Countries
10 min

Best Acting Schools in the World

If you are passionate about performing in theater, film, or TV, getting a degree in drama and performance is a great way to learn a wide range of acting skills such as breathing, improvisation, and scene work.
Share:

If this is what you want to do in life, then remember a few tips:

  • Aim for the best acting school possible. This will not only ensure excellent education but enrich you with a valuable network of contacts and give your career a head start.
  • Pay close attention to creating a portfolio, getting some experience in theater, and preparing a pre-screening video. Many acting schools require those for admission.
  • Check if the acting school of your choice is open for admission next year, since many of them have canceled admissions due to the COVID 19 pandemic.
  • Because of the pandemic, some schools have excellent offers for graduate students, such as a tuition-free year or even an entire program. Don’t miss them!
  • Check all the deadlines beforehand, since many schools require you to schedule an interview or an audition as early as possible.

Let’s take a look at some of the best acting schools in the world.

The Juilliard School. New York, USA

Founded in 1905 and regarded as the best acting school in the world, Juilliard is known for being very difficult to get into. It offers a four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts and a four-year Master of Fine Arts program. The fourth and final year of the MFA in Acting is tuition-free for all students and also includes a scholarship that covers living costs.

The school boasts many famous alumni such as Robin Williams, Jessica Chastain, Aretha Franklin, and Viola Davis. More than 800 artists from 44 states and 42 countries and regions are currently studying at Juilliard, where they appear in over 700 annual performances in the school’s five theaters.

Tuition : $51,230 a year

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • The Juilliard Scholarship. Scholarship decisions are made by the Juilliard Scholarship Committee upon the student’s admission to Juilliard and based on a combination of financial need and artistic merit. Students can expect the same amount of scholarship assistance each year provided they reapply on time and demonstrate satisfactory academic progress.
  • Private Education Loans. There are several US-based education loans available to international students with a US co-signer.
  • Outside Scholarships or Grants. Private scholarship funding opportunities may be available in your home country or from private organizations. 

David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University. Connecticut, USA

Yale school of drama is the alma mater of numerous renowned artists, including Maryl Streep, Paul Newman, and Sigourney Weaver. Opened in 1924, this famous institution is affiliated with Yale Repertory Theatre and offers a three-year acting MFA. It starts with a highly disciplined period of training, with a focus on the basic principles of craft, and then goes deeper into different aspects of it.

93% of current students receive Need-Based Financial Aid for Living Expenses. More than $8,000,000 in financial aid was awarded in 2020–21.

Tuition: $34,800 a year

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • Thanks to an extremely generous gift from the David Geffen Foundation in 2021, all full-time students in degree and certificate programs will receive 100 percent tuition support, beginning in the 2021–22 academic year, and in perpetuity. In addition to full tuition support, the School also has a need-based financial aid policy to ensure that all qualified students with demonstrated financial need will have the opportunity to attend Yale. 
  • All students from the classes of 2022, 2023, and 2024 who elect to stay for a fourth year of training, offered as a result of the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, will receive from the School tuition scholarship, work-study employment, and living expense scholarship providing 100% of the cost of attendance for that year.
  • CSS Profile to be considered for need-based financial aid. You can apply and sign up for a CSS Profile on the College Board website. If you already have a profile for the SAT, PSAT, or any other College Board exam, you can use that profile to apply and sign up for a CSS. 
  • Private Education Loans. There are several US-based education loans available to international students with a US co-signer.
  • Outside Scholarships or Grants. Private scholarship funding opportunities may be available in your home country or from private organizations.

Tisch School of the Arts. New York, USA. 

This highly selective school, which is two independent institutions — Tisch Drama and the Graduate Acting Program — benefits from being right in the middle of the activities of New York theater, TV, and film production.

Tisch offers both undergraduate and graduate courses. Each year, more than 300 artists and students from all over the world are accepted to the Tisch School of the Arts to study acting, musical theater, film, dance, and more. Candidates must submit a Common Application and an artistic evaluation to get in.

Tuition: $62,000 - $68,000 a year

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • Scholarships of New York University
  • CSS Profile to be considered for need-based aid. You can apply and sign up for a CSS Profile on the College Board website. If you already have a profile for the SAT, PSAT, or any other College Board exam, you can use that profile to apply and sign up for a CSS. 
  • Education loans for international students
  • Outside scholarships.

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA). England, UK

Founded in 1861, it is one of the oldest drama schools in the world that offers both undergraduate and graduate programs, as well as many semester and short courses. 

BA (Hons) Professional Acting course teaches a full range of relevant movement, voice, musical, and acting skills. You will also collaborate with some of the UK’s industry leaders, develop your skills by performing in a professionally written, directed, crewed, and post-produced short film shot on location, as well as working on audio drama in their own studio.

MFA Professional Acting and MA Classical Acting for the Professional Theatre courses are designed for international actors looking to deepen and develop their craft.

Tuition: 

BA (Hons) — £21,910 ($29,742) per year

MFA — £22,945 ($31,147) per year

MA Classical Acting — £25,935 ($35,206) per year

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • The UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) is a helpful resource to find out what funding you may be eligible for. I’d also recommend contacting the Department of Education in your home country for details of any government scholarships or funding that may be available for overseas study.

University of North Carolina School of the Arts. North Carolina, USA

The Undergraduate Acting program (Bachelor of Fine Arts) at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is well-known in the professional world. Along with classes in voice, movement, and acting, the curriculum includes more specific skills such as mask, stage combat, verse, singing, dance, accents, and dialects. As part of your degree, you will take liberal arts courses.

The final year in the Acting program will consist of a season of classical and contemporary plays, and at least one musical. In addition, you will participate in a variety of masterclasses including audition workshops and CV preparation. In spring, graduating seniors are presented in New York and Los Angeles to major agents and casting directors from all branches of theater, film, and television.

Undergraduate out-of-state tuition: $23,731 per year

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • Education loans for international students;
  • Outside scholarships.

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. England, UK

Alma mater of Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, James Norton, Sir Jonathan Pryce, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, this highly selective acting school offers some of the best education in the field.

A three-year BA (Hons) in Acting offers exceptional in-depth training to equip students with the knowledge and insight for a career in the performing arts. You will learn and develop skills in acting, voice, movement, singing, research, critical and contextual studies that will ensure both your professional and personal growth.

Tuition: £21,710 (around $29,478) per year

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • Outside scholarships.

Carnegie Mellon University School of Drama. Pennsylvania, USA

The first degree-granting drama institution in the US, this acting school offers a four-year, sequence-based program leading to a B.F.A. in Drama. Classes are small and an emphasis is placed on highly individualized, personal attention, as well as developing a sense of collaboration and working in an ensemble.

By senior year, students perform in greater roles on the Philip Chosky Theater's main stage and gain experience with on-camera work for film and television. In addition, they take classes to prepare them for the commercial aspects of the job. Showcase gives all students the chance to perform in front of industry professionals in New York, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh.

Tuition: $57,560 per year

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • Education loans for international students,
  • Outside scholarships.

Guildhall School of Music and Drama. England, UK

Lily James, Anya Chalotra, Daniel Craig, Jodie Whittaker, and many others have graduated from this famous school. Live productions take place in three distinctive theaters, offering an exciting mix of industry-standard performance spaces to explore. In addition, the school creates productions made for digital platforms, screen, and live-streaming.

Innovative in structure and approach, the three-year program leads to BA (Hons) in Acting. The School also delivers the BA Honours in Acting Studies in partnership with the Central Academy of Drama in Beijing, a four-year program with two years of training at each institution, as well as a variety of short courses and summer school.

Tuition: £21,800 (around $29,600) per year

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • All students who accept a place at the School can apply for scholarship support. Further details about eligibility and how to apply will be provided once you have accepted an offer of study. 
  • School Hardship Fund. The School endeavors to support students who find themselves in financial difficulties. If a student experiences an unforeseen change of circumstances they may qualify for an award to help them overcome their immediate financial difficulties. 
  • Outside scholarships

Brown University, Theatre Arts & Performance Studies (TAPS). Rhode Island, USA

This Ivy League university offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in acting. It is so committed to providing education for everyone that it covers full tuition for graduate students!

TAPS also encourages aspiring actors, playwrights, and directors to collaborate across disciplines throughout their studies. Students have the opportunity to learn and perform in a Tony Award-winning regional theater, Trinity Rep. Acting classes are primarily focused on honing techniques and abilities that will enable you to portray a variety of parts and act in a variety of theatrical genres.

Undergraduate tuition: $60,944 per year

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • Full tuition, health and dental insurance are provided to all students in the Brown/Trinity Rep M.F.A. Programs. 
  • Private Education Loans. There are several US-based education loans available to international students with a US co-signer.
  • Outside Scholarships or Grants. Private scholarship funding opportunities may be available in your home country or from private organizations.

CalArts School of Theater. California, USA

Acting Program at CalArts offers both undergraduate four-year and graduate three-year programs leading to BFA and MFA.

The undergraduate program is based on classical actor training. Acting, voice, speaking, movement, and theatrical production classes are supplemented by a diverse spectrum of performance and production opportunities.

Advanced actors who are daring, imaginative, and highly motivated will benefit from the MFA Acting Program. Students are prepared for the challenges of a professional performing career in both traditional and emergent performance spaces through this program.

Tuition: undergraduate (BFA & Certificate), graduate (MFA & Advanced Certificate) — $52,850 per year.

International students may be eligible for the following types of financial aid:

  • CalArts Institutional, Endowed & Annually Funded Scholarships awarded to students holistically based on both need and merit;
  • Education loans for international students;
  • Outside scholarships.
Share: