The Top 10 Musical Theatre Colleges In the Country

8. Elon University (Elon, NC)

Elon University
MPD01605, Alamance Building, Elon University, CC BY-SA 2.0

A decade ago, Elon was one of the great “hidden gem” musical theatre programs in America.

Now, the secret is out – Elon consistently produces some of the best talent today of any musical theatre college program.

What we especially like about the program at Elon is the well-roundedness of their faculty.

Brian Kremer, professor at Elon, is one such example. While many musical theatre programs traditionally teach only classical technique, Brian brings to Elon a fresh – and much needed at college music programs – curriculum involving rock, pop, R&B, and of course musical theatre style singing.

Elon’s primary performance center is the Center for the Arts, a 75,000 square foot facility dedicated entirely to performance.

Recent graduates have joined the Broadway casts of Mamma Mia, The Little Mermaid, Hamilton, West Side Story, After Midnight, and over a dozen more shows.

Elon has also produced alumni who have appeared in major television shows, including Girls, Glee, Law And Order, and more shows.

7. Oklahoma City University Bass School of Music (Oklahoma City, OK)

Oklahoma City University
Matthew Rutledge (rutlo), Oklahoma City University – Administration Building, CC BY 2.0

Oklahoma City’s program is unique in that it offers a BMus instead of a BFA.

Career outcomes for both types of degrees are the same, however the BMus is a great option for students in musical theatre who want a greater emphasis in music in terms of credit hours studied.

Because the music requirements are a significant part of the curriculum at OKCU, all students study both classical art song and operatic repertoire during their undergraduate years at the school, making the program a great fit for the accomplished classical singer and aspiring musical theatre artist.

Graduating seniors at OKCU stage a showcase in New York City attended by top casting directors, agents, and other notable industry professionals.

Oklahoma City University is also one of the 10 most represented schools on Broadway in the 2019 season.

6. Ithaca College School of Music (Ithaca, NY)

Ithaca College
Kenneth C. Zirkel, Job Hall, Ithaca College campus, CC BY-SA 4.0

Ithaca’s musical theatre division is defined by extreme selectivity; approximately 3.5% of all applicants gain admission. About 1,000 students auditions for 35 spots.

The reason is Ithaca is so frequently listed in the top 10 colleges throughout the country for musical theatre, as well as the fact their alumni are seen throughout Broadway and beyond.

Certainly, Ithaca is widely considered the top liberal arts college in the nation to study musical theatre, as most liberal arts college musical theatre programs are not nearly as competitive for admission.

During the senior year at Ithaca, students participate in a Field Studies week in New York City. Throughout this week, students are exposed to Ithaca College alumni working in the industry. Like many other schools listed here, Ithaca seniors stage a showcase attracting industry professionals from NYC.

Alumni are seen in the upper echelons of the musical theatre industry; they have obtained roles in Aladdin, Cats, Evita, and more.

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