Top 10 Best Acting Schools In The World

Top 10 Best Acting Schools In The World  -  WebNewsOrbit

To get to Hollywood, to take part in the filming of the series on Netflix, to play the main roles in major theaters, many aspiring actors dream of. You can bring the realization of such a dream closer if you enter one of the leading theater universities in the world. 

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One of the advantages of the acting profession is high income. And indeed it is! A sought-after actor can earn in one shift as much as the average graduate of an engineering, humanitarian or economic specialty earns in a whole month of work.

In addition to movie royalties, artists can make a lot of money by shooting ads for famous brands, as well as earn money from their Instagram. And yet, material achievements pale in comparison with the potential opportunity to enter the history of the theater or cinema. Of course, this requires talent and luck, and also a good education.

Why study acting abroad?

Acting education abroad, first of all, allows you to improve your language skills and find work in another country. Moreover, while studying abroad, students can attend master classes of the world's leading directors, actors, screenwriters, go through auditions and make business contacts that are useful for their future careers.

Where to get an acting education abroad?

Most theater universities in the world are located in the US and UK. American schools are more likely to prepare artists for film careers than for theatrical. Students can either take short courses or get a bachelor's or master's degree. Famous film studios are located near the schools, which also attracts young people from all over the world.

British classical theater universities preserve traditions: they work with the works of Shakespeare and hone their acting skills on stage. In the classroom, future artists devote time to analyzing the play, vocals, and movements.

How to enter a theater university abroad?

Getting into acting can be tricky due to the high competition. Many universities recruit only 8-20 people a year so that teachers can pay more attention to each student. Consider what documents are required for admission to Acting programs at The Juilliard School, the leader in our ranking of theater universities in the world:

  • a high school diploma (bachelor's degree) or a bachelor's degree (master's degree);
  • transcript with grades;
  • essay;
  • letters of recommendation;
  • artistic resume;
  • results of the international exam in English.


The Juilliard School Admissions Committee uses the essay to learn more about the candidate as a person. The work of one or two pages should be written in English. In the text, the applicant must indicate why he decided to become an actor and talk about his personal creative goals.

Artistic summary

A resume is a mandatory part of an online application. It should include information about education and any experience related to the intended specialty.

International English language exam

The Juilliard School accepts the following types of exams with a minimum passing score:

Exams and Minimum scores

  • Cambridge English: B2 (min. score)
  • TOEFL and TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition: 73 (min. score)
  • TOEFL ITP Plus (China): 543 (min. score)
  • IELTS Academic Test and IELTS Indicator: 6 (min. score)
  • PTE: 49 (min. score)
  • SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing: 610 (min. score)
  • ACT: 24 (min. score)


In 2022, auditions are conducted via ZOOM, so candidates do not need to provide video recordings of their performances.

Applicants need to prepare four monologues:

  • two elevated texts (heightened text);
  • two modern texts (by writers of the 20th-11th centuries).

At least one of the texts must be written by William Shakespeare and at least one must be in verse.

Candidates must also prepare a 16 bar excerpt of a song to be sung a cappella (without musical accompaniment).

Top 10 best acting schools in the world

Our ranking of theater universities in the world includes the leaders of QS World University Rankings by Subject 2021: Performing Arts and specialized educational institutions for receiving acting education abroad.

1. The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School -  WebNewsOrbit

One of the largest private American art schools. According to the QS World University Rankings 2021, The Juilliard School is the best performing arts school in the world. 

The Juilliard School was founded in 1905 and is located in New York. In addition to acting, applicants have access to Playwriting. Future actors can study undergraduate and graduate programs.

2 David Geffen School of Drama at Yale

David Geffen School of Drama at Yale -  WebNewsOrbit

The David Geffen School of Drama is a separate department of the prestigious American Yale University (USA). For actors, a master's program is available with a Master of Fine Arts degree. Students without a bachelor's degree can study in this program and receive a Certificate in Drama.

3. Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland -  WebNewsOrbit

The Royal Conservatory of Scotland (formerly the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama) is located in the center of Glasgow. The educational institution ranks third in the QS World University Rankings 2021 and has an excellent academic reputation. 

Notable alumni include Katie Leung (played by Zhou Chang in the Harry Potter film series), Richard Madden (played by Robb Stark in the Game of Thrones series) and James McAvoy (played by Jane Austen, The Chronicles of Narnia, The Last King of Scotland, Victor Frankenstein, the X-Men film series and others). Applicants of the acting department have access to undergraduate and graduate programs.

4. New York University Tisch School of the Arts

New York University Tisch School of the Arts -  WebNewsOrbit

Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. The Tisch Drama undergraduate program introduces students to different approaches to acting, musical theatre, production, design, theater management and directing. There is a separate program for undergraduate actors. Alumni include Andre Holland and Rachel Bloom.

5. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art - London-  WebNewsOrbit

The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art is located in London. Notable alumni include: Ralph Fiennes (played Voldemort in the Harry Potter films and Amon Goeth in Schindler's List), Anthony Hopkins (played Hannibal Lecter in The Silence of the Lambs), Vivien Leigh (winner of two awards "Oscar" for his roles in the films "Gone with the Wind" and "A Streetcar Named Desire"). For future actors there is a bachelor's program.

6. Oxford School of Drama

Oxford School of Drama -  WebNewsOrbit

One of the youngest acting schools in the UK. It has nothing to do with the University of Oxford, it is a completely independent educational institution. The school has two courses: a three-year and one-year course, after which graduates are awarded the Level 6 and Level 5 qualifications, respectively.

7. Actors Studio Drama School

Actors Studio Drama School -  WebNewsOrbit

This theater school runs a three-year master's program with Pace University in New York. The Acting, Directing & Playwriting course brings together actors, directors and playwrights. 

Students of all directions interact with each other in practical classes and create productions together. The school is proud of famous alumni such as Julia Roberts, Robert De Niro, Bradley Cooper, Paul Newman, Mickey Rourke, Christopher Walken, Al Pacino.

8. National Institute of Dramatic Art

National Institute of Dramatic Art -  WebNewsOrbit

The National Institute of Dramatic Arts is located in Sydney, Australia. The Institute was founded in 1958 and since then has trained many great actors, including world-famous actors: Mel Gibson, Cate Blanchett, Judy Davis, Baz Luhrmann. For applicants there is a bachelor's program with a Bachelor of Fine Art degree.

9. University of North Carolina School of the Arts

University of North Carolina School of the Arts -  WebNewsOrbit

School of the Arts in North Carolina, USA. There are five departments in the school: choreography, design, drama, film production and music. 

In addition to the bachelor's course dedicated to acting, there are educational programs for older students. For example, the summer online intensive, which includes classes in acting, singing and dancing, is intended for teenagers from 15 years old.

10. London Academy of Music & Drama Art

London Academy of Music & Drama Art -  WebNewsOrbit

The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art was founded over 160 years ago. It is the oldest specialized theater school in the British Isles and a founding member of the UK Federation of Theater Schools. 

The academy offers a wide range of programs in the field of acting - bachelor's degree: Professional Acting (three years), master's degree: Classical Acting for the Professional Theater (one year) and Professional Acting (two years), Classical Acting intensive semester courses combining offline and online -classes.

The cost of acting education abroad

The cost of acting education programs in foreign theater universities starts from $ 6,000 per year. Education in leading schools will cost more. For example, one semester at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland costs between $25,000 and $40,000. The Juilliard School and David Geffen School of Drama at Yale will cost about the same.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

1. Some successful actors do not have a special education. Is it necessary to receive it in order to take place in the profession?

Indeed, some talented artists do not have acting degrees. But even they are constantly improving and learning from vocal and theater teachers individually or as part of short courses. Professional education helps to master various techniques of dramatic art and become a more versatile actor, which means more chances to get on the red carpet.

2. I'm afraid of not passing the audition, how can I prepare better?

Many universities invite those who do not have enough experience and skills to pass the entrance examinations to Foundation preparatory courses. You can also participate in summer schools and short courses first, and then enroll in degree programs.

3. What experience is taken into account for admission?

Perhaps you were engaged in a theater circle and participated in productions. Or maybe they played in a school play, went to a music school? Any such experience related to creativity and acting master should be included in the resume to increase your chances.

4. Is accent important when applying to the US and UK?

You can confirm your English language proficiency with the help of international language tests. The admission committee will evaluate your speech during the audition, and accent can be one of the important criteria. It is necessary to carefully prepare for the exam in order to make the accent less noticeable.

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