I have seen many lists online for the top BFA programs and they all vary depending on who wrote the lists. Very often the author is a journalist and not necessarily a musical theatre person. So I decided to make my own list. 🙂 This is just my opinion, but I am a director and voice teacher of musical theatre repertoire who prepares a half dozen or more seniors for college auditions every year.
First, lets look at what makes a top school a top school? Mainly, a top school is one where the percentage of college grads that go on to have professional performance careers is high. Other things to consider are things like senior showcase, quality and training of faculty and curriculum, qualities of facilities, selectivity, Alumni support, and performance opportunities. For more information about what criteria makes a top school, checkout OnStage’s blog about Understanding College Rankings.
In no particular order, here are my top 10:
- University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
- Carnegie Mellon University
- Shenandoah University
- Baldwin Wallace University
- Penn State University
- Elon University
- Pace University
- Otterbein University
- Texas State University- San Marcos
- Florida State University
The above are schools that are seeing 1400+ kids audition and accepting the top 1-3% of those kids, and have the highest rates of graduates going on to perform professionally. There are several other amazing schools that have amazing faculty and amazing opportunities that could also make it into my top list like:
- Coastal Carolina
- Oklahoma University
- University of Cincinnati, College Conservatory of Music (CCM)
- University of Arizona
- University of California- Urvine
- Montclair State
- Texas Christian University
To see how to decide which colleges to audition for and structure your audition list, click here. Break a leg!