Unlike business, math and medical programs, theater programs in the United States are not reliably ranked by expert sources on a regular basis. However, a handful of schools throughout the country have programs with stellar reputations, and come heavily recommended by theater blogs, message boards and websites.


Juilliard's drama program is in the heart of Manhattan.

New York City’s Juilliard School of Dance, Drama, and Music places students in the center of the world’s theater activity: Midtown Manhattan and, more specifically, Lincoln Center. Programs of study within Juilliard's Drama Division are Actor Training and the Playwrights Program. Acting students perform plays in classroom settings during their first two years. The third and fourth years are dedicated to live and public performances. The Playwrights Program is lead by noted absurdist Christopher Durang and Pulitzer Prize winner Marsha Norman.

The Juilliard School 60 Lincoln Center Plaza New York, NY 212-799-5000 juilliard.edu

Carnegie Mellon

Carnegie Mellon offers a program combining theater and technology.

Pittsburgh’s well-regarded Carnegie Mellon School of Drama offers both graduate and undergraduate programs in Design, Directing, Dramatic Writing, Dramaturgy, Production, and Acting/Musical Theatre, as well as interdisciplinary programs in Science and Arts, for dual-minded students, and Computer Science and Arts, for those who look to meld art and technology. Auditions are held annually in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Pittsburgh. Pre-college professional training programs for high-school-age theater enthusiasts include Acting; Musical Theatre; and Design and Technical Production.

School of Drama Purnell Center for the Arts #218 Carnegie Mellon University 4908 Forbes Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15213 412-268-2082 cmu.edu


Emerson is located in Boston, MA.

Boston’s Emerson College has both graduate and undergraduate programs in theater under the auspices of Performing Arts. The undergraduate program aims to educate students in a collaborative nature in dramatic arts within a cultural and historical context. The graduate program is designed to further the dramatic education of students while exploring the intersection of theater and education. Drama student organizations include Chocolate Cake City, a group that produces a comedic show every year, and This Is Pathetic, which aims to explore life’s more depraved aspects.

Emerson College Department of Performing Arts 120 Boylston Street Boston, MA 02116 617-824-8780 emerson.edu