The Cream of the Crop of Performing Arts Programs: The Five Best Performing Arts Colleges

Entertainment can be presented in various formats. One of the most well-known formats is on a stage,  particularly in the forms of theatre and dance. The performing arts can aid in helping people find their own voice, learn to collaborate and communicate with others, and immerse in themselves without interference from their environment. These impacts are why the performing arts are taught in school. Education in the performing arts is great initial step to a professional career; so it helps to know where to find the best programs.

 Here are the five best performing arts colleges in the United States. This list was composed according to Prestige,instructor to student ratio, and high academic work ethic:

Yale University: Despite the other schools being fantastic choices for students serious about drama, Yale is a cut above the rest due to its prestige as an Ivy League institution. It is one of the best universities in the United States. Yale School of Drama offers graduate training in many performing arts fields, such as: 


  • acting
  • design (which covers sets, costumes, lighting, projection, and sound)
  • directing
  • dramaturgy and dramatic criticism
  • playwriting
  • stage management
  • technical design and production
  • theater management. 


Northern University:

The learning program at Northwestern University offers teachings in performance, history, and theory to cover the bases of performing arts. The top degree majors include an MFA in Directing, Stage Design, and Writing for the Screen and Stage. Northwestern also offers a good undergraduate degree in Theatre and Dance, as well as a Certificate in Music Theatre.



The Julliard School: A highly prestigious school founded in 1968, It has 275 Steinway pianos stored in the facility, which is the largest collection of any institute in the world. They offer BFA or MFA degrees in Acting and Playwriting. They also offer performance opportunities throughout the first and second year of the student’s college career. 


Carnegie Mellon: The school offers BFA in acting and a top musical theatre degree, design with a concentration of costume, lighting, scenic, video, or media, dramaturgy, and production technology and management. They also offer The John Wells Directing Program. Their graduate school also offers MFA degrees in costume production, design, dramatic writing, and production technology and management. This top ranking drama school is also the oldest performing arts school in the United States, founded in 1914.


CalArts: It is a theatre at the private California Institute of the Arts and was founded by Walt Disney in 1961 as the first school in the United States designed to specifically award educational degrees to students in visual and performing arts. The school awards BA in Acting and a MA in Acting, Directing, and Writing. They also have programs for costume and set design. It is rather selective with a 27.5% acceptance rate. 

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