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Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree: Performing Arts (Acting)

    Undergraduate Degree for training across ALL performing arts disciplines with a concentration in Acting.

    • Offered on the Los Angeles Campus (See Studio Certificate to BFA for NY Campus Option)
    • Accelerated Option Allows for Degree Completion in 2.5 years
    • Access to AMDA’s Mainstage Production Opportunities
    • Culminates in an Original Showcase Production in Los Angeles
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Program Description +

The BFA Performing Arts (Acting) Degree Program is designed for students who desire to combine professional training in acting with a variety of other performance disciplines. Students are accepted into the Acting concentration of study as the focus for their program. After building a central foundation of skill sets designed for their program focus, students, based on individual interests, have opportunities to pursue coursework in additional areas of concentration. Advanced courses emphasize career preparation, networking, audition techniques, and cultivating an entrepreneurial spirit. The intensive performance-based training is blended with a range of academic-based studies. A wide array of performance opportunities enhances the scope of the program. The program's rich breadth of curriculum helps prepare students to compete within the entertainment industry's ever-changing landscape.

Program Learning Outcomes +

Students completing the BFA Performing Arts (Acting) program should be able to:

    • Demonstrate well-rounded development in the performing arts, including critical thinking skills, advanced-level skills in performing arts, and enhanced creativity.
    • Work effectively in groups to create theatrical moments or events and solve production problems.
    • Demonstrate, across the various sub-fields, skills in personal discipline (organization, focus, energy, commitment), effectively applied to theatrical problem-solving and the creation of theatrical moments and events.
    • Formulate constructive critical responses to theatrical phenomenon.
    • Demonstrate comprehension and application of make-up techniques and materials.
    • Apply business practices to the promotion and maintenance of a sustainable career within the performing arts and performing arts adjacent industries.
    • Compare different theatrical forms, aesthetic values, or cultural contexts as a way of deepening technical skills and expanding awareness of what is theatrically possible.

Curriculum +

  1. Summary of Required Courses

    Program Category KeyCredits
    Acting Foundation82.0
    Elective (options may vary)10.0-11.0
    General Education30.0
    Total Program Credits123.0-126.0
  2. Sample Curriculum

    First Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC100Acting I: Beginning Scene Study2.5
    AC102Acting I: Techniques2.5
    AC103Iconic Theatre: 19th through Mid-20th Century1.0
    AC103Improvisation I: Foundations1.5
    FL180Film Studies: History of the Entertainment Business1.5
    SC100Stage Combat I: Unarmed1.5
    VP140Voice, Production and Speech I: Foundations2.0
    FS100First-Semester Seminars0.5
    ENG101English Composition3.0
    Total Credits16.0

    Second Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC110Acting II: Contemporary Scene Study2.5
    AC112Acting II: Period Scene Study2.5
    AC113Iconic Theatre: Ancient Greece to Romanticism1.0
    AC123Improvisation II: Techniques1.5
    FL120Acting for the Camera I2.0
    SC180Stage Combat II: Rapier and Dagger1.5
    VP141Voice, Production and Speech II: Techniques1.5
    General Education Selection3.0
    Total Credits15.5
    Total First Year Program Credits31.5

    Third Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC222Acting Styles2.0
    AC227Acting III: Advanced Scene Study3.5
    DN150Dance and Movement for the Performing Artist I1.0
    FL121Acting for the Camera II2.0
    FL121Voice, Production and Speech III: Advanced Techniques1.5
    Select one of the following elective courses:
    AC202Improvisation: Introduction to Long Form1.5
    MT338Ensemble Singing for the Actor1.5
    Select one of the following elective courses:
    FL380Film Studies: The Art of the Motion Picture1.5
    SC280Stage Combat III: Broadsword1.5
    General Education Selection3.0
    Total Credits16.0

    Fourth Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC220Introduction to Shakespeare2.0
    FL202Acting for the Camera III2.0
    AC232Classic Repertoire3.5
    Select one of the following elective courses:
    DN170Dance and Movement for the Performing Artist II1.0
    SC318Advanced Stage Combat: Combat for the Camera1.5
    Select one of the following elective courses:
    AC225Audition Techniques for Television and Stage1.0
    AC339Film and Television Genres2.0
    General Education Selection 13.0
    General Education Selection 23.0
    Total Credits15.5-17.0
    Total Second Year Program Credits31.5 - 33.0

    Fifth Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC226Wardrobe, MakeUp and Hair1.0
    AC318Career Preparation1.0
    FL202Acting for the Camera III2.0
    Select one of the following required courses:
    AC304Advanced Scene Study: 1960-20003.5
    AC305Absurdist and NonLinear Theatre3.5
    Select one of the following elective courses:
    AC313Voice Acting1.5
    AC314Half-Hour Television Comedy1.5
    AC200Alexander Technique1.0
    General Education Selection 13.0
    General Education Selection 23.0
    Total Credits14.5 - 15.0

    Sixth Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC306Introduction to Stage Direction and Design2.0
    FL417Media for the Actor2.0
    Select one of the following required courses:
    AC320Scene Study: Shakespeare3.5
    AC327Comedic Styles: 20th and 21st Centuries3.5
    Select one of the following elective courses:
    AC300Advanced Improvisation: Genres1.5
    SC318Advanced Stage Combat: Combat for the Camera1.5
    VP300Voice, Production and Speech: IPA/Introduction to Dialects1.5
    PI233-251Finding Your Voice: Rotational Offering (Select Two Offerings)2.0
    General Education Selection 13.0
    General Education Selection 23.0
    Total Credits15.0 - 15.5
    Total Third Year Program Credits29.5 – 30.5

    Seventh Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC400One Acts Performance3.0
    FL405Reel Writing1.5
    FL420Character in Film2.0
    PI244Original Content Creation1.5
    Select one of the following elective courses:
    AC300Advanced Improvisation: Genres1.5
    SC318Advanced Stage Combat: Combat for the Camera1.5
    VP410Dialects: Directed Studies German/South African1.5
    General Education Selection1.5
    Total Credits15.5

    Eighth Semester Sample Curriculum

    AC410Relevant Roles3.0
    AC412Industry and Networking: Business Essentials1.5
    AC419Audition Paradigm for the Actor2.0
    AC430BFA Acting Senior Showcase4.0
    FL415Reel Actor3.0
    Select one of the following elective courses:
    AC300Advanced Improvisation: Genres1.5
    SC318Advanced Stage Combat: Combat for the Camera1.5
    VP410Dialects: Directed Studies German/South African1.5
    PI233-251 Finding Your Voice: Rotational Offering (Select Two Offerings)2.0
    Total Credits15.0 - 15.5
    Total Fourth Year Program Credits30.5 - 31.0
    Total Program Credits123.0 - 126.0
  3. Students must audition and successfully perform in at least one production (includes Showcase, BFA Play, BFA Musical, Dance Theatre Concert and BlackBox).

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. 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 admissionsteam@amda.edu 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 docs@amda.edu 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.

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