Musical Theatre Acceptance Rates

Would love to get acceptance information for schools offering BFA in Musical Theatre. How many applicants, number of call backs, number accepted. My daughter has 23 schools on her list and is starting to get call backs. Thanks! Nancy

I know that the Hartt School had 800 applicants for MT last year, and they generally aim for a class of about 25. I don’t know how many they accept to yield 25, but I would imagine it’s somewhere in the range of 40 to 70 acceptances. So that would be an acceptance rate of 5%-9%.

An observation from last year- schools told auditioners that they saw “x”number of prescreens, were auditioning only “y” percentage or number, and were admitting a class of “z” boys and girls. Most schools have some unknown formula to get to the “z” number - they know that historically if they put out 35 offers they will end up with 15 kids ( as an example ). Last year, every school ended up with a larger class size than they intended to take because of the increased number of auditioners :therefore if they put out 35 offers they may have ended up with 21 kids. The exception was the schools who offer an exact number with alternates rather than waitlists. It really is a numbers game that the auditioners do not have all the information to play, so give your self the most chances you can. I am cheering all of you on from the sidelines this year and FYI- my ds ended up exactly where he was supposed to. Have faith

Schools get anywhere from 800-2000 prescreen tapes. They usually take 1/3-1/2 for live auditions depending on how many days of auditions they have.
At Emerson they said they accept 80 to fill 18 spots. I know Montclair State has its biggest class this year at 24 so what the person said above might be correct about many more accepting spots than schools thought last year. Obviously percentages are skewed with 1/3 ish ? fewer boys in the mix. I think.

My data is a bit old, but 2 years ago during my son’s audition year, we were told the school he’s at auditioned 1200 kids (that included walk-ins - not a pre-screen school), accepted 80 to yield a class of 34-36. Sounds like that didn’t work out quite as they planned last year as they ended up with a larger class than they normally have.

When we visited Ithaca a year ago (summer '18), we were told they had received about 1200 prescreens for the Fall '18 incoming class, invited 800 to audition & offered spots to 60 with the hope of having a class of 20-24 I think? But they also told us the first 11 or 12 to accept were all girls, so they were having to reach out to boys to encourage them… That’s from my memory of what someone from the department said in our info session.

While the numbers are stressful, I’d be interested to see the numbers for the total number of people who apply to any MT school and the total number of people who are given at least one offer. So, if there are 200 schools and there is an average of 40 offers made, this would mean 800 MT slots available.

My personal belief is that if you have your talent assessed by a professional and if you have a balanced list, and you are well prepared, you should get at least one acceptance if you apply to a broad number of schools. I also think (and I may be in the minority) that you do not need to apply to a huge number of schools to get these acceptances. Last year, we had a more targeted list and my daughter got a few MT and acting acceptances even with a lower number of auditions. But, we made a list that was targeted and matched to both what she wanted and where her skillset was at the time.

The schools that have 1200 applicants for a total of 40 offers are lottery schools, for everyone. Even top coaches will tell people they don’t know who will get into what school. I did a survey of this last year and people will get into just one school and it will be Elon or U Mich or Carnegie Mellon.

Anyway, as somebody on the other side, it somehow seems to work out in the end.

@artandtechmom 8,000 offers/slots

@loribelle thanks for catching the math error! And my number was just a random guess, but I wonder if this number is out there somewhere.

My notes are from the 17-18 audition year.

In 2018 cycle, (for their MT class of 2022):
Elon had 1,051 applicants, passed 1/3 from pre-screens (~350) for 20 spots. I think they made about 35 offers. Elon only offered on campus auditions.

Florida State pre screens about 900 for about 240 live audition spots if I remember correctly. They made about 12 offers and end up with class sizes between 6-10. They used to only do on campus auditions but now they go to Moonifieds so that overall number is increasing.

TCU auditions about 800 and makes between 18-25 offers for a class size of about 12-14.

Ball State auditions about 1200 and made about 60 offers for 25-30 final spots.

I think BoCo is in the 1500 range but they made about 200 offers for a class of 60.

Thank you so much – Elon is high on our list, but we haven’t heard back yet. She’s on a waitlist for BoCo - so not sure if that’s positive or not.

A waitlist slot isn’t a no so it’s POSITIVE!!! :slight_smile: @Nancyb656 you’ve got lots of great info here and the problem is it’s hard to organize into anything resembling the matrix everyone wants. I agree with @artandtechmom that having a focused list of schools that are good fits is as or more important than having a big list but it is SO hard to get objective information on where your particular artist is a “fit”.

I don’t know if NYU is on your list but it’s an oddball. They audition over 3,000 and accept probably 500-600 for a Drama class of 350 but MT is only 65 of those. “All Studios” applicants have a better overall chance of admission than “MT only”. At my D’s audition about 70% of the Drama applicants auditioned for MT as their first choice studio.

Hartford told the parents of auditioners that they have approximately 900 audition spots between the on-campus and off-campus locations and they aim to enroll of class of ~24 for MT. They did say that they accept more than 24 in order to yield that number, but they didn’t say specifically how many more.

Broadway World just did this for lots of MT Programs. Here’s one for Missouri State MT as an example but many more if search this resource. May be helpful.

I hope you are right about ending up where you are meant to be. My D has received 3/3 rejections in the early auditions and I’m terrified. She passed many prescreens but the early rejections have never scared. I’m trying to have faith but in the meantime, I won’t be sleeping until this is over.

We are just taking a day at a time and also keeping the big picture in mind – what if she doesn’t get in anywhere at all? Or only gets into places we can’t make work financially? I think the odds of those outcomes are slim, but definitely possible. Then what? Does the world end? The earth swallow us whole? No. She has options. Academic acceptances with scholarships might open a door for her to study something else. If that doesn’t feel right, maybe a gap year to focus on training and strengthening her weak areas might be a good idea. We have a great community college nearby where she could take some core academic classes while also studying voice, dance, and acting outside of that setting. She’s young, there are no laws that say she has to go to college immediately if the right opportunity doesn’t present itself after this process. Maybe “trust the process” means trust it even if it doesn’t end at a BFA MT program in August, and keep an open heart and mind to whatever’s around that corner.


@Dance3Looks3 we discussed this at length- the what if we get shut out scenario…there are many stories here about a great outcome after a gap year . @BrennaK is going through the process this year after doing it the past 2 years w her daughter. lots of other examples too…the one thing to consider if it doesnt go as you desire…there is ALOT more merit money available to freshman than transfers, so if she does enroll in one of her academic accepts , keep that in mind…on a positive note we had a very very wide net of nearly 30 schools that got weened down by prescreen rejections, we are so fortunate to have 3 fall acceptances, so keep the faith, alos LOTS of stories here of people who had nothing till late April and then got into a dream school off the waitlist,so you just never know…hang in there and keep us updated in the venting thread!!

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@Bunny308 - big hugs. I feel for you and I recommend you take a deep breath and a small step back. This is a roller coaster. Your D will get terrible news and great news and terrible news. You need to be the one to get her through those highs and lows and so you need to sleep - and eat - and maybe do some yoga. :wink: Have faith that many applicants have survived this process and most of them went through hell at one point or another. My D applied 2 years ago and got two nice academic acceptances followed by 9 artistic rejections (prescreen or audition) in a row (mid November though mid March). She ended up very happy. I can’t guarantee your D’s outcome but I can tell you that you’ll both be happier if you take the long view as she takes the shorter term one.
Have faith in her talent and drive and know that her first results don’t dictate her final path. More hugs, this is very hard on parents.

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What do most think of the BA vs BFA? I’ve worried as well with the BFA acceptances being such a low percentage for the schools. As much as we believe in our child’s talents, the reality is that it is extremely hard. I really try to remind my kiddo that a BA is good too. We always look at the bios in the playbills to see where everyone has gotten their training, and there are a lot that did not go for a BFA. I understand there’s more intense training with the BFA, but just remember it’s not over if not accepted in a BFA program. Im proud of my child for being accepted to multiple schools, being accepted to a BFA program would just be the cherry on an already great sundae!

I think it really depends on the program re; BA vs. BFA. I have seen a couple of BA programs that are superior to some BFA programs – I think it’s a mistake to assume that just because many BFA programs offer more intensive training than many BA programs that this statement can be applied across the board for ALL BFA vs. ALL BA programs. Plus, the rigor or a program is only one factor in determining where our students will find their own, personal, individual perfect fits. One student’s BFA that leads to a fulfilling career is another student’s trash heap if it’s not geared to how student #2 learns and thrives best. So, if a school environment checks out for your student and its BA program offers the acting, musical, and dance sequences your student feels are important, there’s nothing inferior about that! My spouse and I both have undergraduate degrees in music – mine was a BM from a conservatory and his was a BA in music from a large state university with a great music program. We met in a performing ensemble we both auditioned and won jobs playing for. Nobody cared whether we had a BM or a BA, we were hired on what we did in the audition room. Same goes for musical theater. Some very successful Broadway performers don’t even have college degrees.

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