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Become part of a top-ranked, pre-professional program of study that is directly connected to Syracuse Stage, a professional theater company.

Start your college career building fundamental theater arts skills like performance technique, creative improvisation, text analysis, voice, speech, and movement. As you progress through the program, you’ll have many opportunities to take part in film and stage productions. You can also earn Equity points when working for Syracuse Stage.

Opportunities for international study, internships, and community engagement will enhance your experience and prepare you for an illustrious career.

The department’s rise from the top 20 to the top five [ranking in The Hollywood Reporter ] in just five years is a tribute to the sustained excellence of its faculty and staff and to the hard work of students in all our programs of study

— Ralph Zito, acting program professor and chair, Department of Drama

About VPA

Home to the visual and performing arts at Syracuse, VPA supports the creative process and professional development. The College is divided into seven areas: the School of Art; the Department of Communication and Rhetorical Studies; the School of Design; the Department of Drama; the Rose, Jules R. and Stanford S. Setnor School of Music; the Department of Film and Media Arts; and the Department of Creative Arts Therapy.


Sample courses for acting majors include:

  • The Actor’s Speech Practicum
  • Development of Theater and Drama
  • Movement for Actors
  • Introduction to Scene Study
  • Advanced Acting: Modern Drama

View official major requirements .

Practical Experience

The Bachelor of Fine Arts program allows you to broaden your drama experience with classes in design, stage lighting, costume history, dramatic literature, and state management. You can also work behind the scenes as part of a running crew or assistant stage manager.

Community engagement is an important part of being in the drama department at Syracuse. Work with young adults with special needs through the All Star C.A.S.T. (Community Actors and Students’ Theatre), designing the program for that term, guiding exercises, producing, and acting in a play with community participants. This allows you to explore careers in drama therapy and educational theater.

You’ll find a supportive network of VPA alumni who are always willing to help you achieve success, both at Syracuse and after you graduate. Notable alumni include screenwriter Aaron Sorkin ‘83, actor Frank Langella ‘59, actor Taye Diggs ’93, and actress/singer Vanessa Williams ’86.

Study Abroad

As a drama student with a major in acting, you will have the opportunity to spend a semester experiencing the theater world of London. Take classes and workshops at the Globe Theater and attend productions at the National Theater and Royal Shakespeare Company. You may also qualify for an internship with one of London’s Fringe theaters, and opt for a second semester in London. Summer programs of interest include Inside the London Theater (London Summer Session).

Syracuse Abroad  also offers more than 100 programs in 60 countries.

Life After Syracuse University

As a College of Visual and Performing Arts graduate with a major in Acting, you can explore such careers as:

  • Actor
  • Arts administrator
  • Casting director
  • Drama therapist
  • Educational theater
  • Stage manager
  • Theater development