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Top Performing Arts Schools & Colleges

The US News and World Report annual survey of top colleges and universities breaks out schools by many different academic disciplines and ranks them based on peer opinion, research programs, teaching quality, etc. They avoided ranking the best performing arts schools however, and simply listed them as they rose to the top of the overall list based on respect from professionals in the field.

Other sources include arts foundations and websites where opinions from former students and current teaching professionals can be found. What follows is a list of schools that provide top flight education in drama, music and dance - and in the case of Juilliard and a few others, all three.

  • Academy of Art University/San Francisco
  • Berklee College of Music/Boston, MA
  • Boston Conservatory
  • Boston University/College of Fine Arts
  • Brown University Department of Theater Arts and Performance
  • California Institute of the Arts/Valencia, CA
  • Carnegie Mellon School of Drama/Pittsburgh, PA
  • Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Curtis Institute of Music/Philadelphia, PA
  • Juilliard School/New York, NY
  • Manhattan School of Music
  • New England Conservatory of Music
  • New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts
  • New York Film Academy
  • New York University/Tisch School of the Arts
  • Northwestern University Theater and Performance Studies
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • University of California San Diego Theater and Dance Program
  • University of Cincinnati Conservatory
  • University of Michigan/Department of Theater and Dance
  • University of North Carolina School of the Arts

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