Best Acting Schools in California | 2022

Are you looking to get a degree in acting? Or do you want to take your acting career to the next level?. Then you’re right on track. Acting has always been more than just a hobby. 

Acting schools in California have been able to show that there’s more to acting than we think. With state-of-the-art facilities and well structured academic setting, it’s no doubt that the state gets a lot of applicants choosing to settle for an acting career. 

At the end of this article, we’ll be coming to terms with everything you will need to know about the different best acting schools in California. 

What are the Acting Schools in California?

1. University of Southern California

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA.
  • Acceptance rate:16%. 
  • Tuition fee: 60,275 USD

The University of Southern California is a private research university with its headquarters in Los Angeles, California.

Robert M. Widney established it in 1880. It is California’s first private institution of higher learning.

The University offers undergraduate, graduate, and professional courses in the fields of arts, technology, and international business. 

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2. California Institute of the Arts

  • Location: Santa Clarita, CA.
  • Acceptance rate:27%
  • Tuition fee: 53,466 USD

A private art college called the California Institute of the Arts is located in Santa Clarita, California.

It was established in 1961 and is the first university in the United States to issue degrees to students who are enrolled in the performing and visual arts.

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3. Chapman University

  • Location: Orange, CA.
  • Acceptance rate: 58%
  • Tuition fee: 57,214 USD

A private research university located in Orange, California is called Chapman University. It enrolls about 7,000 students at campuses throughout California, as well as in Washington State.

The university offers conventional undergraduate, graduate, and professional programs from its main campus in Orange, California.

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4. Pepperdine University

  • Location: Malibu, CA.
  • Acceptance rate:42%
  • Tuition fee: 58,002 USD

Private research university Pepperdine University is associated with the Churches of Christ.

Pepperdine’s main campus consists of 830 acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean and the Pacific Coast Highway near Malibu, California.

The institution offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fields of art, business, humanities, law, and public affairs.

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5. Academy of Art University

  • Location: San Francisco, CA. 
  • Acceptance rate: 100%
  • Tuition fee: 24,664 USD

The Academy of Art University, originally Richard Stephens Academy of Art and Academy of Art College, is a for-profit, private art school in San Francisco, California.

In 1929, Richard S. Stephens established it as the Academy of Advertising Art. There are 6,124 undergraduate students enrolled in total.

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6. Stanford University

  • Location: Stanford, CA. 
  • Acceptance rate:5%
  • Tuition fee: $20,023

Stanford University, officially Leland Stanford Junior University, is a private research university located in Stanford, California, near the city of Palo Alto.

With 5,752 undergraduate students enrolled, it is a mid-sized university. Due to Stanford’s extraordinarily low acceptance rate of just 5%, admissions are incredibly difficult.

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7. University of California – Los Angeles

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA. 
  • Acceptance rate: 14%
  • Tuition fee: It has an in-state tuition fee of 13,249 USD and an out-of-state tuition fee of 43,003 USD.

California’s public land-grant university in Los Angeles is called the University of California, Los Angeles. UCLA’s academic roots were established in 1881 as a teacher’s college, then known as the southern branch of the California State Normal School. With 31,068 undergraduate students, it is a sizable university.

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8. Pomona College 

  • Location: Claremont, CA. 
  • Acceptance rate: 9%. 
  • Tuition fee: 54,774 USD

In Claremont, California, there is a private liberal arts college called Pomona College. A group of Congregationalists founded it in 1887.

Pomona is one of the five Claremont Colleges as well and one of the best liberal arts colleges in the country, it has everything you might hope for.

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9. Loyola Marymount University

  • Location: Los Angeles, CA. 
  • Acceptance rate: 50%.
  • Tuition fee: 52,977 USD

In Los Angeles, California, Loyola Marymount University is a Jesuit and Marymount research university. It is situated close to Playa Vista on the west side of the city.

LMU is also the parent school of Loyola Law School, located in downtown Los Angeles. 

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10. Vanguard University of Southern California

  • Location: Costa Mesa, CA.
  • Acceptance rate: 49%
  • Tuition fee: 21,667 USD

California’s Costa Mesa is home to the private Christian university Vanguard University of Southern California.

The institution was Orange County’s first four-year university. The school provides emphases in 15 different departments for its more than 39 undergraduate degrees.

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11. Westmont College 

  • Location: Santa Barbara, CA.
  • Acceptance rate: 70%.
  • Tuition fee: 32,418 USD

Private Christian liberal arts college Westmont College is located in Montecito, California. It was founded in 1937. There are 1,218 undergraduate students enrolled in total.

The National Liberal Arts Colleges category lists Westmont College at #114 in the 2022 edition of Best Colleges.

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12. San Diego State University

  • Location: San Diego, CA.
  • Acceptance rate: 37%
  • Tuition fee: 13,192 USD

San Diego State University is a highly rated public university in San Diego, California. Founded in 1897 as the San Diego Normal School, It is a large institution with an enrollment of 28,084 undergraduate students.

In the system of 23 California State Universities, it is the third-oldest institution and the furthest south.

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13. California State University- Long Beach

  • Location: Long Beach, CA.
  • Acceptance rate: 42%
  • Tuition fee: 10,568 USD

A public research university in Long Beach, California is called California State University, Long Beach.

It is a sizable university with 29,110 undergraduate students enrolled. Admissions are fairly competitive as the Long Beach acceptance rate is 42%.

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14. Saint Mary’s College of California 

  • Location: Moraga, CA.
  • Acceptance rate: 77%
  • Tuition fee: 40,401 USD

Saint Mary’s College of California is a private Catholic college in Moraga, California. It was established in 1863, affiliated with the Catholic Church and administered by the De La Salle Brothers.

There are 2,468 undergraduate students enrolled in total. Regional Universities West lists Saint Mary’s College of California as the fifth-best college in the country for 2022.

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15. University of California – Davis

  • Location: Davis, CA. 
  • Acceptance rate: 46%
  • Tuition fee: 14,597 USD for in-state and 44,351 USD for out-of-state tuition fees.

A public land-grant research university called the University of California, Davis, is located close to Davis, California. It is one of the University of California system’s ten northernmost campuses and is known as a public Ivy. With 30,186 undergraduate students, it is a sizable institution. Admissions are moderately competitive given that UC Davis’s acceptance rate is 46%.

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How Much Do Acting Classes in Los Angeles, California Cost?

The cost of an acting class is the first thing that should be on your mind immediately when you decide to move forward with acting. The cost of acting classes in Los Angeles, California solely depends on how much you’ll be able to spare. 

The tuition fee ranges from the most affordable to the most expensive. The only thing that matters is that you are able to get what suits you. Acting classes in Los Angeles, California cost an estimated  $10,568-$60,275 per academic year. 

What Are The Affordable Acting Schools in California?

There are affordable acting schools in California. It all depends on what school you decide to go to at the end of the day.

Acting schools in California that are affordable are mostly public or state schools. 

Some of the affordable acting schools in California are:

  • California State University- Long Beach: It has a tuition fee of $10,568.
  • San Diego State University: It has a tuition fee of $13,192.

What Are The Best Acting Schools in California?

Finding the best acting schools is very important if you’re looking for great quality. These schools offer great opportunities to students by exposing them to practical work so they’ll be able to stand on their own. 

With an alumni network all over the globe, they’ve been able to gather prestige and stand out from other schools in the United States. They’re tagged as the best because they’re known for what they do.

These schools are ranked based on their tuition fees, acceptance rates, and well-structured academic systems of education. Here are the best acting schools in California:

  • University of Southern California
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Chapman University
  • Academy of Art University
  • Stanford University

Are there film-acting schools in California?

Some actors/actresses would most likely decide to get a major in film acting. There are acting schools in California that offer film acting.

These schools can give students practical experience of what they will face in the real world. 

Some film acting schools in California are:

  • The Lee Strasberg Theatre & Film Institute
  • Film Acting Bay Area
  • UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television
  • San Diego Film and TV Acting Classes

What Are the Best Acting Schools in Northern California?

Deciding to study at an acting school is one step, and gaining acting experience is another. Every academic year, students try to apply to acting schools in Northern California. 

Applying for an acting school in Northern California involves commitment and discipline in every area. The acting schools in Northern California include: 

  • Mosaic Acting Academy
  • Bay Area Acting Studio
  • The San Francisco Acting Academy
  • Berkeley Rep School of Theatre

What Are the Acting High Schools in California?

California boasts a few acting high schools. Students that have a passion for acting tend to apply to these schools to get a little experience of what acting is all about. They can embrace acting and understand the practical aspects of acting. 

Here are the acting high schools in California:

  • LACHSA (Los Angeles County High School for the Arts)
  • Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts
  • Orange County School of the Arts
  • Hollywood Arts University (HAU) High School
  • Oakland School for the Arts

Frequently Asked Questions about Acting Schools in California

Is there any scholarships available for acting schools in California? 

Yes. There are a few scholarships available in California for students who are interested in getting an acting degree. Most of them are purely based on merit and wouldn’t be awarded to students who aren’t able to come up with good grades. 

What is the most expensive acting school in California? 

The most expensive acting school in California is the University of Southern California, with a tuition fee of $60,275 per academic year. The University of Southern California happens to be one of the best schools in the state to get an acting degree.

How hard is it to get into an acting school in California?

Getting into an acting school isn’t hard, but it is going to take a lot of your hard work and passion to get you to the next level. To get into an acting school in California, you’d have to show a level of discipline that indicates you’re willing to give it all you’ve got. 

Are there Free Acting schools in California?

No, there aren’t any free-acting schools in California. This shouldn’t discourage you from looking at other options because there are some affordable acting schools you might like to settle with. 


The City of California has a lot to offer students involved in taking a professional acting degree. It gives them opportunities to explore their options and find themselves in the system. 

Applying to an acting school would be difficult because it’s very crucial not to make a mistake, as anything you don’t do or do would further increase your chances of getting in or not.

If you have been able to decide on applying to get your acting career on track, then the schools listed here should be part of your options. 

We hope we’ve been able to sort out your needs and questions concerning the acting schools in California if you find yourself applying to any. 


  • – Best Acting Colleges & Universities in California.
  • – Top Acting Schools in LA.

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