Top Drama Colleges in America

Many of our favorite entertainers, from directors to actors, have had some degree of formal training. Training in the fields of screenwriting, theater or film, colleges and universities have created a cultural legacy for future students to attain. From the Ivy League to the Hollywood Hills, these are some of the top drama colleges in the U.S.

  1. American Academy of Dramatic Arts

    • This acting academy has two campuses. The original New York school, operating since 1884, is the oldest of its kind in the U.S. The Los Angeles campus first opened in 1971 and is now located in Hollywood. This two-year conservatory offers an Associate Degree of Occupational Studies. Notable alumni include Anne Bancroft and Robert Redford.

      AADA NY
      120 Madison Avenue
      New York, NY 10016
      (800) 463 8990

      AADA L.A.
      1336 N. La Brea Avenue
      Los Angeles, CA 90028
      (800) 222 2867

    American Conservatory Theater

    • This accredited conservatory began in 1965 in Pittsburgh but moved to San Francisco in the mid 1970s. The company's productions of "Taming of the Shrew," "Cyrano de Bergerac" and the Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill musical "Happy End" gained great acclaim and awards. The conservatory offers a three-year, Master of Fine Arts program. ACT conducts an MFA professional showcase where graduates show their skills to professionals in the entertainment business. ACT continues groundbreaking work with 17th century paly, Phèdre, also co-produced with the Stratford Shakespeare Festival in Ontario, Canada.

      American Conservatory Theater
      30 Grant Avenue, Sixth Floor
      San Francisco, CA 94108-5800
      (415) 834 3200

    Carnegie Mellon School of Drama

    • Carnegie Mellon School of Drama offers bachelors' of fine arts in acting and music theater. Part of a storied institution and fine arts college, established in 1900, the School of Drama puts a major emphasis on theater productions, events and performances. With over 20 to 25 theatrical events throughout the year, Carnegie also offers graduate programs in dramatic writing and directing.

      Carnegie Mellon Office of Admission
      5000 Forbes Avenue
      Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
      (412) 268-2082


    • UCLA's combined School of Theater, Film and Television is a one of a kind. The school's undergraduate program is ranked number one according to the Princeton Review. The school has one of the largest film and television archives in the world. Master of Fine Arts programs run from two to three years in areas including directing, screenwriting and producing. Notable alumni are Francis Ford Coppola, Rob Reiner and Tim Robbins, among others.

      UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
      102 East Melnitz Hall
      Los Angeles, CA, 90095
      (310) 206-8441

    Yale School of Drama

    • This prestigious school has been around since 1924 and became its own separate professional school in 1955. Yale Repertory Theater was formed in 1966 and has focused on new works by playwrights such as Athol Fugard and August Wilson. The school offers programs culminating in Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Fine Arts degrees.

      Yale School of Drama
      P.O. Box 208325
      New Haven, CT 06520
      (203) 432 4771

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