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What schools have good musical theatre programs?

Hi there, within the next 4 years I am planing on going to a college or university with a good musical theatre department. What are some schools that have really good musical theatre departments?

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Michelle’s Answer

Some schools that offer the Musical Theatre course of study are :

Pace University School of the Performing Arts , New York, NY
Pennsylvania State University School of Theatre, State College, PA
Elon University, Elon, NC
Oklahoma City University Bass School of Music, Oklahoma City, OK
Ithaca College School of Music, Ithaca, NY
Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Boston, MA
University of Cincinnati College - Conservatory of Music, Cincinnati, OH
New York University, New York, NY
Carnegie-Mellon University School of Drama, Pittsburgh, PA
University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance, Ann Arbor, MI

A good way to find out how good they are is to go to their websites and read the courses they offer and perhaps some success stories of alumni that graduated. Keep in mind you will want to have an idea of what your financial means will be as these colleges are on the expensive side. If there is any way you could visit the schools, that will be very helpful as you can meet the department staff and also see if you could audit a class. There are more colleges than the ones I've listed here that offer a Musical Theatre program, though.

You will have to decide the financial budget, whether you will need to relocate and eventually you would have to relocate/travel between New York and Los Angeles where most of the professional theatre is known to be. However, once you get an agent and join the Union (Equity) , you will be sent on auditions for shows that may be anywhere.

Try not to put emphasis on what is "the best school", rather evaluate your needs and what will realistically be doable for you as there are numerous "good" schools.

What you have in your favor right now is time, as you mention that you have four years to decide - and explore options ! As you perform in musicals at your current school and out in the community, ask opinions of people about schools and see what ideas may come about. I also know that people do get jobs in musical theatre without specializing in/getting a degree in the musical theatre genre. So never feel that all is lost if your situation is such that you go to a local university for singing, acting and dancing. The important thing is to learn, practice and gain experience.

I wish you all the best on this fun, fabulous road to a career in musical theatre.