3. New York University Tisch School of the Arts – New York, NY
Widely considered one of the three or four most prestigious musical theater programs, NYU Tisch’s drama department reportedly accepts less than 15% of all applicants. Their New Studio On Broadway program, a musical theater intensive program, is among the most selective MT programs in the entire country. Outside of the New Studio program, the school still has a number of options that are relevant to the interests of musical theater majors, including an intensive acting department.
There is a major question with prospective musical theater students and families on the differences between NYU Tisch and NYU Steinhardt, especially since both schools at NYU offer musical theater degrees. From my understanding, NYU Steinhardt’s musical theater program is a classical vocal performance program where students are given an added emphasis on musical theater training. NYU Steinhardt is very selective with its musical theater department, hosts several large-scale productions every year, and even does a showcase for the graduating seniors like any other major MT school.
Tisch, contrastingly, has a number of drama programs that relate to musical theater, with the New Studio On Broadway being the most intensive and selective of all of them, to my knowledge. So, either college at NYU is a good option for the aspiring musical theater performer, but depending on your individual needs and interests as a professional performer, one college may be better for you than another, or one program may be less suitable for you than the other. Email me for more information if you need it.
2. Carnegie Mellon School of Drama – Pittsburgh, PA
Widely considered one of the four finest schools for musical theater in the country, along with the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Carnegie Mellon is noted for graduating people who have ascended to international stardom, such as actor Patrick Wilson, who was a noted actor in the HBO series Angels In America.
Students of the CMU Musical Theater program perform every single school year showcases in New York City and Los Angeles, two of the major hot spots for professional musical theater artists. CMU’s students receive excellent training in vocal performance as well as dancing, however, it is widely accepted that the courses in acting are among the very finest in the entire world. The facilities are top-notch, complete with two full theaters as well as an on-campus television studio. It is interesting to note that the School of Drama, founded in 1914, is the oldest degree-granting drama school in the nation. You can take a look at notable alumni names here.
1. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance – Ann Arbor, MI
Perhaps the strongest musical theater program in the nation, the University of Michigan MT program graduates students every single year that end up on Broadway, television, and in companies throughout the nation. Top agents, casting directors, and Broadway producers recognize the selective talent pool at Michigan, as well as the high-level of instruction in the “triple-threat” disciplines of dancing, acting, and singing. The program is situated within the University’s School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, meaning that the musical theatre students not only get to study with top musical theatre professors, but also accomplished dancers, classically trained vocalists, and world-renowned actors. Although it is not close to the musical theater cultural epicenter of America, New York, Ann Arbor has plenty of intriguing opportunity and a bustling arts scene for students to engage in during an undoubtedly busy four-year undergraduate degree.