Call To Schedule an Interview

(917) 794-3878

Can You Study Acting in College? The NYC Answer.


Can you study acting in college, especially in a vibrant city like New York? Yes, absolutely. 

Taking acting classes in NYC, one of the global hubs of theater and film, hones your craft and connects you with a dynamic network of professionals and opportunities. 

Pursuing formal education in acting provides a structured environment to develop your skills comprehensively, from learning classical techniques to understanding the modern demands of the acting world.

The importance of an acting education cannot be overstated. It prepares aspiring actors for a rigorous and rewarding career by laying a solid foundation of fundamental skills, a deep understanding of the history of the art form, and a class structure that develops your vocal and physical instrument.

In this blog, we’ll explore the benefits and opportunities that come with studying acting in a collegiate environment and how such training can be a first step in establishing a  successful acting career.

We’ll also tell you how Maggie Flanigan Studio’s rigorous curriculum and dedicated faculty can provide a depth of training at a fraction of the cost of a four year undergraduate degree, making it a prudent financial choice for aspiring actors dedicated to honing their craft to a professional standard.

Key Takeaways

  • Formal acting education offers a solid foundation, blending core courses and specialized training to prepare students for professional acting careers.
  • Acting in college can introduce basic skills through coursework and performance, providing  important experience, and a beginning understanding of what it means to be an actor.
  • Maggie Flanigan Studio provides a comprehensive alternative with Meisner-based training and strong industry connections, enhancing actors’ readiness for the professional world.

Can You Study Acting in College?

An actor working on a scene.

Yes. You can study acting in college. 

For those looking to pursue acting, numerous educational pathways are available, including a BA or BFA degree in theater. An undergraduate degree takes four years to achieve. A BA is a general liberal arts degree with a focus on theater, and a BFA is a more focused degree on acting itself.

Colleges and universities offer a range of programs tailored specifically to those who want to become an actor. These programs are designed to equip students with a beginning skill set, from performance to the nuances of behind-the-scenes production.

Here, we explore the advantages and disadvantages of obtaining a college education in acting.

Pros of Studying Acting in College

Getting a college education in acting offers many benefits. Here are some of the key advantages:

Structured learning and diverse skill set

College programs in theater arts provide a structured setting where students enhance their acting skills through practical exercises in class, as well as in staged performances.

With a solid faculty, acting majors can receive training in voice, movement, theater history, and character development.

Networking opportunities

Acting schools located in major cities or cultural hubs offer significant networking opportunities.

Students frequently connect with industry professionals through workshops and alumni networks. These connections often lead to professional casting calls and valuable introductions to busy working actors and directors.

Academic and theoretical knowledge

Pursuing a drama degree or a communications degree allows students to gain an understanding of theater and film history and theory. This knowledge base aids actors in delivering authentic performances. 

Additionally, courses in screenwriting and other specialized fields help students create their own scripts, further broadening their career prospects.

Cons of Studying Acting in College

While pursuing an acting education offers many benefits, there are also some challenges to consider. Here’s a closer look at the potential drawbacks of studying acting in college:

High costs and time investment

The financial commitment to earn an acting degree from a renowned acting school can be substantial, with tuition fees often being quite high. Also, a liberal arts degree is often ranked in the top 5 of the lowest paying college degrees you can get.

Additionally, the extensive time needed to complete a bachelor’s or master’s degree in theater arts may delay the onset of a professional career, which can be a significant consideration for many actors.

Limited real-world experience

College productions, while educational, might not fully prepare theater students for the pressures and unpredictability of real-world acting jobs. 

The controlled academic environment often lacks the real-time challenges faced by professional actors, potentially leaving graduates less prepared for professional demands.

Narrow focus on certain skills

Acting programs in colleges often emphasize traditional theater, potentially overlooking the diverse skills required for film and television. 

Actors usually find themselves needing to pursue further training, such as a two-year professional acting conservatory like the Maggie Flanigan Studio, to bridge the gap between their college education and the requirements and expectations of the industry.

The Basics of Acting Education

Artistic Director and Master Teacher Charlie Sandlan teaching a class.

Pursuing an education in acting can be transformative for those aspiring to be a professional actor. The knowledge and skills gained through a structured educational program are indispensable for success on stage or in front of a camera. 

This section will explore the various educational pathways available for budding actors, from acting degrees and programs to the selection of the right performing arts schools and acting studios.

Acting degrees and acting programs

Aspiring actors can explore a variety of educational paths tailored to their interests and career goals. You can opt to get a liberal arts degree or a Bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, which emphasizes essential acting techniques, voice control, and character development.

More specialized options such as film or screenwriting degrees cater to those interested in the cinematic aspects of the industry. 

Many acting schools, studios, and performing arts colleges offer comprehensive curricula that blend practical performance opportunities—such as college productions and acting exercises—with academic studies in theater history, narrative devices, and various acting techniques. 

This approach equips students with a basic set of skills needed to act professionally and deepens their theoretical knowledge, preparing them for the diverse challenges of the acting world. 

Programs, which include drama classes, musical theater, and stage management courses, focus on cultivating a well-rounded performance skill set that’s essential for achieving future success in the entertainment industry.

Performing arts schools and acting studios

Choosing the right performing arts college or acting studio is crucial for anyone who wants to become an actor.

Besides teaching the craft, these institutions also connect students with the acting industry through professional casting calls and interactions with casting directors. Top-tier acting schools and studios blend theoretical and practical learning, covering areas like stage management and costume design.

Being in a major cultural hub like NYC amplifies this experience since it offers students first hand exposure to professional environments that could broaden their career prospects. This comprehensive education prepares students to successfully navigate and thrive in the diverse and dynamic world of acting.

Components of Acting Programs

For those pursuing an acting career, the components of your educational program are crucial in shaping your skills and professional prospects. 

Acting programs at top institutions provide a mix of core courses, specialized training, and hands-on experience, each designed to build a beginning foundation in the performing arts. 

Let’s explore these key components that help students become successful actors.

Core courses

In the core curriculum, students dive into essential subjects that form the backbone of their acting education. 

This includes acting techniques where they learn to bring characters to life, theater history that provides context and depth to their understanding, film history which is crucial for anyone wanting to pursue a professional acting career, and screenwriting to help them craft compelling narratives. 

These courses are supplemented by studies in communications and even cognitive sciences, providing a well-rounded education that enhances both their practical skills and theoretical knowledge.

Specialized training

Beyond foundational courses, acting students undertake specialized training that sharpens skills essential for a successful career in acting. 

Classes in voice and speech enhance vocal range and resonance, while movement courses focus on releasing the body of physical tension—skills crucial for any actor looking to create organic, vivid behavior. Combat training for stage and film prepares actors for any type of physical conflict in a scene, teaching them safe and convincing fighting techniques.

Each specialized course is designed to refine students’ acting skills for the varied demands of acting work across different media. 

Hands-on experience

In the acting world, practical experience is crucial. 

Acting programs typically incorporate college productions and film projects, enabling students to apply their classroom knowledge in real-world settings. These experiences are essential for students to grasp the inner workings of a professional environment, including various professional roles outside of acting.

These opportunities also allow students to collaborate with acting coaches and meet casting directors, which can be pivotal in their professional development. 

Handling behind-the-scenes roles, such as costume, sound, and set design also enriches their understanding of the entire production process.

Explore Professional Acting Training Beyond College

Movement classes at Maggie Flanigan Studio.

While college offers a traditional path for studying acting, Maggie Flanigan Studio provides an intensive alternative that provides aspiring actors with serious, professional actor training. 

Renowned for its commitment to developing skilled actors through rigorous Meisner-based training and a holistic educational strategy, our studio offers an intimate and nurturing   environment where students are held to the highest artistic expectations.

With comprehensive classes in voice and speech, movement, theater history, film history, script analysis, cold reading, Shakespeare, dialects, Chekhov, and more, we equip actors from diverse backgrounds and age ranges to meet the demands of both stage and screen. 

Our studio extends significant career support, including access to casting opportunities and a network that actively supports the professional growth of our actors. This community opens doors in the industry and nurtures lasting relationships within the industry. 

If you’re driven by a passion for acting and ready to challenge yourself, call Maggie Flanigan Studio today to discover how we can help you excel in the demanding world of acting.


Studying acting through a formal education, such as an acting degree, provides a basic foundation in theater arts, equipping students with introductory skills in voice control, physical ease, and character development.

These programs blend core courses with specialized training, preparing students for the varied challenges of an acting career. However, Maggie Flanigan Studio takes this foundation to the next level with its rigorous training in the Meisner Technique, supported by a conservatory experience of essential auxiliary classes. 

Offering hands-on experience with master teachers, career guidance, and vital industry connections, the Maggie Flanigan Studio is an excellent choice for those ready to dive deep into an immersive acting environment and advance their careers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you do acting while in college?

Yes, many undergraduate theater programs provide performance opportunities to their students.

Most universities with theater programs offer numerous acting classes and productions, allowing theater students to practice their craft actively alongside their studies. This balance helps them gain practical experience while completing their academic requirements.

Is there a college major for acting?

Yes, there is a college major for acting, typically known as a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Acting or Theatre Arts. 

This major provides specialized training in various aspects of acting, movement, voice, and script analysis, preparing students to become professional actors through both practical and theoretical coursework.

What are actors studying in college?

Actors in college typically study a range of subjects within a theater or film degree program, including acting techniques, voice and speech, movement, theater history, and performance analysis. 

These courses are designed to enhance their acting skills, deepen their understanding of the craft, and prepare them for a diverse range of roles in theater, film, and television.

Recent Post


Business Hours
9 AM - 10 PM
9 AM - 10 PM
9 AM - 10 PM
9 AM - 5 PM
9 AM - 5 PM
9 AM - 10 PM
9 AM - 10 PM