10 Best Acting Schools In New York City In 2023

New York City is a place with a lot of opportunities, and looking for the best acting schools can be a bit challenging.

But not to worry, because we got you covered.

In this article, I will walk you through all the necessary information concerning the 10 best acting schools in New York and other things you should bear in mind as you proceed.

What Is A Drama School?

A drama school is also called a stage school or theater school. 

It’s an undergraduate and graduate school or department at a college or university that specializes in pre-professional training in drama and theater arts.

An example of a free-standing institution is the drama section at the Juilliard School in New York.

Assuming a drama school is part of a degree-granting institution, students take an Associate’s Degree, Bachelor’s Degree, Bachelor of Design, Bachelor of Fine arts, or Bachelor of Science.

On the other hand, graduate students can take a Master of Art, Master of Science, Master of Fine Arts, Doctor of Philosophy degree, Doctor of Fine Arts, and Doctor of Arts.

Why Attend A Drama School?

Drama schools are institutions that prepare and equip young talents with proper skills. 

If you are good at acting and you wish to make a career out of it, you need to attend the best acting schools to acquire more knowledge. 

Performing in dramas while in high school is not good enough if you want to become a professional actor. You need more experience, and you can only acquire them by attending a drama school.

Courses offered at drama schools are full-time and they usually last for three years. 

Within this period, you will acquire the skill and knowledge to match the competition.

What Is The Cost To Attend Acting Classes?

The cost of attending acting classes is between $150 to $2,000. 

However, there are several factors to consider when it comes to the cost of attending these classes. 

Firstly, the location of these acting classes is something to consider such as:

  • Who is the instructor of these acting classes?
  • What is their reputation in theater art?

10 Best Acting Schools In New York City

Below is the list of best-acting schools in New York City. 

It is important to note that in most of these schools, most of your favorite actors attended and graduated from this school.

1. New York Conservatory For Dramatic Arts

The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts is the first on our list of best-acting schools in New York City.

It’s a private acting college located in New York City and established in 1980.

NYCDA is one of the finest institutions in New York with an acceptance rate of about 92%.

It is regarded as an institution that prepares young talents for a career in film and television acting. 

Students at this acting college study the Meisner Technique which emphasizes repetition and emotional preparation.

The tuition fee is $32,742 though financial aid is also provided in this school to students who need assistance.

2. Pace University

Pace University is a private institution in New York City. 

It was first established as a business school, it’s included in our list of best-acting schools in New York.

The University’s acting program became popular during recordings in the institution’s Michael Schimmel Centre for the Arts.

3. Cuny Brooklyn College

Brooklyn College is a public institution and part of the City University of New York. 

This New York-based college was established in 1930 and currently has a student enrolment of over 18,000.

Brooklyn College offers a variety of academic courses such as a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts and the likes of James Franco and Obba Babatunde are graduates of Brooklyn College.

Getting into Brooklyn College BFA in the acting program is quite challenging, as the institution only accepts 10 to 12 students every year. 

Successful students receive special training and they also have the opportunity to perform in shows each year.

4. Marymount Manhattan College

Marymount Manhattan College is a private institution with a small student enrollment. 

The majority of the students at Marymount Manhattan College are women.

So, if you are interested in intensive training in various acting styles, the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting offered at Marymount Manhattan College is the perfect program for you.

The program focuses on acting voice, speech, and movement training.

Marymount Manhattan College is one of the best acting schools in New York City. 

The institution allows students in their first year to start auditioning for faculty as well as guest-directed productions.

5. Columbus University

Columbia University which is one of the Ivy League schools is one of the most highly recognized private institutions in the world with a selective acceptance rate making it difficult for aspirants to gain entry into the school.

Nevertheless, it is still the best option to consider.

The University offers a variety of acting programs and has some of the biggest casting directors in Hollywood on its faculty.

6. Juilliard School

Juilliard School is regarded as one of the best drama, dance, and music schools in the world.

 Julliard is a private conservatory that prioritizes vulnerability and it also encourages students to take necessary bold steps in their careers.

It offers Bachelor in Fine Arts and a Master in Fine Arts which last for four years.

In the first three years of study, undergraduates take classes in specialized acting and liberal arts, while the fourth year of study involves performance presentation.

Students in the Master’s program take special drama courses in the first two years of study, and their third and fourth year of study involves performances.

The admission process at Julliard School is quite competitive which an acceptance rate of 8%

7. American Musical Dramatic Academy

The American Musical Dramatic Academy is a private conservatory established in 1964. 

It’s one of the best acting schools in New York City with an acceptance rate below 35%.

With an acceptance rate of 30.8%, she asked for a student-faculty ratio of 8 to 1. 

That’s interesting because it allows students to engage closely with instructors.

8. New York University Tisch School Of The Arts

New York University Tisch School of the Arts is a performing and media art school of New York University.

This school offers a drama program and has graduated some of the big names in entertainment.

However, the acceptance rate at New York University Tisch is below 20%, making it too challenging to get admitted.

9. The New School

The New School is a private school located in New York City. 

It is regarded as one of the most innovative universities in the United States.

It offers Bachelor’s in Fine Arts in Dramatic Arts in a program that can be completed in three years.

If you are interested in enrolling in this school, you will be equipped with cameras and various stage-acting techniques.

10. The New York Film Academy

The New York Film Academy is a private film school and acting school located in New York City. 

It was founded in 1992 by Jerry Sherlock and is located in Los Angeles, California, and Miami, Florida.

Every year, The New York Film Academy trains over 5,000 students in acting. 

Also, this academy has produced some of the best actors and directors to engage students in intensive sessions.


1. Do I Need To Live In New York City To Train In A Conservatory?

You don’t have to relocate to New York City to attend a conservatory if you are not a resident. 

Distance learning is allowed for every student, so you have that opportunity.

2. Do I Need A High School Diploma To Apply to These Acting Schools?

You must present a high school diploma or its equivalent for your application to be considered.

3. What Are The Best Acting Classes In New York?

Below are the best acting classes in New York City.

  • HB Studio
  • Kimball Studio
  • Michael Howard Studio
  • T. Schreiber Studio
  • The Barrow Group
  • The Maggie Flanigan Studio
  • Ted Bardy Acting School
  • Actors New York Connection 
  • Michael Howard Studios

4. What Is The Cost Of Getting An Acting Coach?

On average, an acting teacher charges clients from $50 to $80 an hour. 

This is the fee charged by acting teachers. 

However, getting an acting teacher from T. Schreiber Studios in New York costs more.

Getting an acting teacher from T. Schreiber Studios will cost about $80 to $180 an hour.

Other studios charge more. 

If you want a private coaching session with Margie Haber Studio, it’s $130 per hour for studio members, while non-members pay $180 an hour.

5. What Is the Cost Of Attending Acting Classes In New York?

If you want a private session with instructors from T. Schreiber Studios, it costs $80 to $180 an hour.

Attending acting classes is important and part of the process of becoming a professional. 

As a young talent with aspirations, you need to acquire the right skills in acting.

You can acquire the best skills by attending acting classes, and seminars or getting private acting lessons.


Acting schools are institutions that nurture talent into special professions.

So, If you are interested in becoming a professional actor, you need to attend acting classes or hire acting teachers.

We hope that this article was helpful.

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