Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Strong acting AND strong academics?

peggysuepeggysue Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
edited September 2009 in Theater/Drama Majors
Hi- I'm a sophomore with the grades and extracurriculars to consider Ivies and their equivalent, but I also really love acting. In fact, acting and medical school are my two top current choices for where I'm going after college (sorry about the weird grammar there). College requirements: Co-ed, not teeny, lots of strong departments. Where can I look that offers a strong acting program (hopefully a B.F.A option) as well as great academics if acting turns out to not be my thing?

Post edited by peggysue on

Replies to: Strong acting AND strong academics?

  • DuyguDuygu Registered User Posts: 484 Member
    Yale is great for theater and has very strong academics.
  • gadadgadad Registered User Posts: 7,772 Senior Member
    I've had two daughters in your same position. It's a tough decision - you cannot have a BFA Theatre program and significantly benefit from the academic offerings of your school - the BFA will take just about all the time after your core requirements, perhaps all those and then some.

    So I'm reading into your question that you'd like to be able to change out of a BFA major, if you so decide, without having to transfer to another university. Carnegie Mellon has a phenomenal acting program. Once again though, bear in mind that in their BFA you take one writing course, one math course, a one-hour computer seminar, and EVERYTHING else is all theatre, all the time. If you were to drop the major at any point, you'd in effect have to start over from the beginning.

    NYU actually incorporates a surprising amount of academic coursework with their BFA programs, so you wouldn't have to completely start over, but would certainly have a lot of ground to make up. Other notable BFAs at selective schools include USC and Michigan.

    Northwestern has a renowned BA Theatre program that has produced stars including Charlton Heston and Heather Headley. That's probably the best of both worlds if you want to try to have an academic experience as well as a top theatre experience.
  • 45 Percenter45 Percenter Registered User Posts: 4,278 Senior Member
    I was typing this post as gadad was posting his:

    Northwestern. It's not a B.F.A. program, but it's arguably the strongest theater department in the U.S. News Top 20 (LOTS of famous acting alums). Most of the other top-20 schools (Ivies, etc.) will offer decent theater opportunities in addition to fine overall undergraduate programs, but none match Northwestern for the breadth, depth, and renown of its theater program.
  • tetrisfantetrisfan Registered User Posts: 11,791 Senior Member
    That would be Yale and Brown
  • gadadgadad Registered User Posts: 7,772 Senior Member
    Also, in addition to NWern's major productions in theatre, there are a tremendous number of theatrical productions that students of every major produce each year on their own. When I was touring there with my D, we attended a musical that was the quality of a professional touring production, directed by student volunteers, with a student volunteer orchestra, that was performed with a 12:30 a.m. starting time in a huge lobby in the Student Center. :)
  • IR09IR09 Registered User Posts: 239 Junior Member
    NYU immediately came to mind as well.
  • SingDanceRunLifeSingDanceRunLife Registered User Posts: 1,787 Senior Member
    Ithaca College.
  • rocket6louiserocket6louise Registered User Posts: 3,391 Senior Member
    Anyone who's saying Yale is an idiot
    Yale has an MFA program..not an undergrad program

    Strong academics with theatre? Try Millikan, NYU, Emerson, BU, Elon, High Point, Syracuse, Ithaca, or even Wisconsin-Madison..
    Also, Penn State U Park, if you want more of a core academic teaching...

    But, are you sure you want acting? good acting schools tend to have trouble with academics whereas good MT programs are normally within top universities
  • early_collegeearly_college Registered User Posts: 2,866 Senior Member
    Yale has a Theater Studies program which you may enjoy: Theater Studies | Yale College Programs of Study

    NYU would be a great option. You can also double major if you wanted such as Chemistry. You would have to double major with a department from the School Of Arts and Science. You also get academics about two times a week if you don't double major. Don't get me wrong, but it is also a lot of work to double major. The BFA will take up most of your time. But you won't get those courses you may need for medical school if you don't double major. I know you may get some required courses, but may be hard to get all of them. NYU's audition is also half academics and half audition. I think you also have to take some Theater History Courses too. Syracuse, Ithaca, Northwestern, Yale, USC may be some good choices.
  • fillyflurelfillyflurel User Awaiting Email Confirmation Posts: 36 Junior Member
    UCLA! Hardcore Audition BA Theater program. Amazing theatrical opportunities; equally amazing academic resources.
  • chrissybluchrissyblu Registered User Posts: 709 Member
    Ditto on the UCLA. Must audition (1100 audition for 100 spots). Its a BA program, but run like a conservatory. And you get the UCLA name... which everyone knows.
  • IanJosephIanJoseph Registered User Posts: 83 Junior Member
  • GodIHopeIGetItGodIHopeIGetIt Registered User Posts: 39 Junior Member
    I was in your position last year, and it's NOT fun.

    In my opinion, look at how many general education requirements you are required to have. I'm required to have 34 gen ed hours, and I tested out of a lot of them from AP credit. This would give me a chance to get a minor, or to take upper level classes without seriously overloading myself. Good luck in your search!
  • mizlynmizlyn Registered User Posts: 125 Junior Member
    CMU's Acting BFA actually requires one additional liberal arts course per semester, unlike their BFA MT major, which only requires the 3 "other" courses as mentioned above. So it still would not provide many relevant credits to transfer to another major, and would probably not be good choice if someone is hoping to switch without losing a year or two. My D's roommate is pre-med, and both programs seem to be equally intense!
  • cheznescheznes Registered User Posts: 10 New Member
    My daughter is in the BFA program at Syracuse and also is in the university's Honors Program. She has had the opportunity to take some challenging academic courses, and the theatre program is superb. The rigor of the BFA program makes it tough to fit in a lot of classes outside the major, though some kids do double major.
    You might want to check out Middlebury if you're looking for a strong liberal arts school with a good theatre department. My son is a student there and has friends that are very happy with the Drama Dept. I attended a play there this spring and was very impressed.
This discussion has been closed.