With 13 Maryland colleges and universities offering theatre degree programs, individuals looking for acting classes have a variety of options to choose from. Potential students can earn choose programs that focus on acting or that include acting courses as part of a more general theatre education. Undergraduate and graduate programs are available.
Students can expect to gain practical experience during their program through participating in performances, projects or workshops. Internships may also be available and, in some cases, students will need to complete a thesis or research. Profiled below are Maryland's ten largest theatre colleges with acting classes and related programs.
Bowie State University
Located in the city of Bowie, this school offers a Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts with a concentration in musical theatre. Students study acting, directing, stagecraft, dance, and children's theatre. Acting classes include three levels of acting instruction at the beginning, intermediate, and advanced levels, as well as complete an acting seminar. Other courses pertinent to aspiring actors include stage movement, scene study, play analysis, and stage makeup. Music and dance courses are part of the program as well. Students need to complete 120 credit hours to graduate.
Frostburg State University
Frostburg State University is located in the northwestern corner of the state, in the city of Frostburg. The school offers a bachelor's degree in theatre program with tracks in acting, design and technology, and theatrical studies. Students in the acting track take courses in directing, technical theatre, and theatre history, in addition to acting, movement, voice, and speech courses. Theatre majors in the acting track are required to complete 51 semester hours. Students have the opportunity to participate in campus productions and, upon graduation, are prepared to pursue a professional career in acting.
Baltimore-based Goucher College offers a bachelor's in theatre program for students interested in acting. Students study theatre within the context of a liberal arts education. The college puts on four productions each year, with theatre majors counted on to participate in at least one in their junior and senior years. Courses available to theatre students include acting, voice and movement, and directing. Students can also earn credits in a performance practicum, as well as participate in theatre internships or student organizations like the Open Circle Theatre and Pizzazz.
Westminster, Maryland, is home to McDaniel College. Students at this school who are interested in acting can pursue a bachelor's degree in theatre through the school's Theatre Arts Department. Students study theatre history and dramatic literature and criticism, in addition to performance and production. Students also have the opportunity to participate in school productions.
Morgan State University
Morgan State University is a public university located in Baltimore with a student population of over 8,000. The school offers a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts program that offers students the opportunity to participate in the diverse selection of plays it produces. Plays produced range from works by Shakespeare to Toni Morrison. Theatre arts majors are required to participate in all the events sponsored by the department and audition for all productions.
Located in Salisbury, this public university enrolls over 8,500 students each year. Students who are interested in earning a degree in acting may want to explore Salisbury University's Bachelor of Arts in Theatre program. Students in this program must complete 120 credit hours of coursework, including 13 theatre courses. The theatre core courses include technical production, text analysis, and history of theatre, in addition to acting. Prospective actors can choose the performance track. These students take courses such as acting in Shakespeare, acting in comedy, children's theatre, and accents and dialects. Design and production is also offered as a track.
St. Mary's College of Maryland
St. Mary's College of Maryland is located in the historic town of St. Mary's City. The school offers acting students a bachelor's degree in theatre studies program. Theatre studies students are required to complete 48 credit hours of coursework in their major. Students complete required courses in production, modern theatre, and stagecraft, as well as acting. Students also need to complete a senior experience that could consist of either four additional credit hours of advanced theatre courses or a Saint Mary's project. The Saint Mary's project can consist of a thesis, research paper, or a creative project like directing or acting.
Acting classes are part of the Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program at Towson University in Towson. Based in the school's Department of Theatre Arts, the theatre program offers an acting track from among three different degrees. Focused on acting theory and developing acting skills, this program consists of a developmental sequence of courses, which must be taken in order. It is designed for students who are seriously interested in pursuing a career in acting and includes courses in movement, scene study, improvisation, theatre games, acting style, and voice.
The school also offers a graduate-level acting program. The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Theatre program accepts students interested in all aspects of theatre and offers an experimental environment to allow students to self-direct and work with others on creating new works of art. Students enrolled in the program are encouraged to further their education in acting, directing, writing, designing, and producing dramatic works. They attend seminars and workshops, meet with visiting actors and artists, and put on their own performances.
University of Maryland - Baltimore County
The University of Maryland - Baltimore County is a 4-year, public school located within in city limits of Baltimore. Through the Department of Theatre, the university offers a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program. Students enrolled in the 4-year program learn theories of acting and drama in the classroom and then apply those theories to the stage. They study dramatic literature, script analysis, costuming, and scenography. Acting students also take courses related solely to the craft of acting, including movement for the actor, vocal training, and auditioning.
University of Maryland - College Park
The University of Maryland, located in College Park, offers a number of theatre programs. Undergraduate students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre. Bachelor's degree students must earn 55 credit hours in theatre classes. These include foundational classes like theatrical design, acting and performance, and text and context in Western theatre. Students can also take courses in performance, design, and production.
Graduate students can earn a Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies. The university also offers a Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre and Performance Studies.
School Comparison: At a Glance
|School Name||School Type and Setting||Acting Degree Programs Offered||Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)|
|Bowie State University||Four-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Science in Theatre Arts||$7,660 in-state (undergraduate), $18,142 (undergraduate) out-of-state*|
|Frostburg State University||Four-year, public; small suburb||Bachelor's degree in Theatre||$8,488 in-state (undergraduate), $20,588 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Goucher College||Four-year, private not-for-profit; small city||Bachelor's degree in Theatre||$42,180 (undergraduate)*|
|McDaniel College||Four-year, private not-for-profit; small suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts||$39,500 (undergraduate)*|
|Morgan State University||Four-year, public; large city||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts||$7,508 in-state (undergraduate), $17,182 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Salisbury University||Four-year, public; small suburb||Bachelor of Arts in Theatre||$9,086 in-state, $17,432 out-of-state*|
|St. Mary's College of Maryland||Four-year, public; small suburb||Bachelor's degree in Theate Studies||$13,895 in-state (undergraduate), $28,745 out-of-state (undergraduate)*|
|Towson University||Four-year, public; small city|| Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting,
Master of Fine Arts in Theatre
|$9,182 in-state (undergraduate), $20,788 out-of-state (undergraduate), $8,820 in-state (graduate), $15,984 out-of-state (graduate)*|
|University of Maryland - Baltimore County||Four-year, public; large suburb||Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting||$11,006 in-state, $23,770 out-of-state*|
|University of Maryland - College Park||Four-year, public; large suburb|| Bachelor of Arts in Theatre,
Master of Arts in Theatre and Performance Studies,
Doctor of Philosophy in Theatre and Performance Studies
|$9,996 in-state (undergraduate), $31,144 out-of-state (undergraduate), $12,896 in-state (graduate), $26,054 out-of-state (graduate)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator.