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Associate of Occupational Studies Degree: Acting

    Professional, career-based Degree in Acting for Stage, Film, and Television.

    • Offered on the Los Angeles Campus
    • Accelerated Option Allows for Degree Completion in 1.5 years
    • Access to a Variety of Workshop and Performance Opportunities
    • Culminates in an Original Showcase Production in Los Angeles
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Program Description +

The AOS Acting Program prepares students for working in theatre, television, and film. This immersive four-term program is built upon performance-based courses in acting, voice, and movement to help actors develop a strong connected physical presence while creating characters with rich imaginative inner lives. The AOS program is enriched with various opportunities for onstage performance experience offered throughout the four terms of study. Classwork explores diverse techniques and styles as applied for use on stage and screen. Voice production and speech coursework, as well as specialized training in improvisation, stage combat, and other movement-based skill sets, provides a wide range of tools for creating three-dimensional fully realized characters. Professional preparation is further complemented by classes relating to the “Business of the Business.” These address the rigors of branding, marketing, and auditioning as students prepare to enter the world as a working actor. AOS Acting students, as part of their program completion and career launch strategy, will also perform in a special culminating showcase.

Program Learning Outcomes +

Students completing the AOS Acting program should be able to:

    • Create convincing, compelling characters performed with vocal, physical, and emotional specificity.
    • Demonstrate the use of objectives, obstacles, actions, subtext, and text.
    • Speak in a supported manner, free of tension and appropriate to the demands of theatre, television, and film.
    • Stand and move utilizing an aligned spine, free of unintended physical tension and mannerisms.
    • Apply historical insight and critical analysis to the performance of texts from a variety of periods, styles, and genres.
    • Demonstrate ability to positively and effectively apply acting adjustments as directed.
    • Apply standard entertainment industry business practices regarding preparation, communication, and professionalism.
    • Engage in a collaborative production process.

Curriculum +

  1. Sample Curriculum

    First Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC100 Acting I: Beginning Scene Study 2.5
    AC102 Acting I: Techniques 2.5
    AC103 Iconic Theatre: 19th through Mid-20th Century 1.0
    AC122 Improvisation I: Foundations 1.5
    AC200 Alexander Technique 1.0
    DN150 Dance and Movement for the Performing Artist I 1.0
    SC100 Stage Combat I: Unarmed 1.5
    FS100 First-Semester Seminars 0.5
    VP140 Voice, Production and Speech I: Foundations 2.0
    ENG101 English Composition 3.0
    Total Credits 16.5

    Second Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC110 Acting II: Contemporary Scene Study 2.5
    AC112 Acting II: Period Scene Study 2.5
    AC113 Iconic Theatre: Ancient Greece to Romanticism 1.0
    AC123 Improvisation II: Techniques 1.5
    DN170 Dance and Movement for the Performing Artist II 1.0
    FL120 Acting for the Camera I 2.0
    SC180 Stage Combat II: Rapier and Dagger 1.5
    VP141 Voice, Production and Speech II: Techniques 1.5
    SPC205 Introduction to Oral Communication 3.0
    Total Credits 16.5
    Total First Year Program Credits 33.0

    Third Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC222 Acting Styles 2.0
    AC227 Acting III: Advanced Scene Study 3.5
    AC318 Career Preparation 1.0
    FL121 Acting for the Camera II 2.0
    VP243 Voice, Production and Speech III: Advanced Techniques 1.5
    CRT200 Applied Logic and Critical Thinking 3.0
    Select one of the following elective courses: 1.5
    AC202 Improvisation: Introduction to Long Form
    MT338 Ensemble Singing for the Actor
    Select one of the following elective courses: 1.5
    FL380 Film Studies: The Art of the Motion Picture
    SC280 Stage Combat III: Broadsword
    Total Credits 16.0

    Fourth Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC242 Acting Production Showcase 5.0
    AC244 Acting Scene Showcase 5.0
    AC246 Industry Workshop 1.0
    AC250 Mock Audition 0.5
    FL240 Film Projects 3.0
    PI240 Finding Your Voice: Digital Tools for the Performing Artist 0.5
    Total Credits 15.0
    Total Second Year Program Credits 31.0
    Total Program Credits60.5

Admission Requirements +

Please note that applying to AMDA is a multi-step process. Be sure to follow ALL 6 steps below to ensure the submission of a successful application.

  1. Submit Your Application +

    To apply, you must be at least 16 years old and/or in the final two years of high school/secondary education*.

    AMDA also accepts applications from CommonApp and Royall VIP. If you have already applied through one of our partners, you do not need to apply again through our website.

    * If you are not yet 16, we would encourage you to consider attending the AMDA High School Conservatory.

  2. Complete Your AMDA Audition +

    Admission and scholarship consideration to AMDA require an audition. AMDA offers a robust calendar of auditions including regional auditions, campus auditions, live-online auditions and video submissions. Scheduling your audition will prompt a phone call with one of our enrollment specialists to help you prepare for a successful audition.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: To better prepare for your AMDA audition, we strongly encourage ALL applicants to review the Audition Instructions page prior to scheduling an audition or submitting a video submission.
  3. Phone interview with Admissions +

    This interview is an opportunity for us to get to know you, your educational background, and your interest in attending AMDA. We will be calling you, but if you would like to schedule an appointment for this interview, please email with the best day, time, and phone number to reach you.


    Towards the bottom of the application, space is provided for you to write a personal essay (500 words minimum) on the following topic: "Describe a challenging experience in your life and what you learned from it." Remember, this is an important part of your application, so answer thoughtfully!

    If you submitted your application but still need to submit your essay, click the button below.

  5. Submit One Letter of Recommendation +

    Please request and submit one letter of recommendation from teachers, school leaders, guidance counselors, coaches, or anyone familiar with your background and potential. Your recommendation letter must be written in English and signed and dated. To help with this process, please feel free to use AMDA's recommendation form by clicking the link below. Recommendation letters/forms may be submitted via email to or by mailing to the address on the form.

  6. Submit Your Academic Records (Transcripts) +

    Send an official transcript from your high school and (if applicable) college. Official transcripts from every educational institution that you listed in your application must be forwarded to AMDA. Please select one of the following options for submitting your official transcripts:
    1. If your high school or college uses the free service Parchment, please click below.

    2. If your high school or college does not use Parchment, please send the transcript request form to your guidance counselor/transcript office and request that they send your transcript(s) to AMDA using the address on the form.

    Important Note: The minimum grade point average (GPA) required for AMDA's programs is 2.0 out of 4.0 or its equivalent in other grading systems.

A scene is being filmed as an actor with a stern expression becomes the subject of a close-up
An actor holds a red folder in hand as two of his compatriots in matching uniforms glare at one another
A singer gestures with one arm forward and the other holding the stand of a microphone
Two rehearsing performers train in stage combat with rapiers and parrying swords
A dramatic scene with an actor, apparently dazed or injured in the crying embrace of another
A sitting actor looks, unsmiling, across a table as cameraman zooms in on a shot focusing on his eyes
Two actors share a scene, one of them holds a gift wrapped box looking upwards as the other braces them from behind