The Top 10 Musical Theatre Colleges In the Country

2. Carnegie-Mellon University School of Drama (Pittsburgh, PA)

Carnegie Mellon School of Drama
Dllu, Carnegie Mellon School of Drama Interior, CC BY-SA 4.0

Perhaps the most selective musical theatre program in the country, few schools are as prestigious as CMU in musical theatre.

Students admitted to the program are not only skilled musicians; more often than not, they are among the most skilled high school actors in the country.

One unique opportunity CMU affords its senior-year students is the option to study internationally for a semester. Past students have attended London’s Drama Centre, NIDA (National Institute of Dramatic Art) in Sydney, the Moscow Art Theatre, and more.

Students at the school also take advantage of Pittsburgh’s incredible arts scene, a city home to well over 100 performing arts venues and organizations. One of these venues, the Pittsburgh CLO, has a special collaboration with CMU.

The most famous alum of CMU Drama is Stephen Schwartz, Broadway composer who wrote the hit musicals Godspell, Wicked, and Pippin.

Alumni include numerous Tony-award winning actors, television actors, and theatre professionals seen throughout the world.

1. University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre, and Dance (Ann Arbor, MI)

Michael Barera, University of Michigan August 2013 056 (Earl V. Moore Building), CC BY-SA 4.0

An unparalleled experience in musical theatre training, University of Michigan tops this list for the best musical theatre programs in the country.

Many alumni of the school are among the most decorated stars on Broadway today. One such name is Gavin Creel, 1998 graduate of University of Michigan and Tony award winner in the musical HELLO DOLLY! In the same show were four other Michigan musical theatre graduates.

A 2019 Tony-award winner is also an alum of Michigan, Celia Keenan-Bolger.

Based in Ann Arbor, widely regarded as the best college town in America, the University of Michigan provides an intensive undergraduate study opportunity in musical theatre inside one of the nation’s most prestigious public universities.

The majority of classes for musical theatre students occurs in Michigan’s North Campus. In North Campus, students take classes in the School of Music, Stamps Auditorium, the Walgreen Drama Center, the Arthur Miller Theatre, and more.

Michigan is the second most represented school on Broadway in 2019.

For this list, we created an “aggregate” ranking based on where these schools positioned in other major lists online.

You can read more about our methodology here.

Here are the sources we aggregated to create this one:

On Stage Blog


Times Square Chronicles

Music School Central

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