Updated at: 27-03-2023 - By: Eden Wise


Artistic integrity is essential to the success of any performing endeavor. I don’t want to do it if it doesn’t feel true, as Zooey Deschanel put it.

The performing arts are an interesting topic not only for students and teachers, but for people all over the world. They improve our surroundings by presenting fascinating images that can be appreciated by anyone.

A degree in the performing arts opens up many doors, including those in the film and television industries and the theater.

The following are some of the most prestigious schools in the world for the performing arts.

Continue reading to learn about some of the best schools for the performing arts. This list can serve as a useful starting point for the college application process.

Best Visual And Performing Arts Colleges

Best visual and performing arts colleges

Duke University

Duke University is one of the best places to study the arts in the country. Duke University is a large, private, non-profit institution in the city of Durham. Duke University is a fantastic institution, as evidenced by its Best Colleges ranking of #3 out of 2,241 universities in the United States.

In the most recent available data year, approximately 72 students majoring in visual and performing arts graduated from Duke. Earning a degree in Visual & Performing Arts from Duke University can increase your salary by about $11,936 compared to the average salary of a major in this field.

University of Notre Dame

University of Notre Dame

If you are interested in pursuing a degree in the visual and performing arts, University of Notre Dame is one of the best options. A large number of students attend Notre Dame, a private, non-profit institution located in a suburb of Notre Dame. Notre Dame is a fantastic school, as evidenced by its Best Colleges ranking of #16 out of 2,241 institutions of higher learning in the United States.

Approximately 141 students majoring in the visual and performing arts graduated from Notre Dame in the most recent year for which data is available. University of Notre Dame graduates in the visual and performing arts can expect an average salary increase of $21,516 compared to the national average for their field.

New York University

NYU is a large, diverse, and private, non-profit university in the heart of New York City. Among the 143 accredited universities in New York, this one is deemed the third-best.

In the most recent year for which data is available, approximately 1,494 students majoring in the visual and performing arts graduated from NYU. New York University’s visual and performing arts graduates earn $4,346 more than the national average for their field.

Columbia University in the City of New York

Columbia University in the City of New York

Columbia University in the City of New York is a large, private, non-profit institution of higher education. With a Best Colleges ranking of 14, Columbia University is among the best in the country.

In the most recent year for which data is available, Columbia awarded this degree to around 358 students majoring in the visual and performing arts. Columbia University in the City of New York offers a significant salary premium to visual and performing arts majors, with graduates earning an average of $8,428 more than the national median.

University of Arizona – College of Fine Arts

The University of Arizona’s College of Fine Arts is widely recognized as among the best in the world. The School of Art, the School of Dance, the School of Music, and the School of Theatre, Film, and Television make up the UArizona College of Fine Arts, which confers both undergraduate and graduate degrees.

The University of Arizona’s College of Fine Arts is known for its exceptional education and research opportunities, as well as its distinguished faculty and alumni. The College has a thriving arts community thanks to its many talented students and faculty in the visual arts, performing arts, media studies, and film and television. The College of Fine Arts faculty members are committed to both fostering their students’ full creative and intellectual potential and achieving personal academic and professional excellence.

Maintaining excellence in teaching, creative expression, and research in the arts, and serving as a hub for artistic innovation, scholarly inquiry, and cultural inspiration for Arizona and the nation are central to the College of Fine Arts’ mission. Teaching the importance of artistic intelligence as a way of thinking, problem-solving, and discovering is another goal of the College of Fine Arts.

Through its School of Art, School of Dance, School of Music, and School of Theatre, Film, and Television, the university awards both liberal arts (Bachelor of Arts) and professional undergraduate degrees (Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music). In college, students can focus on any one of these areas: Degrees offered include: Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Art History, Film & Television, Live & Immersive Arts, Music, Studio Art, Theatre Arts; Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Art Education, Art & Visual Culture, Dance, Design Arts & Practice, Film & Television, Studio Art; Bachelor of Music (BMus) in Composition, Jazz Studies, Music Education, & Performance.

The School of Art, School of Dance, and School of Music all offer post-undergraduate degree programs leading to the MA, MM, MFA, PhD, and DMA. Graduate programs are available in a wide variety of art and music fields, including but not limited to: art education, art history, dance (choreography, performance), studio art, composition, conducting, ethnomusicology, ethnomusicology, music education, musicology, music theory, and performance. Composing, conducting, and performing are all areas of study that can culminate in a Doctor of Musical Arts degree. The fields of art history and education, music education, and music theory all offer PhD programs.

Adelphi University

Adelphi University

Adelphi University in New York is a doctoral research institution with a strong national reputation and a commitment to changing the lives of its students through a combination of small classes taught by renowned experts, practical experience, and cutting-edge resources for academic and professional development.

Our Core Four—Arts and Humanities, Science, Technology, Engineering, and Social Sciences, Business and Education, and Health and Wellness—represent areas of particular strength at Adelphi University.

Adelphi is the oldest private, women-only university in the United States, and it also happens to be one of the best in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report. It has a beautiful main campus in Garden City, New York, where nearly 8,000 students are enrolled, and dynamic learning hubs in Manhattan, the Hudson Valley, and Suffolk County, in addition to offering courses and degrees online. More than 118,000 Adelphi alumni have left their imprint on the University, their communities, and the world through their professional success and civic engagement.

Anderson University: South Carolina School of the Arts

Christian artists of all disciplines can get the training they need at Anderson University’s South Carolina School of the Arts. Featuring a team of accomplished professionals in the fields of art, music, dance, theatre design, and academia.

Graphic design, painting and drawing, ceramics, art education, musical theatre, theatrical design, acting and directing, dance, worship leadership, music education, and vocal, keyboard, and instrumental performance are all available majors and concentrations for the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Music, and Master of Music Education degrees. We believe that this new generation of artists can reach their full creative potential with the help of intense, life-altering mentorship. We help students see the value in their skills and how they can be used in a variety of contexts, including the chosen field of study. Our faculty members, who range from Grammy-nominated musicians to award-winning art directors, have reached the pinnacle of their fields and are eager to share their knowledge and experience with the next generation of artists.

The Juilliard School

The Juilliard School

More than 105 Grammy Awards, 62 Tony Awards, 47 Emmy Awards, 26 Bessie Awards, 24 Academy Awards, 16 Pulitzer Prizes, and 12 National Medals of the Arts have been won by alumni of Juilliard’s prestigious drama and dance programs. What an impressive lineage!

There are only about twenty-four students in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) Dance program and eight to ten in the Bachelor of Fine Arts (MFA) Acting program at this highly selective university.

The drama department puts on a number of plays and senior showcases for casting directors, agents, and managers in New York and Los Angeles, and the dance department puts on fifteen public performances a year. The programs at Julliard are among the best out there for anyone hoping to launch a successful professional career.

Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon University has a long history of providing excellent drama education and was the first university in the United States to offer a degree in the field. Also, notable actors like Holly Hunter, Billy Porter, Judith Light, Ted Danson, and Zachary Quinto are among the drama department’s faculty at Carnegie Mellon. Students can choose to focus on either acting or musical theatre by enrolling in one of the school’s two distinct degree programs.

The drama program provides students with a one-of-a-kind, stage-based education. The department produces 20 shows per year, so there are plenty of chances to shine onstage. In addition, once a year, students are given the opportunity to put on a performance of any kind (including original works and adaptations of movies) without having to worry about missing any class time. Showcases for graduating seniors are held in New York, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh, where they are attended by members of the entertainment industry.

Carnegie Mellon also provides students with opportunities to pursue interdisciplinary research and study through its Center for Arts in Society and Studio for Creative Inquiry. Carnegie Mellon is an excellent choice if you want to study drama with the goal of making a difference in the world, both onstage and off.

Yale University

Yale University

The Yale School of Drama should be included on any top performing arts colleges list. Although the Master of Fine Arts in Acting program at this university is highly regarded, I would not recommend enrolling in the more general BA program because it does not provide students with the same access to faculty or performance opportunities.

Every facet of the performing arts, from acting to stage management, is covered by the MFA curriculum. Meryl Streep, Angela Bassett, Sigourney Weaver, Paul Giamatti, and Lupita Nyong’o are just some of the well-known names that have graduated from the School of Drama. Students in their final year perform in New York and Los Angeles showcases for industry professionals, and the school places a strong emphasis on providing students with opportunities to make professional connections.

In the past decade, all college grads have found jobs as agents or managers within a month of graduating. You should seriously think about applying to Yale’s MFA program if you want to pursue a career in the performing arts.


Students from all over the country flock to CalArts in Valencia, California, making it one of the best performing arts schools in the country.

CalArts, a theatre at the private California Institute of the Arts, was founded by Walt Disney in 1961. It was the first institution in the United States to offer degrees in visual and performing arts.

A master’s degree in acting, directing, or writing can be earned at this institution. Costume and set design courses are also available. The acceptance rate is low; only 27.5% of those who apply are accepted.

Artists of the caliber of Tim Burton and Henry Selick have graduated from this prestigious school for the performing arts.


Is a Career in the Performing Arts Good?

It may be challenging to work in this field due to the typical schedule of eight concerts per week and the high level of competition for positions. However, just like with acting and dancing, there is no reason why you can’t succeed as a musical theater performer if you’re determined, talented, and passionate about what you do.

What distinguishes the Performing Arts from the Visual Arts?

Vocal and physical expression are central tools for performers in the performing arts. It’s different from the visual arts, where artists use paint, canvas, and other media to create their pieces.


Students benefit from exposure to the arts in both the visual and performing disciplines and in the classroom. Many universities now include art classes as part of their curricula because of the positive impact they have on students’ development as a whole. Therefore, preparing students for a successful future requires an exposure to the arts, both visual and performing.