Best Affordable Acting Schools

Last Updated on August 12, 2023 by Oluwajuwon Alvina

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Best Affordable Acting Schools

 Weber State University


Weber State University starts our top 20 affordable colleges for acting and theater arts degree studies with a $5,986 in-state price tag. At Val A. Browning Center, the Lindquist College of Arts & Humanities has Northern Utah’s only cheap Theatre Arts B.A. and Theatre Arts Teaching B.A. for Grades 7-12 certification to promote drama careers with 65 percent full-time retention. Headed by Dr. Thomas Priest, the high-value, 120-credit, NWCCU-accredited curricula require eight semesters of 16-week Ogden courses like Costume Fundamentals and Applied Pedagogy. Wildcats can also perform in Innovation Theatre, earn the Anya Kenley Scholarship, join the Art Guild, and intern with the Sundance Institute.  


Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts
Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts Teaching 
In-State Tuition: $5,986
Out-of-State Tuition: $15,969
Student-Faculty Ratio: 21:1
Graduation Rate: 34 percent

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Florida State University Florida

Any student pursuing a degree in Drama & Theater Arts needs to take a look at Florida State University. Florida State University drama & theater arts graduates receive 6.2% more than the average theater grad. Tallahassee, Florida is an appropriate area for college students who relish the active city life.

This school offers grad degree programs for students who need to proceed after earning a bachelor’s degree. Rated #2 in Florida for value for the money, we would have estimated this university’s terrific instructional programs to command a higher price. Videos from Florida State are a great way to learn more about university.

.Illinois State University Illinois

Illinois State University is a good choice for students pursuing a Drama & Theater Arts degree. The destination of Normal, Illinois, is nice for individuals who favor a more tranquil, suburban area.

Ranked #3 in Illinois for overall value, we might have expected this university’s excellent academic programs to command a higher price. This school is thought to be an excellent choice for veterans and military members.

San Francisco State University


With an in-state tuition of $7,254, San Francisco State University offers the 16th best high-value acting and theater arts degree options on our website. Since Fall 1982, the School of Theatre & Dance in the Creative Arts Building has offered a best-value B.A. in Drama and B.A. in Theatre Arts with four specializations: performance, dramaturgy/play creation, popular theatre, or design and technical theatre. The 120-unit, reasonably priced, NAST-accredited bachelor’s program is run by Prof. Kim Schwartz and has a 55 percent graduation rate for subjects including Styles of Acting and Costuming. The Player’s Club, an internship with Marin Theatre Co., a theater M.F.A., and the Elkind Family Scholarship are further opportunities for Gators.


Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts
Bachelor of Arts in Drama
In-State Tuition: $7,254
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,798
Student-Faculty Ratio: 23:1
Graduation Rate: 55 percent

California State University-Northridge


California State University-Northridge begins our top 15 affordable colleges for acting and theater arts degree majors with $6,972 in-state tuition. At Nordhoff Hall, the Mike Curb College of Arts, Media & Communication enrolls more than 250 B.A. Theatre majors with 54 percent on-time graduation in four low-priced degree tracks: acting/directing, design/technology, history/literature, or musical theatre. Supervised by Prof. Anamarie Dwyer, the inexpensive, 120-unit, NAST-accredited degree path has a March 9th scholarship deadline to help afford courses like Public Speaking and World Drama. Matadors may also intern with the Los Angeles Opera, travel to Madrid, access the Script Library, and join Northridge Improv Club.  


Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
In-State Tuition: $6,972
Out-of-State Tuition: $12,516
Student-Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Graduation Rate: 54 percent

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CUNY Hunter College


CUNY Hunter College is tied for 13th place in our affordable colleges for acting and theater arts degree programs with $6,930 in-state attendance. At the Baker Building, the School of Arts & Sciences provides an inexpensive Undergraduate Theatre Major (B.A.) to practice performing dramatic texts with apprenticeships of 45-90 hours each for 56 percent on-time completion. Advised by Prof. Barbara Bosch, the high-value, 120-credit, MSCHE-accredited New York sequence includes an Honors Project for students with minimum 3.50 GPAs in courses like Stage Lighting and Acting. Hawks can also win the LoBianco Scholarship, perform in Kaye Playhouse, join Theatre Club, and intern with Jujamcyn Theaters.  


Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
In-State Tuition: $6,930
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,600
Student-Faculty Ratio: 13:1
Graduation Rate: 56 percent

CUNY Brooklyn College


With a total in-state cost of $6,930, CUNY Brooklyn College is tied for the 13th most affordable acting and theater arts degree program among Affordable Schools. The School of Visual, Media & Performing Arts at Tow Center provides ensemble-based, reasonably priced Theater BA and Theater BFA programs based on the Stanislavski System with an 83 percent retention rate in two tracks: acting or design and technical theater. The cost-effective, 128-credit programs, designed by Prof. Margaret Araneo, share some 16-week courses including Theatrical Production and Running Stage Crew. Bulldogs might also take part in the CUNY Cultural Corps, pursue a directing MFA, and go to Paris.


Bachelor of Arts in Theater 
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theater 
In-State Tuition: $6,930
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,600
Student-Faculty Ratio: 16:1
Graduation Rate: 58 percent

California State University-Fullerton


California State University-Fullerton is deemed the AS Staff’s 12th most affordable university for acting and theater arts degree options priced $6,924 in-state. At Young Theatre, the College of the Arts has developed a top-value B.A. in Theatre and B.F.A. in Theatre since 1974 with a 25:1 student-faculty ratio for two concentrations: acting or musical theatre. Coordinated by Prof. Mark Ramont, the economical, 132-unit, NAST-accredited degree pathways report an average 3.68 GPA for 15-week Fullerton courses like Chicano/Latino Theatre and Stanislavsky Training. Titans might also join the Arts Interclub Council, win the Dream Big Scholarship, perform in Meng Concert Hall, and enjoy the Hollywood Film Festival.  


Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre
In-State Tuition: $6,924
Out-of-State Tuition: $18,804
Student-Faculty Ratio: 25:1
Graduation Rate: 68 percent 

Western Carolina University


Western Carolina University is picked 11th for our best affordable Bachelor’s in Acting and Theater Arts degree plans with a $6,904 in-state worth. At Belk Hall, the David Orr Belcher College of Fine & Performing Arts provides a low-priced B.A. in Stage and Screen or B.F.A. in Theatre with 62 percent graduation for three tracks: acting, musical theatre, or entertainment design. Overseen by Dr. George Brown, both budget-friendly, 120-credit, NAST-approved options have eight-semester plans of Cullowhee courses from Stage Movement to Video Editing. Catamounts can also perform in Hoey Auditorium, join the Black Theatre Ensemble, study in Prince Edward Island, and intern with Flat Rock Playhouse.  


Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre
Bachelor of Arts in Stage and Screen
In-State Tuition: $6,904
Out-of-State Tuition: $10,904
Student-Faculty Ratio: 17:1

University of South Florida – Main Campus Florida

It’s hard to find a better school than University of South Florida – Main Campus if you wish to pursue Drama & Theater Arts as a major. University of South Florida – Main Campus is one of the largest schools in Florida.

Because of University of South Florida – Main Campus’ very good four-year graduation rate of 44.3%, students usually accumulate less debt than they would at other colleges. This school’s affordable annual price is very attractive to cost-conscious applicants.

Texas Tech University Texas

Any student pursuing a degree in Drama & Theater Arts needs to look into Texas Tech University. Graduates from the drama & theater arts degree program at Texas Tech University make 9.1% above the the average graduate in this field. This school is one of the largest schools in Texas.

The campus at this school is very diverse and includes undergrads from across 39 states and territories and at least 47 countries. 84.0% of freshmen return for their second year of school.

University of South Dakota South Dakota

University of South Dakota is one of the best schools in the United States for Drama & Theater Arts. Students who enjoy a more slow-paced life will appreciate University of South Dakota’s location in the small town of Vermillion, South Dakota.

At least 73.0% of the educators at U of South Dakota have full-time hours, so they have ample time to help their students. You will get a high-return on your educational investment at University of South Dakota, due to the fact its net price of $19,537 is one of the best values in the country.

.University of Florida Florida

University of Florida is a good decision for individuals interested in a Drama & Theater Arts major. Students from the drama & theater arts major at University of Florida get 1.3% above the the average graduate with the same degree. Located in Gainesville, Florida, this school is a good choice for students who enjoy the thrill of a significant city.

Around 77.0% of students send ACT scores, with the typical score in the 29 range. University of Florida has one of the best graduation rates in the nation, with 67.4% of students completing their degree on time.

University of Minnesota – Twin Cities Minnesota

Any student who is interested in Drama & Theater Arts needs to take a look at University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. Students who graduate from the theater program make about $34,875 for their early career and $57,063 in their mid career. With over 20,000 undergraduates, this school is among the largest schools in the U.S..

If you’re interested in UMN Twin Cities, better study hard. The average SAT score of applicants is 1,315. Due to the school’s fantastic on-time graduation rate of 61.2%, college students typically acquire less debt than they would at other institutions.

9.Western Michigan University Michigan

It’s hard to beat Western Michigan University if you want to pursue Drama & Theater Arts as a major. Situated in Kalamazoo, Michigan, this university is best suited for students who blossom in an urban atmosphere.

For students who want to carry on following their bachelor’s degree, this school has graduate programs available. You will get to learn about many different cultures first-hand, thanks to WMU’s diverse campus. See every one of Western Michigan University’s rankings to learn more about the college.

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Winona State University Minnesota

Any student pursuing a degree in Drama & Theater Arts has to take a look at Winona State University. This is a wonderful option for students who prefer the style of a small college town.

This school does not require first-year students to live on-campus. By providing financial aid to 55.0% of its undergraduates,this school makes it possible to avoid taking on too much debt. Take a look at all of Winona State University’s rankings to know more about the college.

Utah Valley University


Utah Valley University is Affordable Schools’ 19th best accredited university for acting and theater arts degree majors with $5,820 in-state fees. At Noorda Theatre, the School of the Arts provides a broad-based, top-value Theatre Arts B.A. or customized Theatre B.F.A. with acting, musical theatre, stage management, or design & production tracks for 35 percent graduation. Advised by Prof. John Newman, the affordable, NWCCU-approved paths require 120-125 credits of Orem courses like Dramaturgy and Digital Audio Essentials with minimum 2.0 GPAs. Wolverines may also transfer from the Theatre A.A., join the Theatre Arts Guild, enter the Playwriting Contest, and intern with Broadway Cares.  


Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre
In-State Tuition: $5,820
Out-of-State Tuition: $16,570
Student-Faculty Ratio: 22:1
Graduation Rate: 35 percent

California State Polytechnic University-Pomona


California State Polytechnic University-Pomona is the AS Staff’s 18th most affordable university for acting and theater arts degree studies priced $7,396 in-state. At the University Theatre, the College of Letters, Arts & Social Sciences delivers a low-priced B.A. in Theatre with a 28:1 student-faculty ratio across five sub-plans: acting, dance, education, general theatre, or design and technical production. Led by Prof. Bernardo Solano, the best-value, 120-unit, WASC-accredited sequence has spanned 15-week courses from Text Analysis to Through Artists Eyes since Fall 2018. Broncos could also join the Center Theatre Group, intern in Kirk Douglas Theatre, journey to Japan, and get the Morse Scholarship.  


Bachelor of Arts in Theatre 
In-State Tuition: $7,396
Out-of-State Tuition: $19,276
Student-Faculty Ratio: 28:1
Graduation Rate: 71 percent

California State University-Sacramento


California State University-Sacramento is crowned our 17th best affordable college for acting and theater arts degree programs with a $7,368 in-state rate. At Shasta Hall, the College of Arts & Letters accepts $70 applications until November 30th to admit BA in Theatre majors with a minimum eligibility index score of 3502 (SAT) or 842 (ACT) for 67 percent acceptance. Outlined by Prof. Lorelei Bayne, the inexpensive, 120-unit, NAST-accredited bachelor’s blends 15-week courses like Puppetry and Stage Makeup with practical senior productions. Hornets might also perform in Playwrights’ Theatre, join the Dramatist Society, intern with Broadway Sacramento, and minor in Dance. 


Bachelor of Arts in Theatre
In-State Tuition: $7,368
Out-of-State Tuition: $19,190
Student-Faculty Ratio: 26:1
Graduation Rate: 51 percent

affordable acting schools in los angeles

1. Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre

Overview: The Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre has the most notable alumni on this list.

Miss Adler trained some of the world’s more celebrated and notable actors of all time. Starting with Marlon Brando, James Dean, Robert DeNiro, and Benicio Del Toro, just to name a few. These actors credited Miss Adler for their talent and successes.

Furthermore, Adler personally trained under Konstantin Stanislavski, later popularizing his method for generations. 

Flagship Program: The Stella Adler Academy of Acting & Theatre offers a variety of different programs. Each program is unique to your goals as an actor.

However, we believe the school’s Two-Year Program to be one of the most valuable. It is ideal for an actor looking for something both intensive and immersive. Students apply to this program just as they would for a university, with tuition paid per term if needed. 

Cost of Tuition: $35,900 total for the two years, six terms 

Duration of Program: Two-year program, 24 months total

Instructors: Instructors vary per chosen program

Famous Alumni: Marlon Brando, James Dean, Robert DeNiro, and Benicio Del Toro


2. Andrew Wood Acting Studio

Overview: Andrew Wood is an MFA graduate from the Yale School of Drama and has his Ph.D. from Stanford University. Wood founded his acting studio in 2004. His intention was to expose students to the acting methods he encountered as the MFA Director of the Yale Drama School.

Students at the Andrew Wood Acting Studio train with an emphasis on dedication, excellence, and intensity. Character development is their primary focus. 

Flagship Program: Wood offers two programs, the Essentials Workshop and Advanced Workshop—the Essentials being the keystone for actors looking to step into the scene. Students train in the Stanislavski approach, concreting their skill in the framework of the script and development as the character and the actor. 

Cost of Tuition: $640

Duration of Program: 10-week course 

Instructors: Andrew Wood, with guest teaching associates Leah Zhang, Beth Gudenrath, and Chris Lang

Famous Alumni: Cris D’Annunzio, Evan Bittencourt 

3. Berg Studios  

Overview: Gregory Berger-Sobeck is a graduate and former acting faculty member at the Yale School of Drama. Berger teaches bi-coastally in both Los Angeles and New York, as well as teaching workshops internationally in London, Paris, Sydney, and Tahiti.

Students at Berg Studios learn a variety of techniques, concentrating on the unleashing of the imagination and cultivation of behavioral work. 

Flagship Program: Berger specializes in a twofold approach by “first providing the actor with tools to make choices from the text, and then leading them to find their own spontaneous behavior.” The studio offers two programs, on-going classes, as well as curated workshops. 

Cost of Tuition: Both Berg’s classes and workshops vary in cost. Workshops go from around $280-$325 while classes range from $280-$2,500

Duration of Program: Workshops are four-weeks long. Classes are from 1-12 month durations, leaving the option open to the student

Instructors: Instructors vary depending on the given chosen workshop and/or class

Famous Alumni: Lupita Nyong’o, Riz Ahmed

4. American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles 

Overview: The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles is a university program, so it does require a completed application ($50 application fee), a high school or college transcript, a personal reference letter, a dramatic reference letter, and an audition. This program is full-time, perfect for individuals seeking an immersive two-year performance-based experience.   

Flagship Program: The AADA Conservatory Program is a full-time education program that prepares students for a long-term, lifelong career both on stage and on the screen. Admission is competitive, but the payoff is an “educational journey of discipline, exploration, and self-awareness, upholding time-tested and innovative techniques of expressing and harnessing truth in all performances.”   

Cost of Tuition: $36,000+ 

Duration of Program: Two years

Instructors: Matt Neves, Judith Bohannon, Betty Karlen 

Famous Alumni: Jessica Chastain, Paul Rudd, Adam Scott, Anne Hathaway, Robert Redford, Danny DeVito, Gail Fisher, Adrien Brody, and more. 

5. USC School of Dramatic Arts

Overview: Offering programs for undergrads, graduates, and for professional development, the USC School of Dramatic Arts is another university program perfect for students seeking university-level training. Students of all levels train in their chosen area of interest, providing you both range and specificity. 

Flagship Program: Undergraduate, Graduate, and Summer programs are all unique programs that are dependent on your prerequisites. Due to this program fees vary, but each entails a traditional university admission process. 

Cost of Tuition: Varies—refer to the individual program pages to determine tuition and fees

Duration of Program: Varies—refer to the individual program pages to determine tuition and fees

Instructors: Varies—It depends on the chosen courses of the student

Famous Alumni: Patrick Adams, McKinley Belcher III, Troian Bellisario, Todd Black, and more. 

best acting schools in usa for international students

The Juilliard School, USA

The Juilliard School, USA, is one of the finest acting schools in the USA. The school has a legacy dating back to 1905 as one of the hardest performing art schools to get through. It has produced some of the most popular Hollywood actors like Robin Williams, Andre Braugher, Viola Davis and Kevin Spacey. Students can study acting at the bachelors and masters levels as well as pursue playwriting. 

Yale School of Drama

Yale School of Drama under the University of Yale is one of the best acting schools in USA. It offers a wide range of programmes for students and professionals interested in acting and the entertainment business. Courses like Acting, Sound Design, Design, Playwriting, Directing, Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, Stage Management, Theater Management and Technical Design and Production. Some of the most successful actors like Meryl Steel, Patricia Clarkson, Lupita Nyong’o and Kathryn Hahn are alumni of the school.  

Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

Tisch School of the Arts, NYU is one of the most competitive acting schools in New York, USA. It offers a bunch of programmes in performing arts, from dance to drama to acting, directing, cinematic studies, public policy and management for high schoolers, undergraduates, graduates and professionals. It is well-known for teaching and guiding actors, singers and directors like Martin Scorsee, Spike Lee, Alec Baldwin and Lady Gaga! 

California Institute of the Arts

California Institute of the Arts is one of the best acting schools in USA. It offers over 70 programmes in visual, performing, media and literary arts. The Institute has different schools for art, dance, music, film, media studies, critical studies and theatre for both graduates and undergraduates. California Institute of the Arts is famous for educating great personalities like Tim Burton, Alison Brie, Don Cheadle and Brad Bird. 

UCLA, School of Theatre, Film and Television

UCLA is one of the best public universities and best acting schools in the USA. It offers a range of programmes in diverse areas from performing arts to psychology to zoology. The University of California, LA, houses the School of Theatre, Film and Television which has two main departments- Theatre and Film, TV and Digital Media. The courses are offered at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Some of the greatest actors like Ben Stiller, James Dean, Jack Black, Nancy Jean Cartwright and Jim Morrison have studied at the University. 


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