You clicked on the headline of this article because you are probably searching for the best drama and/or acting schools in New York.

With such an impressive theater scene, it’s no surprise that New York also boasts some of the best drama and acting schools in the country.

Whether you want to pursue acting professionally or just have an interest in acting as a hobby, there are plenty of classes available to help you hone your skills and give you the confidence you need to take on the world of theater!

And this is what this article is about, we have done the research and compiled a list of the best drama and acting schools in New York, so you can make a more informed decision about your career.

With that said, read through and find the most satisfying. You can also expand the table of content to easily navigate through.

Is New York good for acting?

Before we list the school, we want to know if New York is actually good to take drama classes.

Sincerely, there’s no denying that New York is a great place for aspiring actors, the city has produced top actors like Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Anne Hathaway.

If you’re serious about pursuing a career in acting, then attending one of the schools for drama in New York should definitely be on your radar.

What are the best Drama Schools in New York?

Best Acting schools in New york

Here is a list of some of the best drama and acting schools in New York that can help you break into this exciting industry!

  1. New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts
  2. Pace University
  3. CUNY Brooklyn College
  4. New York Film Academy (NYFA)
  5. The Juilliard School
  6. Tisch School of the Arts
  7. Marymount Manhattan College
  8. William Esper Studio
  9. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts
  10. American Musical and Dramatic Academy
  11. Columbia University
  12. Hofstra University
  13. The Maggie Flanigan Studio
  14. The New School
  15. The Neighborhood Playhouse
  16. HB Studio

1. New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts

The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts is one of the drama schools in New York, it is a privately owned institution that prepares students for a career in film and television acting.

It might interest you to know that Jacob Batelon (spider man’s best friend) attended the New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts.

Getting into this school is not too competitive, with an acceptance rate as high as 92%, New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts could easily go in as one of the easiest film schools to get into.

Getting into this school, you might want to budget about $33,000 for tuition, but students can receive financial aid.

Contact details:

Address: 39 W 19th St, New York, NY 10011, United States.

Phone: +1 212-645-0030.

2. Pace University

If you’re looking for a top-notch drama school in New York City, then you can’t go wrong with Pace University.

Pace offers a safe environment for young actors to learn their craft and connect with industry leaders.

But that is not all, the Actors Studio Drama Schoo at Pace University is one of the best drama schools in New York because it provides its students with a well-rounded curriculum that will prepare them for a career in acting.

The faculty is comprised of working professionals who are passionate about their craft, and they offer a wealth of experience and knowledge to their students.

Pace University offers financial aid to its students to help offset costs, this financial assistance can come in different forms such as scholarships, loans, work-study, etc.

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In addition, the school has strong industry connections, which can help you get your foot in the door after graduation.

Contact details:

Address: One Pace Plaza, New York, NY 10038, United States.

Phone: +1 866-722-3338.

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3. CUNY Brooklyn College

Brooklyn College is one of the public universities in Brooklyn that is also a part of the City University of New York system (CUNY).

The school has built an international reputation as one of the best acting schools in New York, popular alumni include Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Frank McCourt.

Students looking to get enrolled in this school should understand that it is highly competitive, only about 10-12 students make entry annually.

Brooklyn College has also been ranked #6 in Top Performers in Social Mobility by the U.S. News & World Report.

Contact details:

Address: 2900 Bedford Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11210, United States.

Phone: +1 718-951-5000

4. New York Film Academy (NYFA)

Founded in 1992, NYFA has been a leader in filmmaking and acting education, it is located in the heart of New York City, and the school provides students with the opportunity to study both on-campus and online.

Students get hands-on training and can really understand the concept of filmmaking from screenwriting to directing.

Some of the school’s alumni include the likes of Issa Rae, actor Bill Hader, and actresses Aubrey Plaza and Lana Condor.

Learning and working with NYFA can be life-changing because students can be affiliated with the Brooklyn and Whitney Museums, MOMA, and even NASA to shoot or create a story.

Getting into the school is not hard, the acceptance rate is as high as 100%, and you can be a part of the New York Film Academy when you contact them.

5. The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School is one of the recognized private drama schools in New York, it was established in 1905 and has an undergraduate student enrollment of about 850 students.

As a performing art conservatory in New York, Juilliard offers a rigorous and well-rounded curriculum that will prepare you for a successful career in acting.

While at Juilliard, you’ll have the opportunity to work with some of the most talented and experienced instructors in the business.

Although Julliard has a low acceptance rate of 8%, they produce great and all-rounded graduates, the likes of Wendell Pierce, Viola Davis, Alan Tudyk, Anthony Mackie, Kelsey Grammer, Robin Williams, Jessica Chastain, and Kevin Spacey.

Contact details:

Address: 60 Lincoln Center Plaza, New York, NY 10023, United States.

Phone: +1 212-799-5000.

Also Read: 7 Top Quiet Places To Study And Read In NYC Without Disturbance

6. Tisch School of the Arts

Founded in 1965, one of the most well-known acting schools in New York is the Tisch School of the Arts.

The school offers rigorous conservatory programs that culminate in a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. during their time at Tisch, students take classes in acting, directing, theatrical management, dramaturgy, and more.

They also have the opportunity to perform in various productions, thanks to the confidence that has been built through the grounded training they received.

Alumni of the school include the likes of Joel Coen, Billy Crystal, Michael Arndt, Bridget Fonda, Charles Kaufman, and Martin Scorsese.

The Tisch School of the Arts is ranked #30 among the most innovative schools by U.S News.

Contact details:

Address: 721 Broadway, New York, NY 10003, United States.

Phone: +1 212-998-1900.

7. Marymount Manhattan College

Statistics show that there are more women (80.1%) than men (19.9%) at Marymount Manhattan College.

It has also been ranked #69 by as one of the safest colleges in America, would you want to be here?

Marymount College is one of the best acting schools in NY, no doubt, this prestigious school has been churning out successful actors for years, here are some of the notable alumni; Annaleigh Ashford, Adrienne Warren, Emmy Raver‑Lampman, and Laverne Cox.

From Shakespeare to contemporary pieces, the curriculum is designed to challenge and engage students.

Students build confidence early, they start auditioning for faculties and even guest-directed productions in their first year.

With a global faculty of working professionals, the likes of Patricia Hoag Simon, playwright Kenneth Finkle, and Shakespearean actor Mark Ringe, you’ll be sure to get the best education possible.

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Contact details:

Address: 221 E 71st St, New York, NY 10021, United States.

Phone: +1 212-517-0430.

8. William Esper Studio

The William Esper Studio was established in 1965 by William Esper and has grown to become one of the top schools for the performing arts in the United States.

William Esper Studio offers a rigorous curriculum for both full-and part-time actors, there is also a 6-week summer intensive running from mid-June to the end of July.

The studio accepts students from any part of the globe, it is one of the best drama schools in New York that provides M-1 visas to qualified international applicants.

Here are some of the notable alumni; Jeff Goldblum, Sam Rockwell, Amy Schumer, Larry David, Aaron Eckhart, and David Morse.

Contact details:

Address: 208 W 37th St, New York, NY 10018, United States

Phone: +1 212-904-1350

9. The American Academy of Dramatic Arts

One of the most popular schools on this list, the American Academy of Dramatic Arts is a private institution for performing arts offering an associate degree in occupational studies.

Being one of the top drama schools in New York, they offer programs that teach drama and related arts in the areas of theater, film, and television. 

It is always a thing of joy to be in the midst of like minds and that is what you get at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, you will be guided to attain by the highest level of experts.

Here are some of the notable alumni of this institution; Adrien Brody, Kim Cattrall, Paul Rudd, Adam Scott, Danny DeVito, Kirk Douglas, and Robert Redford.

American Academy of Dramatic Arts has been ranked among the schools with the most focused drama and theater arts programs by College Factual.

Contact details:

Address: 120 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016, United States.

Phone: +1 800-463-8990.

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10. American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA)

The American Musical and Dramatic Academy is one of the most well-known and respected acting schools in the United States located in New York and Los Angeles, California.

The school offers a two-year conservatory program that trains actors for stage, screen, and musical theatre, this program leads to both Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees and certificates in professional performance.

AMDA provides students with ample opportunities to perform and work with some of the biggest names in theatre, film, and television.

Here are some of the notable alumni of the school; Anthony Ramos, Mike Faist, Dita Karang, Christopher Jackson, etc.

Financial aid is also provided to the student through grants and scholarships, loans, and work to offset costs

Major forms of financial aid include gift aid (grants and scholarships) and self-help aid (loans and work).

Contact details:

Address: 211 W 61st St, New York, NY 10023, United States.

Phone: +1 212-787-5300.

11. Columbia University School of Arts

Columbia University is one of the top private Ivy League research institutions located in New York, it was established in 1754 and is also one of the oldest in the Country.

Drama students at Columbia study the history of theater while developing their own skills in acting, directing, design, and playwriting.

The school’s close relationship with the professional theater community in New York provides students with opportunities to see firsthand how their classroom work translates to real-world success.

The School of the Arts offers financial aid to students with over $13 million annual budget in the form of tuition scholarships, teaching appointments, and institutional awards.

Some of the notable alumni of the Columbia University School of the Arts include; Kathryn Bigelow, Lisa Cholodenko, James Mangold, Kimberly Peirce, and Simon Kinberg.

Contact details:

Address: 601 Dodge Hall, Columbia University, 2960, New York, NY 10027.

Phone: +1 212-854-1754.

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12. Hofstra University

If you want to study acting in New York, Hofstra University is a great choice, located on Long Island, just outside of the city, Hofstra offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting as well as a minor in drama.

Hofstra University is one of the best drama schools in New York because the school gives you hands-on experience and the program helps students prepare for a career in acting, directing, design, production, or stage management.

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You’ll also have the opportunity to perform in several productions each year, here are some of the school’s notable alumni; James Caan, Francis Ford Coppola, Robert Davi, and Madeline Kahn.

Contact details:

Address: 1000 Fulton Avenue, Hempstead, NY 11549, United States.

Phone: +1 516-463-6600.

13. The Maggie Flanigan Studio

One of the top drama schools in New York is the Maggie Flanigan Studio, students at this school receive comprehensive training in all aspects of acting, from vocal technique to stage combat.

The school also offers a two-year conservatory program, as well as private coaching for those who want to continue their studies after graduation.

Here are some of the school’s notable alumni; Carlton Byrd, Tom Lipinski, Jes Macallan, Michael Oberholtzer, and Piper Perabo.

Contact details:

Address: 153 West 27th Street, New York, NY 10001, United States.

Phone: +1 917-789-1599.

14. The New School

If you want to study acting in the heart of New York City, then The New School is the perfect place for you.

The New York School was founded in 1919 as one of the private research universities in the state.

With a world-renowned faculty, competitive students, and plenty of performance opportunities, The New School will help you develop your craft and prepare you for a career in acting.

Some of the notable alumni at the New York School include; Richard Avedon, James Baldwin, Bea Arthur, and Tom Ford.

Contact details:

Address: 72 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10011, United States

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15. The Neighborhood Playhouse

Founded in 1928, The Neighborhood Playhouse has a long history of training some of the most successful actors in the industry.

As one of the best acting schools in New York, this school offers a conservatory program that focuses on both practical training and academics.

In addition to acting classes, students also take voice and movement, Alexander Technique, ear training, and music courses.

Here are some of its notable alumni; Joanne Woodward, Mark Rydell, Sherie Rene Scott, and Christopher Lloyd.

Contact details:

Address: 340 E 54th St, New York, NY 10022, United States

Phone: +1 212-688-3770.

16. HB Studio

If you’re looking for quality acting training in NYC, look no further than HB Studio.

Founded in 1945 by Herbert Berghof, this institution has been teaching actors of all levels for over half a century.

Contact details:

Address: 120 Bank St, New York, NY 10014, United States.

Phone: +1 212-675-2370.


Any of these institutions would be a great choice for aspiring actors, so it really comes down to finding the right fit.

Consider your budget, your goals, and your gut when making your decision, and remember, the most important thing is to keep working hard and never give up on your dreams.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of taking acting classes?

The benefit of taking acting classes is that you’ll learn from working professionals, hone your audition technique, and get feedback on your work. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to network with other aspiring actors and build relationships that could last a lifetime.

What are the requirements to study acting?

If you want to study acting, you'll need to be prepared to put in the hard work. That means finding the right school, auditioning, and then dedicating yourself to the craft.

What happens in an acting school?

In an acting school, you will learn how to develop your craft, hone your skills, and connect with other actors. You will also have the opportunity to work with industry professionals who can help you get started in your career.

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Agbai Obasi
Agbai Obasi

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