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7 Best Performing Arts Colleges in US

Prestigious institute across the US offers performing arts degrees for each of the main three branches- music, drama, and dance. These schools are also referred to as conservatories, especially dance and music schools. For example, Julliard is a well-known school that focuses on performing arts only and among very known and best performing arts colleges in the US.

At the initial level, most of the universities focus on an overall base spanning various disciplines, before needing students to choose a specific pathway. However, it depends on the College or School to provide majors to choose from when selecting the credits for your performing arts degree.

Before getting into the best colleges for performing arts, let’s get an overview of  performing art as a professional career.

Performing arts as Career

Performing arts colleges Provides artistic and dramatic instructions for students who want to avail themselves careers as actors, Choreographers, vocalists, dancers, musicians, and directors. Professional opportunities are around stage acting, working in the movies, working with a musician, and teaching music and arts. The degree is offered at the associate’s, Bachelors’, and master’s degree levels.

The benefits of getting into best performing arts colleges includes:

  • You can pursue the creative career you desire, performing arts studies will allow you to develop abilities and skills for creative work. For example, if you are studying dance, you will get an opportunity to learn body moves and get stronger.
  • Joining Performing arts school means you are becoming part of a community, and building strong relations
  • Performing arts professionals have flexibility in their career, for example, you can have a dance degree and you can work on-stage actors for a theatrical production or teach dance or can dance in a music video
  • Performing arts provide a medium for the expression of emotions and feelings and influence your skills

Indeed, looking for an institute can be a headache if you do not have any information or profile. It is highly recommended to do proper research, meet alumni and current students to know more about best  performing arts institutes. Here is the list of the best Performing arts colleges in the US to help you choose a college.

 The Juilliard School

Founded in 1905, the Juilliard School is among the best private performing arts colleges in New York City. The school offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in dance, drama, and music. It is widely known for its arts education providing the highest caliber of artistic education. Musicians, dancers, and actors around the world get their degrees from Julliard School to achieve their fullest potential.

Additionally, the School has won numerous prestigious awards including 12 National awards for arts 105 Grammy awards, 62 Tony Awards, 47 Emmy Awards, 26 Bessie Awards, 24 Academy Awards, and 16 Pulitzer Prize.

The school is extremely selective, and the acceptance rate is only eight to 10 students for the BFA acting program, eight to 10 students for the MFA acting program, and 24 students for the BFA dance program. It also holds public performances throughout the year, and the drama program puts on many plays. Julliard is an excellent choice for any student looking to make a great career in Performing Art.

Address:                      60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, United States

Phone No:                    +1 212-799-5000

Acceptance Rate:          8%

Average Annual cost

Before Aid:                   $71, 780

After aid:                        $33, 535

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NYU Tisch School of the Arts

The New York University Tisch School of the Arts is a private university that offers courses for performing arts, cinematic, and media arts and is among the best performing arts colleges. It was founded on August 17, 1965. Tisch is one of the best Schools for artists, filmmakers, and performers. The School has a list of notable alums including some big names such as lady Gaga, Elizabeth Olsen, James Franco, Kristen Bell, and Spike lee.

Courses at institute of Performing Arts

  • Dance (BFA)
  • Drama (BFA)
  • Performance studies ( Bachelor of Arts)
  • Collaborative Arts

Kanbar institute of Film & Television

  • Cinema studies ( Bachelor of Arts)
  • Dramatic Writing ( BFA)
  • Film & Television (BFA)

Emerging Media

  • Game Design (BFA)
  • Interactive Media Arts( BFA)
  • Photography & Imaging (BFA)
  • Recorded Music (BFA)

Address:                721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003, United States

Phone No:             +1 212-988-1900

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Boston conservatory at BerkLee

Boston Conservatory was founded in 1867 by Julius Eichberg. In February 2017, the institute celebrated 150 years of performing arts education excellence. It is known for its specialization in dance, music, and theater. Its dance program is among the US top programs with world-class faculty who have worked with famous choreographers including Antony Tudor, Robert Joffrey, Jose Limon, Martha Graham, and dance companies such as Limon Dance Company. Above all, it is among the best performing arts colleges to offer variety of programs.

Throughout the year, the institute conduct performances. Also, remember that Boston Conservatory specializes in Contemporary dance. It doesn’t offer classical training. It’s contribution makes it one of the best performing arts college in the United State.

Boston Conservatory at Berklee
8 Fenway
Boston, MA 02215

Admissions Office


Fax: 617-747-2047

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Northwestern School of Communication

Northwestern School has a comprehensive program in performing arts and media arts. The program includes dramatic writing, film, television production, and design for interactive and digital media, theatre design and directing, theatre history, music theatre, dance, acting on stage, sound design, and studies.

Also, it is one of the few  best Performing arts colleges in the US that doesn’t require an audition for admission. The current acceptance rate of Northwestern school is only 8%. Which means it is highly competitive and based on academic standards. Furthermore, the school’s notable alums include Stephen Colbert, Zach Braff, David Schwimmer, and Anna Gunn. The School provides a variety of opportunities for students throughout the year. For example, seniors are invited to participate in showcases in front of industry professionals in Chicago and New York.

Ryan Center for the Musical Arts
70 Arts Circle Drive, Room 5-160
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-491-3170
Fax: 847-467-2019
Dance Program
10 Arts Circle Drive
Evanston, IL 60208
Phone: 847-491-3147
Fax: 847-467-2019

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California Institute of Arts

The California Institute of Arts is well known private art university in Santa Clarita, California. It is one of the top performing arts specifically drama schools in the US. Its acceptance rate is 27% and enrollment in 208-2019 was 1015 undergraduates. At least a 3.34 GPA is required to get admission to this school.

The School offers courses in Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, music, and theater. furthermore, financial aid is also available for needy students. It has a diverse group of students that provides a great learning opportunity for students.

Address :24700 McBean Pkwy, Valencia,

CA 91355, United States

Phone : +1 661-255-1050

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Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts


Carnegie Mellon University College of Fine Arts has five schools (Architecture, Art, design, Drama, and music) and also associated programs such as BXA intercollege degree programs and Art Entertainment Management. The college believes in inspiring leadership and enhancing society with Art Education.

It has a long history of top-notch drama education with faculty of working theater professionals. Additionally,  the school offers separate degrees for both acting and musical theatre. It is among the top performing arts institute that gives an option to students to choose their specialization.

College of Fine Arts

Carnegie Mellon University

5000 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213

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University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Indeed, University of North Carolina School of Arts is one of the most exceptional and best drama and dance schools. The alumni of this school have gone to perform with the Pacific Northwest Ballet, American Ballet Theatre, the New York City Ballet, and the Martha Graham Ensemble. Others have performed with well-known singers such as Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Janet Jackson. It well known and top performing arts School in the US.

The university offers courses in Dance, Design& Production, Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. The acceptance rate is 36%. The average annual in-state cost is $22,637 before aid, and after getting aid it will reduce to $13.885.


Phone no +1 336-770-3399

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Once you decide to get admission to Arts College, it is essential to do the prep work. These are only a few top best performing arts colleges, however, there are more than 100 top arts colleges around the US. It is highly recommended to talk to the alums, and current students to get a better idea of the admission criteria, college environment, opportunities, learning methodologies, financial assistant, and exams criteria. Also, go through the official web pages to get the latest update on admission, or any policy change.

Whatever decision you make, must be based on realistic pathways, and authentic information. Otherwise, it gets tough to decide on a career in Arts. Hopefully, this article will contribute to your understanding of Performing arts colleges.

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