List of Acting Schools | The Best Acting Schools Around the World
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List of Acting Schools

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A list of all the major acting schools around the world. The highlighted schools in each country are considered to be the top schools in that country. We have decided these rankings using a number of factors including: student feedback, surveys, alumni, industry advice and more.Please leave a comment below if you have had an experience at any of the Acting schools listed. We are always looking to learn more about actor training.

If you are looking at auditioning for any of these acting schools, thoroughly research their courses. It is useful to look at how recent graduates are going. Speak to people in the industry to get a feel for how each school is seen by the industry. This is constantly changing. You will typically need to prepare monologues to audition for these schools, so check out our lists and find pieces that you feel comfortable and confident in performing.

Here are the best drama schools around the world: 

American Acting Schools


Best American Drama Schools

1. The Juilliard School, Drama Division

2. The Actors Studio (Pace University)

3. Yale School of Drama

4. Tisch School of the Arts, New York City

5. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh

ACT, San Francisco

Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute

Atlantic Acting School

The Stellar Adler Studio of Acting

Capilano University

Randolph Academy for the Performing Arts

The Academy for Classical Acting

Northwestern University

State University of New York, Purchase

Beverly Hills Playhouse Acting School

Boston Conservatory: Music, Dance, Theatre

Boston University, School of Theatre

Michelle Danner Acting School

Elizabeth Mestnik Acting School

Illinois Theatre Center Drama School

Meisner Center Acting Training

California Institute of the Arts, School of Theatre

The Meisner Technique School of Acting

The New School for Drama

New York Film Academy

New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts

Stella Adler Conservatory

The True Acting Institute

University of the Arts Philadelphia, PA

University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA)

University of Cincinnati

University of Southern California: School of Dramatic Arts

University of North Carolina School of the Arts

UC San Diego

British Acting Schools


Best British Drama Schools

1. The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA)

2. London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)

3. Central School of Speech and Drama

4. Guildhall School of Music and Drama

5. Bristol Old Vic

Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts

Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts

The Manchester School of Acting

Arden School of Theatre

Birmingham School of Acting

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Drama Centre London

Drama Studio London

East 15 Acting School

Guildford School of Acting

Arts Educational Schools, London

Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

London School of Musical Theatre

Manchester Metropolitan University

Oxford School of Drama

Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama

Australian Acting Schools


Best Australian Drama Schools

1. National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA)

2. Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA)

3. Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

4. Victorian College of the Arts (VCA)

5. ACA: Actors Centre Australia (ACA)

ACARTS: Adelaide College of the Art

The National Theatre Drama School

Deakin University (Drama)

Swinburne University of Technology

University of Wollongong

Screenwise Film and TV school for Actors

Flinders Drama Centre

University of Tasmania (Academy of the Arts)

University of Ballarat

Curtin University

Canadian Acting Schools


Canadian College of Performing Arts

Vancouver Film School

National Theatre School of Canada

Second City Toronto

International Acting Schools


Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School

National Theatre School of Canada

Canadian College of Performing Arts

National School of Drama (India)

Conservatoire National Superieur d Art Dramatique

Dell’Arte International School of Physical Theatre

Wits University, BADA

University of Cape Town

Rhodes University

Tshwane University

State Academy of Film, TV and Theatre in Lodz


About the Author

StageMilk Team

is made up of young professional actors and writers from around the world. This team includes Andrew Hearle, Luke McMahon, Kyle Billings, Jim Harwood and many more. We all work together to contribute useful articles and resources for actors at all stages in their careers.

About the Author

StageMilk Team

is made up of young professional actors and writers from around the world. This team includes Andrew Hearle, Luke McMahon, Kyle Billings, Jim Harwood and many more. We all work together to contribute useful articles and resources for actors at all stages in their careers.

3 responses to “List of Acting Schools”

  1. Avatar Deena Freeman says:

    You must add The Speiser/Sturges acting studio to the list of best acting schools. Check out their website. Aaron is a gifted teacher and in a league by himself. Shannon is an incredible teacher as well. I have studied with Aaron for a number of years.,.. He is Will Smith’s acting coach as well as a coach to many more stars.
    By the way, there is no mention of an acting school for teens which I run, called, Deena Freeman’s Teen Acting Classes. I have many years experience and am trained by Aaron. He and Shannon send me students. Please check out my website:

  2. Avatar Lesley says:

    The Australian list isnt exactly correct these days. It’s widely known that actors graduating from NIDA, QUT and VCA are not as balanced, outstanding performers as these schools once produced. Many Australian actors undertake training privately or at smaller screen schools such as Screenwise in New South Wales and The Australian Film & Television Academy (TAFTA) in Melbourne. The smaller schools prepare the actors for real work on set, whereas the universities only shape the actors into a certain type of performer, often limiting their range of ability and not preparing them for the reality of life as an actor. I work in admin in performing arts education in Australia. I hear this point of view from many directors and acting coaches.

    • Andrew Hearle Andrew Hearle says:

      Hi Lesley, thanks for your comment. I would have to disagree here. The major drama schools are still very well respected and especially for those interested in a career in theatre, studying at a film school would not be ideal. Most schools are much more balanced now. NIDA used to have a reputation for “breaking actors”, but with John at the head it’s a much more open and adaptive school. We love Screenwise and TAFTA, but in regards to a list of leading drama schools I don’t think anyone would place those schools above any of the major 3 year programs.

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