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Top Theatre Arts/Drama Colleges

As a theater arts/drama major, you’ll learn every facet, on stage and off stage, of putting on a theatrical production. In addition to hands-on coursework in areas such as stagecraft, voice, performance, and movement, drama majors also study the history of the theater, a heavy dose of Shakespeare, as well as the theoretical underpinnings of the craft.

Theater arts/drama majors typically aspire to careers in acting, directing, stage or screenwriting, costume design, lighting technician, stage direction, sound designer, or a wealth of other behind-the-scenes roles in the entertainment industry. However, since only a small percentage of actors will consistently win auditions and find steady work, it is also essential for drama majors to consider other related careers such as: secondary school teacher, personal trainer, public relations, advertising copywriter, or event planner.

What do you need to make it in Drama school?

Students concentrating in theater arts/drama need attributes well beyond academic prowess to be successful. The ability to perform and connect with an audience, think creatively, project one’s voice, take direction, and possess an artist’s eye are some of the qualities that separate theater arts majors from the rest of the pack. Personality-wise, those who are routine-oriented, disciplined, determined, and responsive to criticism/feedback are at an advantage.

Your Drama College Checklist:

  • Are there opportunities available for performance each semester?
  • Does your prospective college offer opportunities to specialize in your area of interest? This includes acting, directing, stage design, sound, playwriting, etc.
  • What is the school's audition policy?
  • Is the school located in a geographically advantageous area (i.e. near New York or L.A.)?
  • How many students are in each class?
  • What is the professional acting experience of the faculty?
  • Do they have a top-notch student theater? How often do shows run?

The Top Drama Colleges & Universities

Theater arts is a highly competitive profession, and finding the right college and program to prepare you for cutthroat auditions is important. Schools that are held in particularly high regard by professionals, employers and students include: NYU: Tisch School for the Arts, Julliard, and Yale University. For a complete list of College Transitions Top Drama Colleges and Universities, click here.

*College lists are compiled on the basis of counselor interviews, guide books, exhaustive internet searches (of college and departmental websites), and data provided by The College Board and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).


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