Performing Arts Colleges

Have you been researching performing arts college lately?  Those students who are interested in attending performing arts colleges have the option of choosing from a wide variety of schools.  Some performing arts colleges offer liberal arts degrees, while other offer more specialized training without some of the general education requirements.

Selecting Performing Arts Colleges

After you put a list together of performing arts colleges, you should research the school’s connections with the professional performing arts world.  This can be evaluated initially by determining how close the school is located to a major city, like New York, Boston, Chicago, or Los Angeles.  Performing arts colleges located in major cities generally hire their staff from the local artistic community, as opposed to academia, so students can learn the skills required to be successful in the profession from experienced artists.

Something else that students should consider when selecting performing arts colleges is the opportunity for internships, externships, and summer jobs.  These are all an important part of a student’s educational training.  To find out this information, the student should contact the school’s admissions representative or review the school’s promotional materials (i.e. brochures, pamphlets, etc.)

A List of Top Performing Arts Colleges in the U.S.

1.  The Juilliard School – This performing arts college was founded in 1905 as the Institute of Musical Art in New York, NY.  It is one of the most prestigious performing arts colleges in the world.  It is an international school; students come from all over to attend this school

2.  University of Michigan – This performing arts college was founded in 1880 as the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance.  It is consistently rated as one of the best performing arts colleges in the United States.  Students who graduate from this university do well nationally and internationally in all areas of performing arts.

3.  Texas Tech University – This university’s college of visual and performing arts offers programs in art, music, theatre, and dance.  Its academic programs are accredited by: the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, National Association of Schools of Music, and National Association of Schools of Theatre, making this a very well-known performing arts college.

4.  Roosevelt University – This is one of the performing arts colleges located in Chicago, IL.  It is a world-class program, offering students professional training at its prestigious Music and Theatre Conservatory.  Students travel from all over the world to attend this college.

5.  Georgetown University – This university’s department of performing arts is one of the premier performing arts colleges in the country.  The college offers degree programs in all facets of the industry, including music, theatre, dance and film.

Degrees at Performing Arts College

Bachelor of Arts in Performing or Visual Arts – Performing arts colleges that offer these 4-year degrees give students a liberal arts foundation.  In addition to courses geared towards major courses, students also get to take general education courses, like history, english, math, science, and philosophy.  Students who earn bachelor’s degrees from performing arts colleges can enter the job market post graduation or they can choose to enroll in a graduate degree program.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Performing or Visual Arts – Performing arts colleges that offer these 4-year degrees require students to take some general education courses, but the coursework is mainly focused on technical and humanities courses specifically related to the major.  Student who apply to these performing arts colleges usually must also submit a portfolio or audition.

Master of Arts in Theater Performance Performing arts colleges that offer these 1-2 year graduate degrees require students to take courses on the history and culture background of theatre, as well as more advanced courses.  These programs can take anywhere from 30 to 60 credit hours.

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Visual or Performing Arts Performing arts colleges that offer these 2-3 year graduate degrees require students to take a lot of studio-based classes.  Students who complete this degree are also qualified to teach at the university level.

Professional Organizations at Performing Arts Colleges

Students who are pursuing a career as a stage actor should join the Actors’ Equity Association, while students who aspire to be film actors should join the Screen Actors Guild (SAG).

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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