Choose My Major: Theatre

Theatre students on stageBy: Helen Voelker
Theatre has been around for centuries. Ever since the first actors took to the stage in ancient Greece humans have been participating in some form of theatre.  While often not as glamorous as the silver screen, theatre still remains important to society.  If you’re a person who intrigued by this art and our thinking about a theatre major then you should check out the schools below.
Carnegie Melon University
Type: Private/Non-Profit
Students: 6,093 Undergraduates
Tuition: $44,880 both in and out of state
Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Vibe:  Carnegie Melon offers a BFA in acting and musical theatre, theatrical design, and directing.  All programs are hands-on and very conservatory-esque. Notable alumni include Zachary Quinto (Spock) and Holly Hunter (The Incredibles).
The Florida State University
Type: Public
Students: 28,864 Undergraduates
Tuition: $5,825 in state /$20,992 out of state
Location: Tallahasse, FL
Vibe: FSU has both a BA and BFA in theatre. They also have a London Study Program that is open to all students. Students are allowed to dabble both in being on stage and behind the scenes, a perfect situation for a student who isn’t sure which they like best.  FSU also works directly with Asolo Theater in Sarasota. Notable Alumni include Paul Ruebens (The Nightmare Before Christmas).
New York University
Type: Private/Non-Private
Students: 21,025 Undergraduates
Tuition: $39,344 both in and out of states
Location:  New York, NY
Vibe:  The big advantage to NYU is obvious. It’s in NYC, just minutes away from Broadway. The school offers a conservatory style program that includes general classes so students are still receiving a well-rounded education. Not to mention it often has world famous guest artists in the classroom. Notable Alumni include Alec Baldwin (30 Rock) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (The Big Lebowski).
Type: Private/ Non-Profit
Students: 8,438 Undergraduates
Tuition: $43,380 both in and out of state
Location: Evanston, IL
Vibe: Northwestern believes in a well-rounded approach to theatre. Students are able to study voice, acting, design, theory and theatre history.  It also includes the benefits of a liberal arts education.  Notable Alumni include Stephen Colbert and Zach Braff (Scrubs).
Type: Private/Non-Profit
Students: 13, 987 Undergraduates
Tuition:  $37,610 both in and out of state
Location: Syracuse, NY
Vibe: Syracuse is very flexible. You can pursue a BFA or a BS all while learning about the entire art of theatre. Its big claim to fame is the Syracuse Stage, a theatre that attracts 90,000 theatre-goers a year.  Notable alumni are Frank Langella (Superman Returns) and Taye Diggs (Chicago).
Type: Public
Students: 26,476 Undergraduates
Tuition: $11,220 in state /$34,098 out of state
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Vibe: UCLA BA and BFA students’ benefit from being so close to Hollywood. The BA program provides pre-professional training to students along with a liberal arts education. Students also have access to the Film and Television Archive. Notable alumni are Nicolas Cage (Finding Arizona) and Jack Black (School of Rock).
University of Michigan
Type: Public
Students: 26,538 Undergraduates
Tuition: $12,634 in state /$37,782 out of state
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Vibe: U of M offers BFA’s in performance, design and production, inter-arts performances, a bachelor of theatre arts and a minor in African American theatre. At U of Michigan all-star faculty accompanies a low student to teacher ratio.  Notable Alumni include playwright Arthur Miller and James Earl Jones (The Lion King).
University of Southern California
Type: Private/Non-Profit
Students: 16,753 Undergraduates
Tuition:  $43,722 both in and out of state
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Vibe: USC has a wide variety of programs include a general BA as well as  BFA’s in acting, design, sound design, stage management and technical direction. The ability to specialize is helpful to students. However, students are not trained only for the stage, they also are trained for acting for film, television and Internet.  Notable alumni include Forest Whitaker (Platoon) and Todd Black (The Pursuit of Happyness).
University of Washington
Type: Public
Students: 25,836 Students
Tuition: $9,746 in state /$27,230 out of state
Location: Seattle, WA
Vibe: The UW program offers a BA as well as MFA’s in Action, Directing and Design.  Students are encouraged to learn about all sides of theatre in order to have a well-rounded understanding of the art. There is also a student run undergraduate production company (Undergraduate Theatre Society) that allows students to hands on experience at being in charge of a production from start to finish. Kyle MacLachlan (Sex and the City) is one of the most notable alum.
Yale University
Type:  Private/ Non-Profit
Students: 5,341 Undergraduates
Tuition:  $42,300 both in and out of state
Location: New Haven, CT
Vibe: Founded in 1924 Yale’s drama school is considered one of the more prestigious in the country.  The undergraduate theatre community is very strong and has an abundance of opportunities for students to have hands on as well as classroom experience. Notable Alumni include Sigourney Weaver (Avatar) and Meryl Streep (The Devil Wears Prada).


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