The Top 25 Undergraduate Drama Schools

Top 25 undergrad drama schools - H 2015
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Top 25 undergrad drama schools - H 2015

Choose your college wisely or your first acting gig might just be inside a big, fuzzy gopher.

This story first appeared in the June 5 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

1. Juilliard

Scholarships — like the one Jessica Chastain got from a donation by alum Robin Williams — put this top school within reach.

2. Carnegie Mellon

It's one of the few colleges in the U.S. to offer a degree in bagpipes.

3. Tisch School of the Arts, NYU

Philip Seymour Hoffman's and Alec Baldwin's alma mater.

4. London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts

Benedict Cumberbatch and Ginnifer Goodwin studied here.

5. Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

George Bernard Shaw bequeathed the school a third of his royalties.

6. UNC School of the Arts

Mary-Louise Parker's old school has a sense of humor (its mascot is a pickle).

7. Northwestern

Julia Louis-Dreyfus got her start here.

8. University of Michigan

Its alums include James Earl Jones, Lucy Liu and Selma Blair.

9. Royal Central School of Speech and Drama 

First school in the U.K. to offer a puppetry degree.

10. UCI Claire Trevor School

This is where Jon Lovitz learned his "Master Thespian" routine.

11. U of Minnesota

Henry Fonda, Jessica Lange and Bob Dylan were students here.

12. University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

First school in the U.S. to offer a B.A. in makeup and wig design.

13. Syracuse

It's where Aaron Sorkin wrote his college plays.

14. USC

Forest Whitaker and Grant Heslov trained here.

15. Bristol Old Vic 

Its student theater was once a tennis court.

16. National Institute of Dramatic Art

The Aussie school's first play was Our Town.

17. Drama Centre London

It's so tough students (like Emilia Clarke) call it the "trauma center."

18. UCLA

James Dean was an undergrad here.

19. Rutgers

Calista Flockhart and Kristin Davis are grads.

20. Georgetown

Where Bradley Cooper decided to become an actor.

21. Depaul

John C. Reilly's and Gillian Anderson's first stop.

22. Pace School of Performing Arts

Recent alum include Dominick LaRuffa Jr. and Rob Hinderliter, Tony-nominated producers of You Can't Take It With You

23. CalArts

The printing room is supposedly haunted by a deceased animator.

24. Case Western

An apple tree on campus is a descendant of Newton's famous tree.

25. Emerson

It has a Quidditch team. Really.


11:45 am, June 2 Updated with a new Pace School of Performing Arts description. 

12:10 pm, June 4 Updated title for University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music