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Top Performing Arts Schools in San Diego

What are the top colleges for theatre in San Diego?

San Diego has a number of thriving performing arts institutions with esteemed alumni working on Broadway, touring theatre, local theatre, TV and film! Below, BroadwayWorld rounds up the top performing arts schools in San Diego. Check out the list below!

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University of San Diego

The Department of Theatre at USD offers both a major and minor in theatre, as well as Core curriculum courses. Our program frames theatre within the liberal arts environment as a holistic educational experience, through integrated practical and theoretical study. We offer broad-based theatre training and learning in the following areas: design, playwriting, performance and theatrical production.

We encourage students to explore the relationship of performance to social and cultural practices, both viscerally and intellectually. Seizing the opportunity to explore interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary collaborations-with other departments, colleges, schools, centers and institutes in the USD community-is a hallmark of our pedagogical approach.

In addition to our professionally active faculty, we engage renowned theatre practitioners who mentor our students by serving as directors, designers, guest speakers and/or special topic workshop leaders throughout the academic year. Through a typical course of study at USD, a theatre student will cultivate a broad range of skills-which empower and inspire critical thinking, creative engagement, effective communication and generous collaboration-enhancing life options and diversifying employability.

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San Diego City College

Acting, designing, writing, building--whatever your passion, we have what it takes to provide you with the training and experience you need to pursue your dreams. We provide hands-on experience for actors, technicians, and writers in an active department where students learn their craft from faculty and staff who are working professionals in the industry. It's your passion--it's ours, too.

We produce four shows a year in our intimate Black Box Theatre and beautiful Saville Theatre, ranging from student-written plays to large-scale musicals. You will have the opportunity to work side-by-side with professional set and lighting design faculty while using industry best equipment.

The Theatre Program offers Associate of Arts degrees in Theatre and Musical Theatre, Associate of Arts for Transfer Degree, and Certificates of Performance in Special Effects (FX) Makeup, Technical Theatre, and Theatrical Glamour for Media and Performance.

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San Diego State University

The SDSU Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Degree in Musical Theatre has helped hundreds of students establish life-long careers as leaders in the world of Musical Theatre. Many of our graduates have gone on to teach in musical theatre programs in schools and universities worldwide, while others have gone on to become professional performers, directors, choreographers, music directors, producers, casting agents, and writers.

At SDSU, our students strive to master the professional world of musical theatre together with the academic world of the university. Our professional faculty works with the experience of the students, developing the skills needed to be successful and carry forward musical theatre to the next generation of theatre artists.

This program, which began accepting students in 1982 as the first MFA program of Musical Theatre, is unique in its integration of performance training with academic study. Its two-year MFA program is designed so that students can complete 60 units of study in four consecutive 15-week semesters, with one summer break, during which students complete a theatre internship.

It is our goal to nurture and train lifelong musical theatre artists who will advance the art form as theatre practitioners and educators, and preserve the history, heritage, and traditions of this world-renowned art form.

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San Diego Mesa College

The Dramatic Arts Program offers a comprehensive lower division curriculum that promotes student learning through training, mentoring and practical experience. By encouraging leadership and academic excellence we support and prepare students for success in the transfer process as well as employment within the industry. Faculty and staff collaborate with students to create and explore art that embraces a multi-cultural experience, fosters community responsibility, and lifelong learning.

Learn more here.

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