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Best Acting Schools in New York City | Top 10

If you are planning to venture into acting as a career, it is important to know the acting school that will be the best for you. 

In this article, we have compiled the 10 Best Acting Schools in New York City. Try to read it to the end.

For an aspiring actor, no city is more exciting, inspiring, and potentially door-opening than New York City. See Best Acting Schools in Los Angeles.

Luckily, the City of New York is home to some incredibly strong acting schools where students can hone their craft, gain stage and screen experience, and network with peers and industry professionals.

With Hollywood in your backyard, world-famous actors as your neighbors (well, almost), and a buzzing hub of media, television, movies, and drama all around, New York City is the perfect backdrop to pursue a degree in acting.

Nowadays, it’s very rare to waltz into an audition and land a break-out role successfully. Contemporary young actors need training, industry know-how, and connections. That’s exactly what acting schools provide.

Acting school students study both theory and practice, linking drama concepts and philosophy with actual on-stage and/or on-screen experience.

That’s a powerful combination. Acting school students also benefit from being enmeshed in a community of fellow thespians, learning from some of the world’s best actors and theatre professionals. Aspiring actors can truly eat, sleep, and breathe their craft.

These schools we’ve highlighted in this article truly live up to the “lights, camera, action” of New York City, and offer aspiring actors countless opportunities for students to strengthen their acting skills, explore new genres, learn from professional actors, and connect with peers and industry professionals in search of new talent. These schools are the training ground of the most compelling actors of tomorrow. 

Here are 10 of the best acting schools in New York City.

  • New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts
  • Pace University
  • CUNY Brooklyn College
  • New York Film Academy (NYFA)
  • The New School
  • Marymount Manhattan College
  • New York University Tisch School of the Arts
  • Columbia University
  • Juilliard School
  • American Musical Dramatic Academy

New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts

Located in Manhattan’s Chelsea/Flatiron district, NYCDA prepares students for a career in film and television acting by studying the Meisner Technique, which emphasizes emotional preparation, repetition, and improvisation.

Although NYCDA maintains a relatively small student body of 257, resulting in an 18:1 student to faculty ratio, its 92% acceptance rate means that most who want to study there will get a chance. The $32,742 tuition might sound a little steep, but 100% of students receive some financial aid.

With a faculty that includes film and television stars such as Becky London, Neal Lerner, and Lane Binkley, the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts is uniquely positioned to train the next generation of acting greats.

Pace University

Pace University has become one of the country’s premier acting schools. Pace’s Acting program grew in prominence when the popular interview show Inside the Actors Studio began recording in the school’s Michael Schimmel Center for the Arts.

Taught by industry professionals such as Julie Lawrence-Edsell and Jorge Luis Cacheiro, Pace’s acting program bills itself as “both a nurturing and rigorous environment.”

Of particular interest is the unique International Performance Ensemble (IPE), which trains students in the style of ensemble theater and provides opportunities to study in the UK, Brazil, and Thailand. 

The school’s downtown location earned it the 28th spot in’s list of Best College Locations in the U.S. (and #71 on their list of Safest College Campuses in America), making Pace University one of the best places for young actors to learn their craft.

Marymount Manhattan College

For those who want intensive training in a variety of acting styles, from contemporary theater and Shakespearean drama, the BFA in Acting major at Marymount Manhattan is the program for them.

“Acting, voice and speech, and movement training” are at the center of the program, which culminates in a fourth year of study in Advanced Topics.

Students begin auditioning for faculty and guest-directed productions in their first year, which involve a mix of repertory works and new creations, dramas and musicals.

Its classes of 10-20 students provide learners with a focused experience among a tight-knit group of fellow learners.

Marymount Manhattan faculty includes veteran director Patricia Hoag Simon, playwright Kenneth Finkle, and Shakespearean actor Mark Ringer.

Located in central Manhattan on a campus ranked #69 in’s list of Safest College Campuses in America and #76 in the list of Best College Locations in America, Marymount trains actors in an exciting environment


To this end, we have been able to list out the Best Acting Schools in New York City in this article to help you in making the right decision on the best choice of school that will be fit for your future academic pursuit. You can share your thoughts with us using the comment section if you find this article useful.

Last Updated on September 14, 2023 by Admin

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