New York Acting Schools

Columbia University School of the Arts

This New York acting school offers an MFA in Acting. The 3-year program functions as a working lab. Classes during the first 2 years include theater history and theory, as well as movement, acting techniques, improvisation, mask and Shakespeare.

Performance opportunities: There are a lot of lab productions during the year at a black box theatre and a flexible-space theater of this acting university. All students are required to do production and crew work. Graduating students participate in a thesis production and an agent showcase presented in New York and Los Angeles. Columbia Stages, the producing arm of the school, presents a season of plays each year where graduating actors work with students in directing, playwriting and producing in a professional theater setting.

Career preparation: During their thesis year, students attend workshops and seminars to prepare them for an acting career, including workshops on auditioning and the business of acting. Students have the opportunity to listen to distinguished guest lecturers and often have access to free or discounted Broadway and Off-Broadway tickets.

Degree: MFA in Acting.

Financial Aid: Beyond students who qualify for federal aid, scholarships are very limited.

What you’ll need to apply: Transcripts, a short bio and essay, headshot and resume, 3 letters of recommendation, audition (auditions are held at the acting school in New York and in San Francisco). International students whose first language is not English must submit satisfactory TOEFL scores. This university offers many services for international students and those who have studied abroad.

Acceptance rate: The program accepts 16-18 actors.


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