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Best Drama Program?

ajroverajrover Posts: 116Registered User Junior Member
edited August 2009 in Theater/Drama Majors
Which school has the best Drama/Theater Program: Yale, Georgetown, USC, Brown, NYU, Columbia, Northwestern, Pepperdine, Northeastern, or Harvard? I know it's a lot of schools, but if you could, can you rate them 1-10?
Post edited by ajrover on
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Replies to: Best Drama Program?

  • be_somebodybe_somebody Posts: 488Registered User Member
    I think it really depends on what you're looking for. Are you looking to study theater in general, like history in addition to practical training? Are you looking for schools that are stronger in practical training? Acting, tech theatre, directing, educator, etc.?
  • ajroverajrover Posts: 116Registered User Junior Member
    Im looking for a school that socializes I'm training. Thanks.
  • mt7mt7 Posts: 76Registered User Junior Member
    Hello all! I am interested to read the responses to this thread as I am also looking for schools with excellent drama programs.


    Related question: I know Yale has an incredible graduate program, but is undergraduate theatre on par with, say, Northwestern?
  • momof3sonsmomof3sons Posts: 4,850Registered User Senior Member
    1) Northwestern
    2) Everyone else

    Related question answer: No
  • actressmomactressmom Posts: 99Registered User Junior Member
    I think NYU is just as good as Northwestern if not better!
  • babarbabar Posts: 324Registered User Junior Member
  • musicalstudentmusicalstudent Posts: 116Registered User Junior Member
    I'm going to USC next year to major in theatre, so I'm a tad biased but from what I've heard it's an EXCELLENT program.
  • onstageonstage Posts: 1,249Registered User Senior Member
    You should also check out Carnegie-Mellon, Syracuse, and NCSA.
  • alwaysamomalwaysamom Posts: 9,403Registered User Senior Member
    ajrover, that is actually quite an unusual list of schools. Is there some reason that you wanted that list ranked 1-10?

    The reality is that there is no "best" program. There are many excellent drama programs, and many more good ones. You've included some of them on your list but have neglected even more. Reading this forum as well as the MT forum should give you an abundance of information about many of the programs that are considered 'top of the heap'. :) After the extensive research that any applicant for this type of program should be doing, you will be at the point to determine which schools should be on your list.
  • IMHopefulIMHopeful Posts: 341Registered User Member
    From your list, I am assuming that you are looking for a BA Theatre/Drama program. If so, that would rule out some of the schools that only have BFA/Conservatory type programs. Of the list you presented, I would agree that Northwestern has an extraordinarily strong BA program -- well rounded and with a great reputation. My D seriously considered USC as well. Their BA also looked very strong and it ended up her second choice. But she ultimately decided that she wanted to take the BFA acting route. My niece went to Harvard in theatre and loved it -- and we checked out Yale and Brown -- both of which semed to have very good BA programs. So, as said above, it depends upon what you are looking for -- BA or BFA? If BA, do you want a school that only has BA (like Northwestern, Yale, Brown), or does it matter that the school also has a BFA program (some feel that at certain schools the BAs are then second class citizens). Any particular theatre discipline, or do you want a well-rounded general theatre education? It appears from your list that academics are very important, so that will narrow your list as well.
  • bsiegelmswbsiegelmsw Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    We are also looking at drama programs. The college counselor has recommended several schools with well-rounded liberal arts (at our request) and theatre programs: Pomona, Bard, Connecticut College, The New School, Skidmore. Friends also suggest: Muhlenberg and Hamilton. I would be interested in the reputation of the theatre programs at these schools for acting. We are not interested in the BFA. Thanks!
  • chrissybluchrissyblu Posts: 709Registered User Member
    UCLA. BA Theater program with a nice conservatory touch. Requires an audition for entrance, unlike Northwestern. Very competitive to get into (1100 auditioned this year, only 100 got in.)
  • burningbright811burningbright811 Posts: 21Registered User New Member
    of the schools you listed, NYU, USC, Yale (better MFA than BFA) and northwestern would be top four. In my opinion and the opinion of many I know in the NYC theatre community, including my aunt who is a prof at NYU, their MFA program is also much more worthwhile than their BFA. from my knowledge, the other schools you listed, although most of them are top academic schools, aren't really top drama schools. (see other posts for suggestions.) By looking at the schools you listed, it looks like you're looking at more academically-based BA schools than actually intensive BFA acting (or tech) programs. as most of these schools aren't really top drama (or at least acting, which is my area of expertise) schools.

    to be more succinct, if you're really serious about studying drama I'd read this and the MT board extensively for more additions to your list as your missing most of the top programs.

    If academics are more important to you, which is totally understandable, if i had the grades/scores to get into harvard i would go, but definitely not for the theatre program.

    I just say this, because I think it's a reality you need to face and a choice you need to make early on in the process
  • chrissybluchrissyblu Posts: 709Registered User Member
    NYU is a BFA. Northwestern is a BA. USC is both a BA and a BFA. Yale is a BA. Another you haven't mentioned is Emerson, which has both a BA and a BFA.

    And UCLA, which you are not mentioning, has the number one BA Theatre program in the country according to the Princeton Review/Gourman report with an MFA that is in the top three according to the US News and World Report, so I disagree with burningbright811's analysis of the top four.... as would many others. But this shows that these things cannot be ranked. Its personal.

    I guess the point is, you are all over the map.... Do you want a BFA? Do you want a BA? Do you not know yet? If you don't, that's okay. Visit. Read.

    I read a very excellent analysis of the BFA vs. BA issue that someone posted when my D was debating. It is somewhere on these links. Those who are planning to obtain a MFA tend to do the BA followed by MFA. But that's a seven year committment. If you don't want to do that, you can still do outstanding BA programs if you want an academic program. Or you can do BFA programs, but those greatly vary in value. Some BFA programs really are no more work than a good BA program at a school like Northwestern or UCLA or USC. I think ultimately, what is most important is that you like the school, and like what you will learn.
  • ajroverajrover Posts: 116Registered User Junior Member
    Can you describe more thoroughly the difference between BA and BFA? or at least link the thread?
    Thank You Very Much!
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