Acting is an integral part of performing arts. Actors utilize body language, facial expressions, and their voices to convey emotions, portray a character, and tell a story. It can be done either on a stage or in front of a camera. As for its origin, many historians believe that our ancestors acted as a part of certain ceremonies or rituals in Egypt, China, and Greece.

In today’s modern world, acting is a career path that many individuals choose to pursue because of the interesting nature of the job. Be that as it may, it is a highly competitive and tough field to delve into. For this reason, it would be very beneficial to enroll in a reputable acting school as it can greatly improve your chances of achieving success in the big and bright world of performing arts. Let us take a look at the top schools for acting in the world!

Top Acting Schools in the World

1. The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School, located in the United States’ bustling city of New York, is known all around the world as a leading performing arts conservatory. Since 1905, Juilliard has been working hard toward producing the best actors, dancers, and musicians. Throughout the years, the Juilliard School has been recognized as an excellent acting school in the world and many of its students have gone on to become incredibly well-known stars like Christine Baranski, Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, Adam Driver, and Kelsey Grammer.

In 1968, the drama division began welcoming aspiring actors. Incoming students may opt to take up the Bachelor of Fine Arts or the Master of Fine Arts study programs they offer.

2. Yale University

One of the USA’s Ivy League universities, Yale University is a prestigious center of learning and a top school for acting across the globe that is situated in New Haven, Connecticut. It was founded in 1701. Additionally, 14 schools are offering a wide range of study options for students across undergraduate and postgraduate levels at Yale.

The acting programs are offered by the David Geffen School of Drama. Here, prospective students can choose from graduate degrees, non-degree studies, or training. It should be noted, however, that only incoming graduate students are eligible for admission into the School of Drama.

3. New York University

Another esteemed institution located in the city of New York is New York University (NYU). It was established in 1831. Today, the tertiary education institute already has campuses in Abu Dhabi and Shanghai. Other than these, NYU also has 11 global academic centers spread throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and South America.

NYU’s Tisch Drama is also popular around the world for being a breeding ground for successful actors like Alec Baldwin, Idina Menzel, Adam Sandler, Donald Glover, and Aubrey Plaza. Aside from the undergraduate and postgraduate study options they offer, there are also a variety of high school programs, online courses, and even special programs at Tisch Drama.

4. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University is a higher education institute globally recognized for its excellence in education and research. In 2022, the university placed 18th in the US and 28th in the world, as per the World University Rankings by Times Higher Education.

Moreover, a large number of the university’s alumni and faculty members have received a handful of performing arts awards, including Academy Awards, Emmy Awards, and Tony Awards. At Carnegie Mellon, the School of Drama is known as a top school for acting in the world and has a lot of acting-related course offerings such as Acting and Music Theater, Drama Minor, Dramaturgy, and more. Several of today’s most famous actors are graduates of this center of excellence, just as Zachary Quinto, Sutton Foster, Josh Gad, Steven Bochco, Holly Hunter, and Ted Danson.

5. London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) is an excellent drama school across the globe that is located in the United Kingdom, specifically in Hammersmith, London. It was established in 1861, making it one of the oldest schools for drama in the UK. The award-winning and distinguished institution boasts of its world-class acting, directing, and technical courses.

Many of TV and film’s biggest names are alumni of LAMDA, such as Sam Claflin, Benedict Cumberbatch, Dominic Cooper, Natascha McElhone, and Kim Cattrall. LAMDA is open to all students at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. In addition to this, they also have short courses about auditioning, home recording, producing, and many more.

6. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

  • Study Program
  • Location: England | Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s and Master’s

Situated in London, the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) is a prestigious drama school that began welcoming students in the year 1904. It is widely known for providing top-notch vocational training for individuals who are interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts, be it onstage, in front of the camera, or behind the scenes.

Besides the acting-focused Bachelor’s and Master’s degree programs offered at the school, they also have short courses and even communication skills training for all interested students. Over the years, numerous alumni of RADA have become famed performers, including David Bradley, Ralph Fiennes, Sheila Hancock, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Sally Hawkins.

7. National Institute of Dramatic Art

  • Study Program
  • Location: Australia | Degrees Offered: Bachelor’s

The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) is a prime center of learning for performing arts. It is located in Kensington, Australia. At NIDA, there are more than just undergraduate and postgraduate programs being offered. There are also school holiday courses and term classes for children and young people, as well as short courses for adults. Moreover, they also offer corporate training that aims to enhance an individual’s communication, leadership, and presentation skills.

It was founded in 1958 and it is the first professional theatre training school in Australia. Furthermore, NIDA officially opened its doors to students a year after its founding. Presently, lots and lots of its graduates are now respected individuals in the field of performing arts. Some of these are Cate Blanchett, Mel Gibson, Hugo Weaving, Judy Davis, and Garry McDonald.

FAQs about Studying Acting

What is the Ideal Schooling for Aspiring Acting Students?

All aspiring actors, at some point, find themselves at a crossroads where they must decide whether to pursue their dreams without formal training or enroll in acting classes. College programs are not perfect per se, but they provide a great foundation in acting and an excellent opportunity for networking and making connections. Acting classes outside of formal education tend to perceive acting as a business, and classes tend to be overcrowded, but they are cheaper and more convenient. If you want a great education in acting, then Universities and colleges are the best way to get it, but if you do not have the finances for it, then you can explore the option of enrolling in acting classes.


We hope that this article on the Best Acting Schools in the World was helpful. If you are interested in knowing more, check out the Available Programs for International Students!

About the Author: Hyun Lee

Hi! I am Hyun, and I am the founder at Global Scholarships. I've received a full-tuition scholarship at Birmingham-Southern College and a $1,000 Burger King Scholarship for my undergraduate degree and was offered a fully funded scholarship consisting of tuition, living stipend, and health insurance for computer science Ph.D. program at North Carolina State University. You can read more about my scholarship journey here. If you are interested, you can follow me on Linkedin where I regularly write about scholarship opportunities.

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