Top 10 Schools for Acting in 2024

If you’ve always inspired some people with your acting talent, or you just do it on your own and have a passion for entertaining the audience, then a career as an actor should be a promising adventure. Even though there are several popular actors like Tom Cruise, Jim Carrey, Cameron Diaz, Johnny Depp, etc., who didn’t get a degree in acting, drama, or the like, we won’t ignore the fact that acting school brings a lot to the table.

Whether it is to increase your confidence, to make you better ihgyn your profession, to know more about the industry, and to even provide better opportunities. You should also know that some of the prestigious actors in the world are alumni of some of these top 10 schools for acting, and we endeavored to list each school with their notable acting Alumni.

Moreover, these popular acting schools just like top fine art schools in Europe have trained countless prominent actors, so they understand the nitty gritty of what produces a successful actor.

Top 10 schools for acting

Top 10 Schools for Acting

You must not get a full degree in acting if you don’t need one, especially if you’re already skillful in some areas and just need to improve on some other parts. One of the interesting things about these top 10 acting schools is that most of them provide certificate courses that can help you improve in a specific area.

10. Central School of Speech and Drama (London, UK)

  • Notable Alumni: Carrie Fisher, Andrew Garfield, Martin Freeman, Kit Harington, Judi Dench, etc.

Our list of the top 10 schools for acting wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention the CSSD, first of all, due to the provision for three intensive acting courses for undergraduates;

  •  Acting, BA
  • Acting (Collaborative and Devised Theatre), BA
  • Acting (Musical Theatre), BA

You can also decide to enroll in one of their several acting postgraduate programs like Acting – Classical, MA; Acting – Contemporary, MA; Acting for Screen, MA, etc.

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9. California Institute of the Arts (USA)

  • Notable Alumni: Tim Burton, Don Cheadle,  Alison Brie, Katey Sagal, Ed Harris

CalArts is one of the most popular acting schools that provides both a 4-year BFA (Bachelor of Fine Arts) and a 3-year MFA (Master of Fine Arts). It will interest you to know that 2 of their founders include Walt Disney and Roy O. Disney.

Both their Bachelor’s and Master’s programs are delivered with an eye toward the future, to prepare emerging artists for the performance challenges of the 21st Century.

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

  • Notable Alumni: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Head, David Oyelowo, Jim Broadbent.

One of the interesting things about the LAMDA BA (Hons) Professional Acting Program is that at the beginning, they want to deeply know who you are, It’s like you’re bringing your unique self into the picture, and then you can progress to where you’re going.

Listen to what they have to say.

Then, their MFA acting program is also interesting since you’ll be positioned as an accomplished artist, with the ability to forge your own unique path in the industry.

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7. University of North Carolina School of the Arts (U.S.)

  • Notable Alumni: Jada Pinkett Smith, Anthony Mackie, Dane DeHaan, Hunter Schafer, Mary-Louise Parker

UNCSA is one of the top 10 schools for acting that features two (2) operas through the Fletcher Opera Institute, where acting students get to participate and enjoy this beautiful stage production. Also, UNCSA hosts the ACE Exhibition Complex, which houses three motion picture theatres, where students can display their work and also watch others.

Moreover, the school provides both BFA and MFA degrees in acting in a rigorous training program.

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6. The Actors Studio Drama School (New York, USA)

  • Notable Alumni: Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper

This popular acting school was founded in 1947, and since then has been proving to be a top school for talented and passionate actors, directors, screenwriters, etc. In fact, some ranking organizations like College Factual recognize their prowess and find them worthy to be ranked #1 Most Popular Master’s Degree for Directing and Theatrical Production.

It partners with Pace University to offer a 3-year Master in Fine Arts (MFA) Degree at their Actors Studio Drama School (ASDS). 

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5. UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (CA, USA)

  • Notable Alumni: Mariska Hargitay, Tim Robbins, Rob Reiner, Nasim Pedrad, Jaleel White

One of the reasons UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television easily fits in our list of best 10 schools for acting is because of their location. Being situated in Los Angeles, a major hub for the film and television industry, this helps students to receive first-hand experience in professional production.

Further, they provide an Undergraduate Program in Film BA, and regarding their graduate program, you have various options to choose from like Cinema and Media Studies (M.A.), Animation Cinema And Media Studies (PH.D.), Production/directing, Screenwriting, etc.

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4. New York University Tisch School of the Arts (US)

  • Notable Alumni: Lady Gaga, Kristen Bell, Alec Baldwin, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Bryce Dallas Howard

NYU Tisch School of the Arts is undoubtedly one of the top 10 schools for acting both in the United States and the world, also, their admission rate is very low. Their acting school didn’t release any information regarding their rate of acceptance, but from information from the entire NYU, they have a 5% to 8% acceptance rate.

One of the best things Tisch Drama brings to the table is the country’s top professional theatre training institution, which provides the right conservatory training in acting, directing, musical performance, production, design, or stage management.

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3. Yale University (CT, United States)

  • Notable Alumni: Meryl Streep, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Mamoudou Athie, Jayne Atkinson, Angela Bassett

David Geffen School of Drama Is not just one of the most popular acting schools in the world, but also the most competitive to enter, they just have 15 to 17 entry slots, with a thousand plus applicants. So, it will be a privilege to be among the selected few, and they reward 100% of the students that join them with full tuition scholarships.

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2. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (London, UK)

  • Notable Alumni: Anthony Hopkins, Cynthia Ervio, Imelda Staunton, Adrian Lester, Aimee Lou Wood, Glenda Jackson, Tom Hiddleston, etc.

RADA is one of the top 10 schools for acting that not only provide vocational training for actors but also stage managers, designers, and technical stagecraft specialists. In fact, they are so prolific in what they do that QS World University Rankings recognized them as the best school for Performing Arts Subjects.

Their BA (Hons) in Acting only takes three years to complete, within these few years, you will receive thorough training to be a professional actor.

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1. Juilliard School (NY, USA)

  • Notable Alumni: Robin Williams, Kevin Spacey, Adam Driver, Jessica Chastain, Morena Baccarin, Anthony Mackie, Oscar Isaac etc.

I love the closing statement of Evan Yionoulis, Richard Rodgers Dean and Director of the Drama Division said, “Juilliard Drama is a place where the bar is high and there is a path to reach it through hard work, creative opportunity, and faculty guidance and mentorship.” It speaks a lot about their culture and explains why those who successfully graduate come out better in the movie industry.

To some people, the school is considered the best acting school in the world, and they prove it through their alumni. They provide both the BFA Acting Program and the MFA Acting Program through a rigorous curriculum

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One of the things you should know is that no two schools are the same, and that applies here because each of them offers different approaches to acting education. It all boils down to your personal goals and the kind of acting style you prefer.

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