Top Musical Theatre BFA Programs
A BFA in musical theatre is a rigorous program that combines training in acting, singing, and dancing with a strong liberal arts education. Many programs also offer opportunities to connect with professionals in the field through master classes.
At SUU, students can get onstage experience by participating in student-directed musicals, recitals, singing ensembles, and dance shows. The school also has a fellowship program with the Utah Shakespeare Festival that gives students hands-on experience before graduating.
If you’re interested in getting a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in musical theater, the Elon University may be the perfect place for you. This top-ranked program has an extremely competitive audition process and accepts only a small number of students each year.
Students take a variety of classes including studio voice lessons, music theory and skills courses, and dance classes (in jazz, modern, and tap). They also study acting twice each week.
The department also offers a unique experience called Grand Night, a faculty-mentored student-generated musical revue that lets students conceive, direct, music direct, and choreograph their own numbers. While the ranking inspires pride, Matos notes that Playbill only includes actors, ignoring the contributions of other crew members like directors, choreographers, and designers.
Millikin University offers conservatory style training rooted in a liberal arts education. Their approach to learning offers a comprehensive integration of theory and practice that prepares students for professional success.
In Fall 2020, Millikin will open their new $29 million Center for Theatre and Dance. The innovative facility will house their nationally recognized School of Theatre and Dance and include a 250 seat courtyard-style theatre, dance and acting studios, collaboration spaces, faculty offices, a costume shop and support space, and more.
Performance opportunities are available beginning in your first semester. All BFA performance majors are required to audition for the mainstage season and freshmen are eligible for casting. Other opportunities include student cabarets, Pipe Dreams Studio Theater, The Annual Children’s Show and the New Musicals Initiative.
In the heart of Chicago, Roosevelt University offers rigorous training in one of America’s most bustling theatre cities. Their program guarantees onstage performance credit and also provides students the opportunity to audition at Chicago professional theatres throughout their time at the conservatory. They also offer a BFA Musical Theatre Dance Concentration for those who want to dive deeper into their dance studies.
Their program is designed to create healthy artists whose happiness and interests outside of the theatre foster genuine and honest performances onstage. They collaborate with organizations and centers like Playhouse Square, Beck Center for the Arts and Lake Tahoe Shakespeare Festival to give their students as many opportunities as possible to perform nationwide.
Last year, the school handed out 38 bachelor’s degrees in Musical Theatre. Applicants are required to submit a prescreen before scheduling their live audition on campus, at NYC, LA or during the national Unified Auditions in January and February.
University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music
The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music offers musical theatre bfa programs with a unique combination of scholarship and rigorous studio training. Students work with renowned professors and guest artists to build their talents. They also take advantage of opportunities to perform in the city’s thriving theater community.
CCM’s students may even participate in a Freshman Cabaret and Senior Showcase, the latter of which serves as their New York debut for agents and casting directors. The program also offers master classes with acclaimed Broadway actors, directors and other industry professionals.
The New York Times named CCM “one of this country’s leading conservatories.” With a history that dates back to 1867, the college provides life-changing experiences in a highly creative and multidisciplinary artistic environment. Card-carrying alumni include Ashley Brown (Mary Poppins) and Shoshana Bean (Elphaba in Wicked). CCM is part of a comprehensive public university.
University of Michigan
The University of Michigan offers BFA students the chance to combine the academic rigor of a top public university with intense conservatory-style training. The program has gained a national reputation among professional agents, casting directors, and producers for producing smart, skilled graduates.
The department’s peerless faculty possesses significant experience on Broadway and in first-class regional theatres. They are highly sought after as clinicians and teachers, ensuring students receive an education that is both rigorous and individualized.
Students gain valuable real-world experience through extensive performance opportunities, an annual New York Senior Showcase, and a series of Master Classes with visiting industry professionals. They also have the opportunity to earn Equity Membership Candidacy points at the regional theatres in northern Ohio during their sophomore year. The SMTD curriculum is both interrogative and traditional, as it examines the musical theatre canon while pushing the boundaries of creative practice.