's and the La Jolla Playhouse. At USD, you are working at the old globe from Day One. At UCSD, you get your little externship, but not until the third year. There is also an unwritten rule that AFTER your externship, The Playhouse wants nothing to do with you; they'd rather hire actors from NYU.

It is bizarre not to see UW-Seattle on the list. It is a fine, fine school.

I also feel that UCLA and USC have excellent Theatre programs at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The University of Delaware's program is also top-notch.

As for Cal-Arts in response to the above question, AVOID THE SCHOOL AT ALL COSTS. Any local will tell you that it is an over-priced haven for spoiled little rich kids who dress weird but are painfully normal on the inside.

Posted by Luminous Numinous (2010-04-05) 2467

Boston University does NOT have an MFA in acting. They have an MFA in Theatre Education only, which many students try to turn into an MFA in Acting. BU is great for undergrad as they have a BFA in Acting.

Posted by Rebecca (2010-04-05) 2466

two years acting course in harvard university send tuition fee and visa details

Posted by anil kumar D (2010-04-04) 2465

please send admission details and tuition fee.

Posted by anil kumar D (2010-04-04) 2464

i am interest two years acting course in harvard university please send how to apply and tuition fee and visa details send immediately.

Posted by anil kumar D (2010-04-04) 2463

Rutgers Mason Gross is arguably one of the finest training programs an actor can experience. It is one thousand times better than NYU because NYU has hundreds of BFA students. Only 3% of that class will realize a REAL acting career, while Rutgers has only 16-18 students, giving their students lots of personal attention. Actors that graduate from Rutgers will be ready.

Posted by Jack Hansen (2010-03-31) 2455

I attended the Columbia program, and it really is excellent.

You mention above that Anne Bogart, Robert Woodruff and Andrei Serban have taught at UC San Diego - well, they also teach at Columbia (Anne and Andrei are full-time faculty), along with Kristin Linklater, Andrea Haring, and Larry Singer and others. They have a strong relationship with Classic Stage Company, and have fantastic guest artist/transition into the profession programs. And Columbia MFA graduates are thrown into the same pool as graduates of NYU, Yale, and Juilliard, and lately are doing every bit as well.

I understand why it has a "middling" reputation - it's a relatively new program, and the administration tends to be not so great about promotion and organization. But I thought it was an extraordinary experience, and should be considered by anyone applying to top MFA acting programs.

Posted by nadia (2010-03-31) 2453

Can we update this list please? Because, a lot of this has changed.

Posted by Nicole (2010-03-09) 2417

Israel Hicks is definitely still at Rutgers and the training is some of the best an actor can receive. People who graduate from this program work consistently and it is well known in NY and LA circles that an actor trained at Rutgers is versatile, professional and able.

Posted by Kristen (2010-02-26) 2397

Does anyone know anything about the following:

University of South Carolina
Cal State Long Beach
Pace (which took over the Actors' Studio)
University of North Carolina / Chapel Hill
The Academy for Classical Acting (George Washington University)
University of Maryland / College Park (they're just embarking an MFA in "Performance")
Roosevelt University (in Chicago)


Posted by Cynthia (2010-02-12) 2344

Israel Hicks is no longer at Rutgers.

Posted by michele (2010-02-06) 2333

I went to University of Miami in FL and they do not have a graduate acting program either. I think the honorable mentions are just for acting programs in general? Miami's was very good in my opinion.

I'm living in LA now and I'm thinking about attending grad school, but I want to stay in the area. Does anyone know of any good programs around here?

Posted by JAJ (2009-12-01) 2221

nyu is arguably the finest, and columbia is middling at best

Posted by nick (2009-11-29) 2213

Which mfa acting program is better, nyu or columbia?

Posted by Suzanne (2009-11-21) 2197

This is busted, I live and work in NYC, and have been on BROADWAY for over two years in various shows. THIS CHAD GUY HAS NO CLUE!!! RUTGERS???? Name me one famous or influentional actor within the past ten years to graduate from RUTGERS.

Posted by broadway (2009-09-06) 2049

I agree that the Florida State University program affiliated with the Asolo Theatre is a strong top 10 contender. From what I understand they offer full tuition and a stipend. The program admits only 12 students and graduates only 8 to 10 because of the attrition rate.

Plus when all the northern, east coast schools get bad weather, and the students get cabin fever--FSU students can ease their stress with a spring training baseball game in Sarasota, or a walk on the beach and see a sunset in the Gulf of Mexico.


Posted by Namocich (2009-08-27) 2014

Help please? Okay, so I have a BS degree already in Marketing (and did the corporate thing for three years) but Im unhappy and ready to pursue my dream and I would like to study my craft. I've Only taken one acting class and done a few plays and I'm now 25- is is too premature for me to try to go for my MFA?

Posted by Gregory Lamar (2009-06-18) 1599

Dear Christina,

Here is some information about Vera's program.

Love, Dad

Posted by Christina Cavey (2009-05-19) 1467

What about UCLA, USC, CALARTS ?

Posted by jason moy (2009-05-18) 1461

The Actors Studio Drama School CURRENTLY lives at Pace University in NYC. They divorced from The New School many years ago. And it is better than ever!!!

Posted by ddixon (2009-04-03) 1239

What about U. Washington?

Is there any where that rates non-degree programs (like the Stella Adler Acting Studio in NY)? Are these places just as worthwhile?

Posted by Cynthia Benjamin (2009-03-07) 1105

where does Columbia's MFA for acting fit in? I don't see them mentioned at all here but everyone else seems to regaurd it highly. I am considering attending...

Posted by Coco (2009-02-13) 1000

Let's keep it really real. Only about 5% of mfa grads will realize careers. That includes all of the above mentioned schools.

Posted by m (2008-12-16) 687

in reality
yale juilliard
nyu ucsd are hands down the most competative programs

there are other programs that are just as strong
rutgers, brown/trinity rep/art/harvard denvers ntc
act, old globe but keep it reall you dont just go for training you go for networking and yale nyu ucsd all showcase together and juilliard though its technically ungrad u can enter post grad is well connected
check the bios of evryone on broadway in a play that is not a celeb and the top networks nbc abc cbs see what u get

as for the actors studio that program has not been competative for some time
this list needs to be updated

Posted by stuff to think about (2008-12-09) 653

I am going to graduate in May from NYU-Tisch so I've been doing a lot of research on grad schools.****Also there is the Florida State University's Theater program that is very competitive. Similiar to the NTC in Denver, they take only 8 students and the tuition is free. And Brown University's Program in connection with the Trinity Repertory Company is very good as well. Just as competitive and its curriculum is just as rigorous as NYU or Yale's. Juilliard is not mentioned here as it does not have an MFA program but they offer a diploma option for those with a degree already. The training is excellent and everyone who leaves there is always going to get work but the drawback is that most MFA programs are 3 years and Juilliard's program is 4 years, even if you have a degree already. You would just not have to take the liberal arts courses but it is still an excellent program.

Posted by MARC (2008-12-04) 639

There is a great website called that compares the current top 10 acting mfa programs in the country. I personally go to UCSD/La Jolla Playhouse and couldn't be happier, but the best thing is to visit-- once you're there you'll know what feels right.

From what I understand, the Actor's Studio program is not as competitive as the others on this list (a higher percentage of admits relative to applications).

Posted by jabriela (2008-09-25) 411

Before some considers the Rutgers MFA Acting program I recommend they read about some unethical behavior that happened in the program.

Posted by dennis (2008-07-10) 122

i think if u cant learn to handle it u bettah

Posted by jen (2008-06-14) 106

There is no graduate acting program at Boston University, as far as I can tell. There used to be one. Strange they should get an honorable mention...

Posted by Boston University??? What graduate acting program? (2008-03-08) 67

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