A beautiful rolling campus built on the grounds of the historic landmark Grey Towers Castle, Arcadia is a top-ranked private university in metropolitan Philadelphia offering bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees. More than 3,000 students choose from 65 fields of study.
U.S. News & World Report ranks Arcadia University among the top 25 master's universities in the North and recognizes it as one of the top study abroad programs in the nation. Founded in 1853, Arcadia University is cited as being among the “most innovative” and “best value” colleges.
At Arcadia, we want to prepare you for a life in the arts. Our training program goes beyond a traditional conservatory-style approach—immersing you in all aspects of theatrical creation. Our program will challenge you to develop your talents, to cultivate your knowledge, and to think globally in a wider world of cultures and ideas.
We offer three degrees (BFA in Acting, BFA in Acting with a concentration in Musical Theater, BA in Theater Arts) and produce an eclectic season of 4 to 6 productions a year, with a mix of contemporary & classical plays as well as devised work and musicals. Students are mentored by professionals as they work on the season productions or are employed in Theater Work Study Teams.
Our small ensemble size ensures that students don't get lost in crowd. Our proximity to Philadelphia, the fifth largest Theater market in the country, gives students opportunities to network, see live theater, and look for employment opportunities. In addition, students get multiple chances to study abroad.
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting
Intensive, Rigorous, Rewarding
Through Arcadia’s Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting program, you will receive intensive instruction in acting, voice, speech, movement, stage combat, dance, stage makeup, and audition techniques. The schedule is rigorous, but rewarding—our small size enables close interaction with faculty in an intimate liberal arts setting.
Additionally, our proximity to Philadelphia’s dynamic theater community helps connect students with industry professionals who are regularly on campus as instructors and guest artists. Arcadia Theater also provides opportunities to bring your skills to the stage and work with prestigious visiting directors and resident faculty, all of whom are active in Philadelphia’s theater scene.
Concentration in Musical Theater
Arcadia’s Musical Theater concentration is uniquely designed to supplement the B.F.A. in Acting with a sequence of courses in voice training, dance/movement styles, song interpretation, foundational music, and performance practice in various styles. A pre-professional degree program, the Musical Theater concentration is a launch pad for theater arts careers and/or graduate-level study. Performance opportunities and production internships are abundant at Arcadia, with students engaged in studio presentations, the rigorous mainstage season, Capstone projects, extracurricular theater ensembles, and professional companies in Greater Philadelphia.
Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts
A Vital and Vibrant Major.
The Bachelor of Arts in Theater Arts is suited for those who are dedicated to theater and seeking preparation for a wide range of career options in the field. This degree combines performance training (the same courses as B.F.A. students) with courses in design, playwriting, stage management, directing, dramaturgy, and theater for young audiences.
Keeping with the philosophy of a liberal arts education, Theater Arts majors at Arcadia develop an interdisciplinary approach to the art form, broadening their exposure to theater as it pertains to culture and society. B.A. candidates are full participants in program activities—in other words, you’ll be eligible to enroll in the same courses and audition for the same Arcadia Theater productions as B.F.A. candidates.
Our faculty are award-winning artists, scholars, and educators widely recognized for excellence in their fields. With our accomplished and nurturing faculty, students can take multiple levels of classes in acting, directing, playwriting, musical theatre, theatre for young audiences, dance, stage combat, voice and speech, scenic design, costume design, theatrical lighting, stage management, and more. Across all of these diverse specialties, we are unified by a commitment to fostering independent creative thought and equipping students with what they need to thrive artistically and intellectually after graduation.
450 S. Easton Road
Glenside, PA 19038
“Arcadia University taught me how to be a professional and to create the career that I want. Now in grad school at USD/Old Globe working on my MFA in acting, I am continuously in between classes and rehearsal at the Old Globe with big name directors. It was at Arcadia that I learned not to just be an actor, but an asset in every creative process.”
—Jamal Douglas, BFA ’10, MFA Candidate at the Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Acting program
Make Your Mark on the World
A degree in Theater Arts at Arcadia empowers you to make your mark in the professional world. Our alumni find professional theater work and study at some of the nation’s top graduate programs, including:
These professional theater companies and companies:
People’s Light and Theater
EgoPo Classic Theater
Bristol Riverside Theatre
Azuka Theater Company
Public Theater (New York)
Delaware Shakespeare Festival
Walt Disney World
Eugene O'Neill Theater Center
Williamstown Theater Festival
These elite graduate programs:
Yale School of Drama
New York University/Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program
The Old Globe/University of San Diego Graduate Acting Program
Royal Central School of Drama, London
California Institute of the Arts