Houston Acting Schools
Formal training is not required to become an actor and to work in theatrical productions; however, students can find programs in Houston that offer acting courses and prepare them for careers in the entertainment industry. Acting classes can teach students to develop characters, to create voice and personality traits, to memorize lines and to work with directors. Read about the coursework requirements for three schools and then take a glance at a table with stats for each college. Also included is information on other school options in the area.
- San Jacinto Community College, a 2-year college located about four miles from central Houston in the nearby suburb of Pasadena, offers several acting classes through an associate's degree program.
- Situated just under four miles from the city center, the University of Houston provides acting programs at both the bachelor's and master's degree levels.
- Texas Southern University, another 4-year university located around four miles from downtown Houston, offers a performance specialization option within its bachelor's degree program.
Comparison of Schools
The location of a campus, how many students attend and the cost of enrollment are all matters to consider when deciding where to study acting. Review this table below to compare the facts and figures for the profiled schools.
|San Jacinto Community College||University of Houston||Texas Southern University|
|School Type||2-year; public||4-year; public||4-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2014)||27,911*||40,914*||9,233*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large city||Large city|
|Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)||$1,408 in-district; $2,416 in-state; $3,688 out-of-state*||$8,759 in-state; $20,519 out-of-state*||$8,726 in-state; $20,426 out-of-state*|
|% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2014)||57%*||83%*||96%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2014)||N/A Open admissions||63%||52%|
|Retention Rate (2014)||66% for full-time students*||86% for full-time students*||53% for full-time students*|
|Graduation Rate (2014)||15%*||48%*||16%*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.
San Jacinto Community College
San Jacinto Community College is a public, 2-year institution located in Pasadena, a nearby suburb of Houston. The San Jacinto Community College Department of Theatre and Film offers students a chance to write, direct and perform stage productions. In addition to acting, students can also focus on career opportunities in theatre education and technical theatre.
Associate of Arts in Drama - Actor
Aspiring actors and actresses can learn the theory behind their craft and acquire applied acting experience by enrolling in San Jacinto Community College's Associate of Art in Drama - performance program. Through three acting classes, students have the opportunity to learn numerous techniques and methods for various styles of theatrical performance. Additionally, the school offers a course that focuses on film acting during the final semester. Some of the other courses in the program include stagecraft, stage makeup, costuming and television production. Students also can participate in the drama department's annual dramatic productions.
University of Houston
The University of Houston (UH) has the largest theatre department in Houston and offers theatrical educational opportunities through its School of Theatre and Dance. Acting specializations are available at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Additional specializations in the BFA in Theatre include playwriting and dramaturgy, design and technology, stage management and theatre education. In addition to acting, MFA in Theatre specializations are available in scenic, costume and lighting design.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre - Acting
Acting is one of several available concentrations in the university's Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre program. Earning this degree requires completion of 120 credit hours; 84 of these must be from courses related to theatre and acting. The latter group of courses provides in-depth education in various areas of theatrical theory and practice. The program requires that students take an acting course during each of the eight semesters.
Opportunities are also available for students to receive instruction on vocal projection and how to stay in character while moving seamlessly across stage. To gain applied acting experience, students participate in an acting showcase during their final semester of the program.
Master of Fine Arts in Theatre - Acting
This 2-year, MFA program provides students with an intensive education in the theoretical and applied components of acting. The program focuses on five different aspects of acting and performance, including imagination, speed, agility, precision and passion. All accepted students participate in an in-depth acting workshop the week before beginning the academic program. Acting classes in the program itself focus on personalization, action/objection and characterization, Shakespeare and Greek ritual theatre and comedy.
Texas Southern University
The Department of Fine Arts at Texas Southern University offers students the opportunity to pursue programs in theatre, art and music. While the Bachelor of Art in Theatre offers two specializations in performance and technical theatre, the Bachelor of Art in Art offers seven specializations in such areas as design, art history, painting, drawing and sculpture. For students who seek to pursue a degree in other academic areas, minors also are available in theatre, art and music.
Bachelor of Arts in Theatre - Performance
The Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with a performance specialization offers students the opportunity to learn about acting through classroom study and to perform at the Ollington Smith Playhouse. Student-created productions take place at the campus black box theatre. Faculty members and visiting actors and directors also teach classes. The program requires 122 credits, and, in addition to acting classes, students take courses in costume, makeup, technical design and theatre history.
The University of St. Thomas is located in Houston and offers a bachelor's degree in drama. Lee College and Alvin Community College both offer associate's degree programs in drama and are 18 and 21 miles from Houston, respectively.