Dallas Schools with Acting Classes and Degree Programs
Several colleges in the Dallas area offer acting programs, and this article looks at three schools, all within a half-hour's drive of downtown. Also included is a table of pertinent information about the schools, such as tuition, size and graduation rates. A few facts about another school with a relevant program are at the end of the article.
- Southern Methodist University, about six miles from downtown Dallas, offers two bachelor's degrees and a master's degree in the field.
- University of Texas at Arlington is situated about 22 miles from downtown Dallas, in the large city of Arlington. This school offers three bachelor's degree programs that include classes in acting.
- A bachelor's degree is also available at the University of Texas at Dallas, approximately 16 miles from downtown Dallas, in the small city of Richardson.
Comparison of Schools
A number of important factors must come under consideration when choosing a college. The following table puts data together in a format that makes it easy to compare these three schools.
|Southern Methodist University||University of Texas at Arlington||University of Texas at Dallas|
|School Type||4-year; private not-for-profit||4-year; public||4-year; public|
|Total Enrollment (2017)||11,789*||46,497*||27,642*|
|Campus Setting||Large suburb||Large city||Midsize city|
|Tuition and Fees (2017-2018)||$52,498*||$9,952 in-state; $25,152 out-of-state*||$11,528 in-state; $29,656 out-of-state*|
|% of Full-Time Undergraduates Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)||79%*||85%*||74%*|
|Acceptance Rate (2017)||49%*||71%*||76%*|
|Retention Rate (2016-2017)||91% full-time*||71% full-time; 55% part-time*||88% full-time; 74% part-time*|
|Graduation Rate (students began 2011)||81%*||50% (31% transfer-out rate)*||69% (17% transfer-out rate)*|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
Southern Methodist University
Southern Methodist University's Meadows School of the Arts offers students degrees and classes in acting at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. There are theatre classes available to all university students as well as theatre students, with topics including acting as an art, fashion, performance and scene studies.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre - Acting Specialization
Students build a foundation of actor training during the first two years of this program and then complete advanced classes in acting, stage voice and stage movement. The program includes seven levels of classes in the areas of acting, voice and movement, in addition to classes such as text analysis, a theatre practicum, introduction to stage management and business/professional aspects of the theatre. General education classes and free electives are also required for completion of this 4-year degree.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre - Theatre Studies Specialization
This program also begins with two years of foundational training in acting. Then students choose a focus of study, such as critical studies/design, playwriting, directing or stage management. Only two levels of acting, movement and voice classes are required, but 17 credits of theatre electives may be chosen, along with completion of other required courses like text analysis, theatre/drama history and theatre practicum.
Master of Fine Arts in Acting
Graduate students dedicated to a life in the acting profession might be interested in this 3-year program. The acting training includes practice and performance of contemporary, classical, ensemble and self-created pieces. The first year comprises acting, movement and voice/speech classes; participation in two graduate projects; and auditions with regional theatres. The second year involves work with classical texts, casting and the creation of self-directed pieces. In the third year, aspiring actors take part in workshops with casting directors and agents from around the U.S., and then they create online showcases and travel to chosen cities to further their careers.
University of Texas at Arlington
This school's Department of Theatre Arts offers a comprehensive curriculum that provides opportunities for participation in theatrical productions and engages students in intellectual debate about the future of the arts.
Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts
Students in this program are only required to complete one acting class, but there are also opportunities to take additional theatre electives. Other required classes in this program include script analysis, directing, theatre history, craft of costume, theatre practicum and theatre symposium. General education requirements bring the necessary total credits for graduation to 120.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts - Performance
This 128-credit program includes five levels of acting classes, in addition to training in vocal performance, theatrical makeup, state/theatre management, dance, improvisation and movement performance. Students also take part in a theatre practicum each semester and complete fine arts electives and general education requirements.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre Arts - Theatre Studies
Theatre students enrolled in this program complete at least two levels of acting classes, in addition to receiving training in vocal performance, costume design, script analysis, theatrical makeup, stagecraft, movement, playwriting and dramaturgy. A theatre practicum is required each semester and students also complete electives, general education requirements and theatre studies research to complete 128 credits.
University of Texas at Dallas
The theatre faculty at this university is comprised of six members. The art and performance major offered through the School of Arts and Humanities is interdisciplinary and most classes are available to all students at the college.
Bachelor of Arts in Art and Performance - Theatre Concentration
The acting classes include beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Training is also given in body language, improvisation and musical theatre. Acting hopefuls can choose the acting emphasis for the theatre/performance ensembles and pick areas of interest for the independent drama studies. In addition, students complete classes in directing/producing, theatre history and the technical aspects of theatre. To round out this 120-credit program, students also complete core curriculum requirements and electives.
Other School Option
University of Dallas is a smaller, private, not-for-profit school and is located about 10 miles from downtown Dallas, in the midsize city of Irving. This school offers an undergraduate major in drama, with acting classes ranging from basic to advanced.