Students can develop a thorough, embodied understanding of the actor’s work and apply that understanding to a wide range of dramatic repertoire in rehearsal and production thanks to the 4-year MFA Acting Program’s intensive training in movement, voice, the Alexander Technique, and other fundamental aspects of the craft.
The following schedule details the required credits for the four-year Master of Fine Arts degree program in Drama, broken down by year.
Tuition-free for all students in the fourth and final year of the MFA in Acting, which also includes a living stipend
Widely considered by many as the top acting school in the world, here is an in-depth review of my alma mater!
Here is information about Juilliard’s B program for drama students who are about to audition for schools. F. A. and M. F. A. actor training program.
NOTE: When the term “Juilliard” is used in this article, it refers specifically to the Drama Division.
FULL DISCLOSURE: I attended Juilliard and graduated with a B. F. A. in Acting in 2009.
What Juilliard says about Juilliard…
According to their website, actors come to Juilliard to:
- strengthen their capacity for expression in both body and voice
- practice bringing vulnerability and empathy to their understanding of character
- to create a method of storytelling that pays close attention to the text and involves interaction with the outside world
- study with peers who value honesty in play, generosity of spirit, and intellectual and creative risk-taking.
I would agree with that.
Couple of big picture things about Juilliard:
- Each year, about 18 students are accepted into the 4-year program.
- Out of those 18, some are getting their B. F. A. and some are getting their M. F. A. Obviously if you’ve already gotten you’re B. F. A. , you’ll be getting your M. F. A. If you don’t have your B. F. A. yet, that’s what you’ll be getting when you graduate. You all take the same classes regardless of the degree you’re pursuing, with the exception of one class (read more). )! .
- The only curriculum distinction between the two degrees is that the B F. A. Students must enroll in a third class, Humanities, which meets for three hours each week. You study great classic literature (such as Tao Te Ching, Sylvia Plath, The Odyssey, and more) in this cool Humanities class with dancers and musicians, and you write a paper on them roughly every six weeks. THATS IT. Otherwise, there are no other academics. Nobody cares who earns what degree because you and your class are enrolled in a demanding acting program.
- As far as WHO gets accepted, it’s diverse. A former Juilliard acting student who now works with current students commented favorably on ” the diversity of the students who enroll each year in terms of their races, cultures, and ages The oldest student in my class was, I believe, 22 years old at the outset, and the majority had just graduated from high school. There is no set number of any particular person they must accept (regardless of age, race, sex, background, etc.). Additionally, a certain GPA or scores on standardized tests are NOT necessary to be accepted into Juilliard.
How much do actors perform during the 4 years?
You have what are referred to as “Showings” or “Rehearsal Projects” during the first two years. These are plays that go through a thorough rehearsal process and are only performed to a small audience a few times. Showings are not open to the public. Only faculty and invited guests, such as family and friends, are permitted entry. In the first two years, my class had some fantastic rehearsal projects, which included:
- All My Sons by Arthur Miller
- The Greeks, 3 plays
- Uncle Vanya by Anton Chekhov
- Richard III by Shakespeare
- Brand new plays from the Juilliard playwright’s program.
- Street Scene by Elmer Rice And more…
You perform in full-fledged professional productions for paying audiences during the final two years of your training, which includes hiring directors and designers for the show. Occasionally, they’ll even bring in a guest actor to the play. I recall that when my acting coach was hired for a particular production, it was fun to watch her perform. At the conclusion of your fourth year, you perform in an industry showcase before being released into the real world. Some of the productions we did were:
- As You Like It by Shakespeare
- ‘Night Mother by Marsha Norman
- Joe Turners Come and Gone by August Wilson
- Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas
- The Misanthrope by Moliere And more…
The Training & Faculty
Actors’ storytelling abilities are generally improved by working with the acting teachers, who have years of experience doing so. They always encourage you to approach acting with the following potent and enduring pillars:
- Raising the stakes
- Listening and responding
- Living in the unknown
- Operating in the given circumstances
- Making bold choices
You’re building a strong foundation in class and it’s always challenging because mastering those is a lifelong journey. You typically go up in class twice or three times a month with a scene before moving on to the next one, and the acting teachers always encourage the students to bring something to class that reflects what they want to work on for their growth.
The faculty is enthusiastic, accessible, gifted, compassionate, qualified, and a pleasure to be around. most of the time. :).
Juilliard delves deeply into the actor’s entire instrument. Contrary to acting classes, Juilliard DOES adhere to specific methods in this case. For instance, Juilliard students are taught the Alexander Technique for energy work and alignment. Speak With Distinction, written by Edith Skinner (a former Juilliard faculty member), is a book about speaking.
All technical classes help you develop a fuller understanding of your capabilities and enable you to maximize them in order to succeed in any role.
I can affirm that many of these methods and practices are still present in my body and continue to benefit me in many areas of my life, including my success in my career and personal well-being.
There are coaches in the rehearsal rooms. As a result, the director gives acting notes during rehearsals in addition to vocal notes from the vocal coach and energy notes from the Alexander coach.
Some students enjoy this, some don’t. True, there are times when you think, “I don’t want vocal notes, I’m trying to act,” Sometimes, however, you think, “Wow, that’s a really good note, and it really freed me up. I personally wouldn’t change it, but the four years are definitely quite hands-on.
You sit down across from each professor four times a year to receive feedback on your work and development. Yikes!.
Students can experience extreme stress following these reviews (for obvious reasons), as well as extreme encouragement. In any case, you will have a dedicated moment to discuss your progress with each faculty member, with the goal of ultimately gaining clarity and making a powerful move forward.
Ill put it this way. I was at ease, dancing, and laughing during one faculty review. In another, I was yelling at my teacher and telling her she was wrong. And I’m sure that each of my classmates can relate an amusing or fascinating faculty review story to you. Ha! In the end, everything is feedback, and as I always tell my students when I help them prepare monologues for auditions, “you can take it or leave it, it’s your call.” “.
Juilliard has a cut system. Not anymore. In fact, a new faculty member who attended college 35 years ago (during the time when the cut system was fully in place) acknowledged the significant change in today’s program. “The dedication to keeping every student who is accepted—when I was here, there was a mandatory cut system,” he says, “is much appreciated.” ” Yay!.
Juilliard creates snobby acting robots.
I can’t address the snobbish aspect because that varies from person to person. I can be a snob sometimes. Ha! But over the past 10 to 15 years, new leadership has really eliminated the “robots” thing for the most part.
Juilliard encourages its students to be the antithesis of robots in that regard because the modern actor needs to be extremely flexible and bring authenticity to more unique voices due to the endless amount of content being created on various streaming platforms and the like.
- As of the 2019–2020 academic year, Juilliard Drama (and the entire Juilliard School) is currently led by new administrators. Evan Yionoulis, the former head of the Yale MFA in Drama, is now in charge of the division. F. A. Her initiatives for the drama program include encouraging student-initiated projects and interdisciplinary work with dancers and musicians, as well as increasing alumni and current student connections (which I can confirm has definitely been the case and I know it’s appreciated).
- Juilliard has a playwriting program that encourages interaction between upcoming playwrights and Juilliard actors. It’s a huge benefit for both the actors and the playwrights that those playwrights are part of the acting program.
- Quality and depth of training
- Credible name behind you as you enter the industry
- Network after school is tight. When you meet another Juilliard actor, there is undoubtedly respect between you two and frequently an underlying desire to support one another. It’s kind of like the West Point of acting training in that it is regarded as the best, there aren’t many of us in the world who went there.
Worst thing about Juilliard
- Their apparel. Oh my goodness, why can’t you provide us with clothing that we actually WANT to wear?
- It’s simple to be brainwashed into believing that “good technique = good acting,” in all seriousness. No matter what school you attend, try not to rely too much on technique to succeed. You are the artist. Your unfiltered, emotional originality is essential to everything you do, whether it be during practice or a performance. Casting directors won’t be as concerned with your posture or whether you pronounce “trumpet” with a “T” when you enter the real world. Most people are curious about how your work makes them feel.
Juilliard is the place to go if you want the best conservatory training available.
You’re in New York City, which is undoubtedly energizing and can be a source of education on its own. But with regard to your training specifically, it’s a MASSIVE advantage for your career!
If you want to jumpstart your career and build relationships with the people who will give you jobs after school, invite NYC agents and casting directors to your shows during your final two years of school.
BONUS BONUS – Don’t take my word for it
We have friends inside each of the top training programs at How To Get Into Drama School. Our School Reviews podcasts provide detailed insights into what it’s like to study drama at the best universities. Here is a clip from the Juilliard episode starring students Lorenzo Jackson (BFA 19) and Gabii Torres (MFA 21).
Juilliard Drama Division Overview
Is it hard to get into Juilliard for acting?
Juilliard admission is extremely competitive, with a five to eight percent acceptance rate on average.
How many people get into Juilliard acting?
Juilliard School Acceptance Rate: That means, out of 100, only 7 applicants are accepted, with a 93% of rejection rate Juilliard School received 2,434 applications for the year 2021; only 186 of those were accepted, giving the school an acceptance rate of 7. 6% for the 2021 fall.
Is Juilliard MFA free?
Tuition-free for all students in the fourth and final year of the MFA in Acting, which also includes a living stipend
What GPA do you need to get into Juilliard?
Undergraduate students must maintain a semester and cumulative 1. first year of study, they had a 70 GPA and a 2 00 GPA for subsequent years.