Drama & Theater Arts

2022 Best Drama & Theater Arts Schools

606 Colleges in the United States
16,685 Theater Degrees Awarded
$21,403 Avg Early-Career Salary
A degree in drama and theater arts is more popular than many other degrees. In fact, it ranks #59 out of 368 on popularity of all such degrees in the nation. This means you won't have too much trouble finding schools that offer the degree.

In 2022, College Factual analyzed 606 schools in order to identify the top ones for its Best Drama & Theater Arts Schools ranking. When you put them all together, these colleges and universities awarded 16,685 degrees in drama and theater arts during the 2019-2020 academic year.

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Choosing a Great Drama & Theater Arts School

Best Drama & Theater Arts Schools Your choice of drama and theater arts school matters, so we have put together these rankings to help you make your decision. For our Best Overall Drama & Theater Arts School rankings, we roll up the results of our degree-level rankings, weighted by the number of degrees awarded at that level.

You may want to choose one of the degree levels below to find the schools of most interest to you.

Pick Your Drama & Theater Arts Degree Level

Since the program you select can have a significant impact on your future, we've developed a number of rankings, including this Best Drama & Theater Arts Schools list, to help you choose the best school for you. You can also filter this list by location to find schools closer to you.

In addition to College Factual's rankings, you may want to take a look at College Combat, our unique tool that lets you pit your favorite schools head-to-head and compare how they rate on factors that most interest you. When you have some time, check it out - you may want to bookmark the link so you don't forget it.

More information on how we come up with our rankings can be found here: College Factual's Data Methodology.

Best Schools for Drama & Theater Arts in the United States

The schools below may not offer all types of theater degrees so you may want to filter by degree level first. However, they are great for the degree levels they do offer. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list.

25 Top Schools in Theater

#1

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
74 Theater Degrees Awarded

University of Notre Dame is a great decision for students interested in a degree in drama and theater arts. Located in the suburb of Notre Dame, Notre Dame is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Schools rank of #15 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Notre Dame is a great university overall.

There were approximately 74 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Notre Dame in the most recent year we have data available. Those drama and theater arts students who get their degree from University of Notre Dame earn $9,397 more than the average theater student.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from University of Notre Dame

#2

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
39th Most Popular In CA

Stanford University is a wonderful decision for students pursuing a degree in drama and theater arts. Stanford is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the large suburb of Stanford. A Best Schools rank of #3 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great university overall.

There were approximately 15 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Stanford in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Stanford University

#3

Duke University

Durham, NC
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
18th Most Popular In NC

It is hard to beat Duke University if you want to pursue a degree in drama and theater arts. Located in the city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #9 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

There were about 5 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Duke in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Duke University

#4

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
61st Most Popular In NY

It's hard to beat Cornell University if you wish to pursue a degree in drama and theater arts. Cornell is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Ithaca. A Best Schools rank of #16 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

There were approximately 3 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Cornell in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Cornell University

#5

Colgate University

Hamilton, NY
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
52nd Most Popular In NY

Colgate is a small private not-for-profit university located in the distant town of Hamilton. A Best Schools rank of #30 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Colgate is a great university overall.

There were approximately 7 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Colgate in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Colgate University

#6

Dartmouth College

Hanover, NH
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In NH

Dartmouth is a medium-sized private not-for-profit college located in the remote town of Hanover. A Best Schools rank of #6 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Dartmouth is a great college overall.

There were roughly 10 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Dartmouth in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Dartmouth College

#7

College of the Holy Cross

Worcester, MA
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
19th Most Popular In MA

Holy Cross is a small private not-for-profit college located in the city of Worcester. A Best Schools rank of #32 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Holy Cross is a great college overall.

There were about 6 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Holy Cross in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from College of the Holy Cross

#8

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
118 Theater Degrees Awarded

Northwestern is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Evanston. A Best Schools rank of #14 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Northwestern is a great university overall.

There were approximately 118 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Northwestern in the most recent data year. After graduating, theater degree recipients typically earn around $20,600 at the beginning of their careers.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Northwestern University

#9

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
66 Theater Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #20 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great university overall.

There were roughly 66 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Carnegie Mellon in the most recent data year. Those drama and theater arts students who get their degree from Carnegie Mellon University make $7,397 more than the standard theater student.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Carnegie Mellon University

#10

Yale University

New Haven, CT
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
60 Theater Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of New Haven, Yale is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Schools rank of #8 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Yale is a great university overall.

There were approximately 60 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Yale in the most recent year we have data available. Drama & Theater Arts degree recipients from Yale University receive an earnings boost of about $3,597 over the average earnings of drama and theater arts graduates.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Yale University

#11

Wake Forest University

Winston-Salem, NC
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
10th Most Popular In NC

Wake Forest University is a medium-sized private not-for-profit university located in the midsize city of Winston-Salem. This university ranks 2nd out of 113 schools for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There were about 8 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Wake Forest University in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Wake Forest University

#12

Lafayette College

Easton, PA
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
27th Most Popular In PA

Lafayette is a small private not-for-profit college located in the large suburb of Easton. This college ranks 6th out of 134 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There were roughly 4 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Lafayette in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Lafayette College

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In TX
55 Theater Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Austin, UT Austin is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 136 schools for overall quality in the state of Texas.

There were approximately 55 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at UT Austin in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from The University of Texas at Austin

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
186 Theater Degrees Awarded

USC is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the city of Los Angeles. This university ranks 9th out of 203 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There were about 186 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at USC in the most recent year we have data available. Degree recipients from the drama and theater arts major at University of Southern California earn $4,197 above the standard college grad with the same degree shortly after graduation.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from University of Southern California

#15

Hamilton College

Clinton, NY
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
45th Most Popular In NY

Hamilton is a small private not-for-profit college located in the medium-sized suburb of Clinton. This college ranks 5th out of 160 schools for overall quality in the state of New York.

There were roughly 6 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Hamilton in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Hamilton College

#16

Dickinson College

Carlisle, PA
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
33rd Most Popular In PA

Located in the city of Carlisle, Dickinson is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 10th out of 134 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

There were roughly 7 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Dickinson in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Dickinson College

#17

Colorado College

Colorado Springs, CO
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
11th Most Popular In CO

Colorado College is a small private not-for-profit college located in the city of Colorado Springs. This college ranks 2nd out of 39 schools for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

There were roughly 2 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Colorado College in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Colorado College

#18

Emory University

Atlanta, GA
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
8th Most Popular In GA

Located in the city of Atlanta, Emory is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 2nd out of 80 schools for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

There were about 13 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Emory in the most recent data year.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Emory University

Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
75 Theater Degrees Awarded

Located in the city of Los Angeles, UCLA is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 11th out of 203 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There were roughly 75 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at UCLA in the most recent data year. Graduates who receive their degree from the theater program make an average of $23,300 in the first couple years of working.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from University of California - Los Angeles

Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
62 Theater Degrees Awarded

U-M is a fairly large public university located in the midsize city of Ann Arbor. This university ranks 1st out of 67 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

There were approximately 62 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at U-M in the most recent year we have data available. Those drama and theater arts students who get their degree from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor earn $5,797 more than the standard theater student.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor

#21

Barnard College

New York, NY
Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
43rd Most Popular In NY

Located in the large city of New York, Barnard is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Schools rank of #31 out of 2,576 colleges nationwide means Barnard is a great college overall.

There were roughly 10 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Barnard in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Barnard College

#22

Tufts University

Medford, MA
Doctor's Degree Highest Degree Type
12th Most Popular In MA

Tufts is a fairly large private not-for-profit university located in the suburb of Medford. This university ranks 6th out of 72 schools for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were about 11 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Tufts in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Tufts University

Bachelor's Degree Highest Degree Type
44th Most Popular In CA

Located in the small suburb of San Luis Obispo, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 13th out of 203 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There were roughly 13 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo

#24

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA
Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
7th Most Popular In VA

Located in the small city of Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 3rd out of 73 colleges for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There were approximately 28 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at Virginia Tech in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Virginia Tech

Master's Degree Highest Degree Type
8th Most Popular In MO

Located in the suburb of Saint Louis, WUSTL is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Schools rank of #28 out of 2,576 schools nationwide means WUSTL is a great university overall.

There were roughly 11 drama and theater arts students who graduated with this degree at WUSTL in the most recent year we have data available.

More information about a degree in drama and theater arts from Washington University in St Louis

Rest of the Top 50 Best Drama & Theater Arts Schools

#26

Boston College

Chestnut Hill, MA
#27

St Olaf College

Northfield, MN
#29

Vanderbilt University

Nashville, TN
#30

New York University

New York, NY
#31

University of Virginia - Main Campus

Charlottesville, VA

#33

University of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA
#35

Boston University

Boston, MA
#36

Loyola Marymount University

Los Angeles, CA
#37

Emerson College

Boston, MA
#40

Williams College

Williamstown, MA

#41

Vassar College

Poughkeepsie, NY

#42

Ithaca College

Ithaca, NY
#43

Wellesley College

Wellesley, MA
#44

Brandeis University

Waltham, MA
#45

Muhlenberg College

Allentown, PA
#46

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
#47

Syracuse University

Syracuse, NY
#48

Skidmore College

Saratoga Springs, NY

Remaining Award Winners

This section shows the rest of the colleges awarded a Best Drama & Theater Arts Schools badge. Showing in this list means the school was ranked in the top 15% of the 606 different United States drama and theater arts schools we analyzed.

Rank College Location
50 Florida State University Tallahassee, FL
51 University of Florida Gainesville, FL
52 Occidental College Los Angeles, CA
53 University of California - Santa Barbara Santa Barbara, CA
54 University of Wisconsin - La Crosse La Crosse, WI
54 SUNY Oneonta Oneonta, NY
56 Chapman University Orange, CA
57 James Madison University Harrisonburg, VA
58 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
59 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
60 Binghamton University Vestal, NY
61 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
62 Illinois State University Normal, IL
63 University of Chicago Chicago, IL
64 Brown University Providence, RI
65 Purdue University - Main Campus West Lafayette, IN
66 Westmont College Santa Barbara, CA
67 William & Mary Williamsburg, VA
68 Mount Holyoke College South Hadley, MA
69 Rhodes College Memphis, TN
70 University of New Hampshire - Main Campus Durham, NH
71 Middlebury College Middlebury, VT
72 University of Nebraska - Lincoln Lincoln, NE
73 Towson University Towson, MD
74 The Juilliard School New York, NY
75 SUNY Fredonia Fredonia, NY
76 University of Washington - Seattle Campus Seattle, WA
77 Luther College Decorah, IA
78 Southern Methodist University Dallas, TX
79 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
80 University of California - San Diego La Jolla, CA
81 University of California - Davis Davis, CA
82 Michigan State University East Lansing, MI
83 Taylor University Upland, IN
84 Concordia College at Moorhead Moorhead, MN
85 Winona State University Winona, MN
86 Wheaton College Massachusetts Norton, MA
87 Western Washington University Bellingham, WA
88 University of Georgia Athens, GA
89 Belmont University Nashville, TN
90 North Dakota State University - Main Campus Fargo, ND

Additional Noteworthy Schools

Here are some additional great schools for Drama & Theater Arts students that almost earned our Best Drama & Theater Arts Schools award.

Rank College Location
91 University of Massachusetts Amherst Amherst, MA
92 Smith College Northampton, MA
93 Auburn University Auburn, AL
94 Drake University Des Moines, IA
95 University of Miami Coral Gables, FL
96 Carleton College Northfield, MN
97 Hamline University Saint Paul, MN
98 Denison University Granville, OH
99 Otterbein University Westerville, OH
100 Truman State University Kirksville, MO
101 University of Cincinnati - Main Campus Cincinnati, OH
102 University of Iowa Iowa City, IA
103 West Texas A&M University Canyon, TX
104 Loyola University Chicago Chicago, IL
105 Bradley University Peoria, IL
106 University of Nevada - Las Vegas Las Vegas, NV
107 Brigham Young University - Provo Provo, UT
108 Rutgers University - New Brunswick New Brunswick, NJ
109 Seattle University Seattle, WA
110 University of South Dakota Vermillion, SD
111 Purchase College Purchase, NY
112 University of Wisconsin - Whitewater Whitewater, WI
113 Miami University - Oxford Oxford, OH
114 Sacred Heart University Fairfield, CT
115 California Institute of the Arts Valencia, CA
116 Illinois Wesleyan University Bloomington, IL
117 Clarke University Dubuque, IA
118 Indiana University - Bloomington Bloomington, IN
119 University of Nebraska at Kearney Kearney, NE
120 University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire Eau Claire, WI
121 Fordham University Bronx, NY

Drama & Theater Arts by Region

View the Best Drama & Theater Arts Schools for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

View All Rankings >

Drama & Theater Arts is one of 10 different types of Visual & Performing Arts programs to choose from.

Theater Concentrations

Major Annual Graduates
Theater Arts 11,428
Acting 1,639
Theater Design & Technology 943
Musical Theater 910
Other Dramatic/Theatre Arts & Stagecraft 730
Playwriting & Screenwriting 683
Directing & Theatrical Production 215
Costume Design 56
Theatre Literature, History & Criticism 48
Theatre and Dance 33

View All Theater Focus Areas >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Fine & Studio Arts 33,317
Design & Applied Arts 30,023
Music 25,677
Film, Video & Photographic Arts 15,516
General Visual & Performing Arts 5,811
Arts & Media Management 4,746
Dance 3,237
Other Visual Art 937
Crafts, Folk Art & Artisanry 103
Community/Environmental/Socially-Engaged Art 3

View All Theater Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Donald Judge.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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