Amazing California Colleges for Aspiring Actors and Musicians

The number of students taking arts related studies is increasing by the year as compared to traditionally applauded courses like engineering and medicine. This may be due to the fact that more and more people are beginning to choose careers centered around art and music.

The state of California is considered the ‘entertainment capital of the world’ and is host to a majority of the production houses as well as the famous neighborhood of Hollywood. Aspiring actors and musicians who attend college in California can easily access internship and work opportunities, while still undertaking studies across various California campuses. California College Bound has compiled the following nationally recognized colleges for aspiring actors and musicians.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California is located in Los Angeles, a city considered to be the entertainment capital of the world. This gives its students a cutting edge among its competitors due to its proximity to Los Angeles movie and music screens. The university caters to both aspiring actors and musicians. This is achieved through its two schools:

The School of Dramatic Arts offers degree programs in Design, Sound Design, Stage Management, Technical Direction, and Visual and Performing Arts. The school has four theatre facilities and an active production program, which hosts more than 20 shows annually. The School of Dramatic Arts has also forged partnerships with many professional companies that enable its student body incredible access to internships across various fields. The school attracts a wide range of guest speakers and lecturers, making The University of Southern California School of Dramatic Arts a favorite for prospective art students.

Established in 1884, the Thornton School of Music is one of the oldest schools of music in the country. Due to its experience in the field, it is the preferred collegiate partner for credible institutions such as: The Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Los Angeles Opera, The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, The GRAMMY Foundation, and the Recording Academy.

A large number of graduates work with major orchestra ensembles, recording studios, music industry firms as well as perform on stages around the world.

University of California Los Angeles

The University of California Los Angeles is located in the heart of Los Angeles, California. The university has its own independent music school: the Herb Alpert School of Music.  The school has its own dean as well as academic departments, and is a top-ranked music school. The school’s three departments offer courses in jazz, technology, musical theatre, and heavy metal. The school boasts a highly respected faculty and high profile guest instructors.

The Herb Alpert School of Music also offers three outreach programs dedicated to fostering amicable relationships with the Los Angeles community.  They include:

  • The Gluck Fellows Music Outreach Program
  • The Music Partnership Program
  • The Monk Institute Jazz Outreach program

University of California Berkeley

The University of California Berkeley is located in Berkeley. The university offers over 300 undergraduate and postgraduate degree programs. The College of Letters and Science, houses the department of arts and humanities as well as the department of music.

The Department of Film and Media, offers a Bachelors in Film for prospective undergraduates. The department collaborates with the internationally acclaimed Pacific Film Archive, which brings filmmakers to campus. The UC Berkeley Art Museum also provides internship to Berkeley film students and screens films six nights a week.

The Department of Music at Berkeley has ranked among the top music departments for several decades. A Bachelors in Music can been combined in fields such as: Business Administration, Physics, Theater, Molecular and Cell Biology as well as Dance and Performance Studies.

California State University Northridge

Located in the suburban town of San Fernando Valley, California State University Northridge is an acclaimed school in the field of arts. Through its Mike Curb College of Media, Arts, and Communication, the university offers programs in music, media, film composition, jazz, and classical performance.

Located only 40 minutes away from Hollywood, students can spend their free-time in theatres and production houses across Hollywood to gain practical skills in their field of study. The Mike Curb College of Media, Arts, and Communication has many departments but particularly relevant to aspiring actors and musicians are the following:

  • Department of Music is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Music. It offers 13 undergraduate majors and two master’s d
  • Department of Cinema and Television Arts offers six undergraduate majors and a Master’s Degree in Screenwriting. The department has facilities such as media laboratories, theatres, and studios.
  • Department of Theatre offers a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre with four minors to choose from and a Masters of Arts in Theatre. The department has three theatres for its students to practice in.

The Mike Curb College of Media, Arts, and Communication has a community program dubbed ACCORD- Art and Communication Community Outreach, Research and Development. The program focuses on Teenage Drama Workshop, Music Therapy Wellness Clinic, Figure Drawing Workshops and the California State University Northridge Youth Orchestras.

The state of California is the best choice for aspiring actors as well as musicians due to the large number of acclaimed colleges throughout the state.  Many of the art and music programs are recognized nationally and have received relevant accreditations by national bodies.

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