Acting (MFA)

Department Website

Program Description

Our mission is to send robust, curious, resourceful, engaged artisans out into the world, actors who will combine their own identities and passions with their intense training to reveal the complexities of the 21st Century universe to a vast audience. We graduate actor/ citizens who will invent the future.

The training here is an exhilarating mix of the monastic and the outgoing. Students engage with New York City in all its diversity, both passively and actively. Our actors study minutely and are studied minutely in all those aspects that make up the total actor: sense of selfhood and sense of the other, technique and imagination, discipline and freedom.

We invite 16 actors each year into our three-year program. The actors train from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., five days a week. The training is divided into three disciplines: acting; voice, speech, and text; and movement. There are often four or five different classes a day, arranged so that the work in one complements the work in another and also so the student has a balance of these disciplines. In addition, when students are rehearsing a production, they work most evenings and some weekends.

Our faculty members and directors are teaching artists active in New York City’s theatre, film, and television industry. Studying with them as well as developing mentoring contacts with our alumni in New York and Los Angeles helps our students to establish themselves in their professional life.

In addition, our students develop working relationships with their Tisch School of the Arts peers through collaboration classes with students from the graduate playwriting and screenwriting, film and television, and design programs.

At the end of three years, our students are settled in New York City and one step ahead in their professional life. We won’t teach you how to act. But we will help you to develop, to expand what you know you already have and, crucially, what you don’t know you already have.


All graduate applicants to the Tisch School of the Arts are required to submit the General Graduate Application, as well as a department-specific portfolio or creative supplement. Each of these can be submitted online.

See Graduate Admissions for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.

For international applicants, see International Applicant RequirementsApplicants with international credentials should be sure to check to see if their credentials are equivalent to an American Bachelor’s degree before applying.