List of top 25 MFA programs and 5 BFA programs

You just have to laugh these ridiculous comments off! I also object to the term"top tier" kids, 2lights has his or her opinion, doesn’t mean they know what they are talking about…

@2lights my D graduated from Tisch last year. She has met with many agents, managers, casting agents, directors, etc. along the way and is currently signed with one of the top agencies in the country. Every single one she has met with considers NYU to be a top tier school that attracts top tier kids. I’m not sure what criteria you are using to determine “top tier.” Obviously since NYU has more studios their acceptance rate will be higher than smaller programs but that alone does not determine “top tier.” The quality of the professors, teaching, training, and opportunities a student finds at NYU all speak to the fact that NYU is most definitely a “top tier” program. You are obviously entitled to your opinion but to state that NYU no longer attracts “top tier” kids is not a fact. Maybe you can let us know what you consider a “top tier” program and what makes it such if it is not what NYU has.

@toowonderful you’re right! I feel so stupid now for spending all that money on my not top tier kid for that not top tier program. LOL

@teatromama and @jbtcat - don’t worry, I am laughing :slight_smile: I happen to think any successes D has as a performer will come much more from her drive and perseverance than from where she went to school, but again, maybe that’s just me :wink:

@toowonderful you are absolutely right! I guess I am just in disbelief that someone can state that a school is not a “top tier” school because they “asked around” and KNOW that top tier students don’t apply there (who are they asking?) and because they are being honest and MANY people FEEL the way they do (I didn’t know feelings were facts). I’m not defending NYU, I would be upset if anybody made a similar claim about any program based on asking around and feelings. But I guess @teatromama is right and you just have to laugh!!

@2lights with all due respect. It is a wonderful program but thats not even the point. Talented actors come from all over the place and saying “Top Tier kids” just makes the hair on the back of my head stand up! No such thing.
I think the MFA list is super interesting and I’m glad this was posted .

Ugh sorry rushing. NYU is a phenomenal program. It is all about what the student makes of it. Also hair on the back of NECK not head- sorry.

@laylamom you are right! I only used the term “top tier kids” in my reply because it was in response to @2lights direct comment – but I agree that it is a ridiculous term to use since it clearly is a purely subjective term and should not be used to describe any actor. Schools choose their students based on who they think would be a good fit for their program.

Schools also choose kids they think will possibly attend that school. I think NYU is a good school. I just don’t think it’s a top tier school with top tier talent overall going there. I’ve received five direct messages thanking me for finally saying NYU Tisch isn’t a top tier school. It’s solid. They have some good kids, a lot of average kids and a bunch of kids that aren’t great. If your going to compare the talent at NYU Tisch with the talent at any school like Julliard, Carnegie, UNCSA and Minnesota then please pass around what your smoking.

@2lights I just don’t understand how you are defining “top tier talent”. What criteria defines that? How do you compare talent in the respect that you are? I agree that at every school you have kids with varying degrees of talent but we all know that what one person considers talent another person does not – so how do you qualify and say that all of the talent at the schools you mention are “better” than the talent at NYU (or any other program for that matter)? I think talent is subjective and that, therefore, it is difficult to label a school based on their students – I think the criteria used for determining a top program is usually the quality of the teachers and professors and the opportunities that are offered to their students and that is why NYU is still considered a top tier program.

@2lights - I have been getting PMs on this thread too - they mostly say “what the heck is wrong with…” @bfahopeful - I said in in my 1st post on this thread it would get intense :wink: - and I knew would be about NYU’s inclusion on the list. As I have said before - I am NOT saying that NYU is better than other programs, but saying that they don’t deserve to be recognized just seems silly. And despite my joke earlier - this really isn’t about the fact that my kid went there, I really hope I would respond the same way to an attack on any school. @2lights calls it “honesty”, but I don’t see it that way. I have been reading/participating in this forum for 5 years - and I know that my time here is drawing to a close. I have read countless post where I thought “why the hell would anyone choose x school” - but it’s not my place to comment on or denigrate other people’s choices. B/c a week and a half after you graduate - it really won’t matter

That’s exactly why I posted, @toowonderful - my kid didn’t apply to NYU and doesn’t go there, so there’s no personal stake for me. But I HATE it when people come on here and bash programs with NO evidence or reasons provided - just “I’ve heard other people have this opinion.” And she even says that NYU is one of the top 15 programs, so what’s the point? I don’t see the value in saying, “Well, I think this program is in the top 15, but not the top 5!” What difference does it make??? At that level, it’s just splitting hairs.

All I care about is, does the program offer high-quality training? Are the faculty knowledgeable and experienced? Do they have connections in the industry? If the answer to all those questions is “yes,” then it’s a good program, and the choice comes down to personal preference (i.e. do you want liberal arts or conservatory, traditional campus or city, East Coast or West Coast, etc.) I don’t see the value in “ranking” schools so specifically to the point of splitting hairs (top 5 or top 15).

Now, if someone has ACTUAL evidence or complaints about a program, then that’s different. For example, things like: “The program was better when X person was in charge, but his replacement has made such-and-such specific changes which are detrimental,” or “The program doesn’t guarantee performance opportunities,” or “The teachers at this program were in the industry 30 years ago, but haven’t kept up with all the changes, so their teaching is outdated,” or “This program has a cut system,” etc. Specific criticisms and facts are definitely helpful! But blanket generalizations with no evidence (like “top tier kids don’t apply there”) are not helpful, IMO.

My opinion is that all the graduates will pretty much start at zero. Some will have access to agents due to their school and some may have an easier time due to the school name BUT if they do not make use of what they learned in school then it is all a wash. Juilliard graduates are waiters pounding the pavement along with BU graduates. It is what you do with the 4 years of training that will define your success. Heck, there are many many MORE successful Broadway/TV actors that NEVER went to college! To bash NYU, or any school, is just not right. Schools have to fit the person. NYU WAS our dream (we are WL and it is bleak). The access to jobs and auditions in New York makes it amazing! I would have been happy with any of the schools if my S felt it was a great fit for him. He is just going to get 4 years of good training and in between he will pound the Hollywood pavement. It is NOT the school that makes the actor. The school just helps them become a better actor.

I just have to laugh at the presumption of “top tier” as some sort of fixed target. There are thousands of kids applying to these programs and every single parent meeting you go to talks about how they could fill their programs 10 times over with the amount of talent they see. We are also talking about 17 year olds, some of whom have had amazing opportunities for training and exposure and others who simply haven’t. My daughter is thrilled to be going to NYU, which was her first choice all along - because of the academic fit, the training she wants, and the proximity of NY theater. People can hate on the program all they want, but when Philippa Soo walked by my daughter’s audition group and said “Hi” to the kids, you can bet they weren’t thinking how “not top tier” NYU is.

@toowonderful yep. You called it. Not my intention. I realize you know that. :slight_smile:
I like your tongue in cheek responses. Made me giggle. Keep up the positive attitude. Congrats on your D’s graduation. We know several kids who just graduated from NYU too.

Interesting (and off topic) take aways for me:

  1. joe price is leaving Guthrie? Whoa. That is news.
  2. Phillipa Soo was at NYU auditions? How cool! I don’t know her connection to the school but what a thrill that must have been for the kids.

Have a good night everyone. And be happy for your student if they are happy. That is the best feeling in the world and looks different for each kid.

@bfahopeful WHAT? I hadn’t heard that Joe Price was leaving Guthrie! That’s quite a loss. Any idea where he is going? My D spoke to him at the very end of April as she was making her final decisions. Not surprisingly, he didn’t mention it.

@artskids this was mentioned above. I do not know if it is true. @jbtcat may have more into (the post mentioned Missouri).

Well, I did it- I called the kid and told her the hard truth, neither she, nor her friends, are top tier. She said she’d get the grapevine going so everyone could just pack it in. It’s going to be especially hard for her friend who got cast in Hamilton last week (not to mention the one currently rehearing Shakespeare in the park) , but we must face facts, and not pollute the industry with the sub-par. If anyone from an ACTUAL top tier program needs a rent stabilized apt in Wash Heights, I guess one will be coming available.

And if you believe ANY of this - I have a bridge in Brooklyn I’d love to sell you…

@bfahopeful Just to clarify - Philippa Soo was not at the NYU auditions, per se - just working on something else at Tisch that day, I assume. But that’s kind of my point - the exposure to working professionals and networking was an aspect of the program we liked. My daughter said that in the group chat she’s in, one of the older students told them a couple weeks ago that Lea Salonga dropped in to their song performance class that day, because she’s good friends with the teacher.

I have three comments:
(1) Hollywood Reporter said they composed this list by canvassing “alums, instructors and top theater and Hollywood pros.” NOTE that there is no mention of asking the opinions of students (who often make choices based on personal characteristics that are important only to them – e.g., finances, weather, proximity to home, personality type, etc.) or the parents of those students. Why do you THINK they don’t ask students and their parents??? I THINK it is because the opinions of students (and their parents) don’t reflect the views of the industry. Now they do ask Alums – because the alums have the benefit of seeing how their training impacted their ability to earn money in the field. So folks who disagree with the list because they believe “top” students are going to other schools (whatever that means) need to understand that these “top” students might end up happier in their place (for those personal reasons which are totally valid), but they might have to work a little harder once they get out.

(2) The list is not alphabetical as the poster indicated because UNCSA would not come before UCSD (pretty sure C for California comes before N for North). (btw: I have no opinion about whether Julliard or CMU should have been first. They are both lottery tickets as far as I am concerned.)

(3) I haven’t ever seen UCSD on these lists before. (May-be its been there but I overlooked because I am East Coast and for PERSONAL reasons didn’t really want my kid going to the West Coast). I know nothing about UCSD, but hopefully students/parents who want their kid on the West Coast can learn more information about the school.