Majors & Programs

Undergraduate Acting (BFA)

Embark on a journey of self-discovery as you master the craft of portraying others.

About the Undergraduate Acting Major

Acting is as much about honestly seeing yourself as it is about putting yourself in the shoes of another. Actors in training must embark on personal and collaborative journeys with their fellow artists—exploring, moving, laughing, crying, studying, and taking risks.

Housed in Emerson College’s Department of Performing Arts in the School of the Arts, our undergraduate Acting BFA program is an audition-only program for Theatre and Performance majors who decide, after their first two years at Emerson, that they crave a more singular focus on the craft of acting.

If you are accepted into the Acting BFA Studio at the end of your sophomore year, your academic focus will shift into an immersive, ensemble-oriented, rigorous actor training program. You will spend your junior and senior years in a 14-hour-a-week training program that will provide you with the sensitivity, skill, and artistry necessary to join the next generation of theatrical visionaries.  

No one said the life of an aspiring actor is easy. But, at Emerson, you will develop a clear process that sustains your professional work. You will gain the skills and confidence to become a professional artist once you exit through our doors, step in front of an audience, and take your place on the stage of life. 

I hold the Acting BFA close to my heart because it is like having a family away from home, especially as an international student. The supportive nature of the program has helped me feel open to stepping outside of my comfort zone and trusting my ensemble. Further, the various classes offered have given me the opportunity to explore more theater techniques to encourage me to become a well-rounded artist.

Real-World Experience as a Performing Artist

Acting majors have ample opportunity to gain real-world learning experience and industry exposure. Here are a few examples:

  • Students have the opportunity to hone their skills for the camera by acting in student films produced on real working sets on campus and on location through our Visual and Media Arts (VMA) Department. 
  • The BFA Acting Studio culminates in a Senior Showcase in Boston and New York City. Students introduce their work to artistic directors, agents, casting directors, and theater companies. 
  • Emerson Stage is the producing organization within the Department of Performing Arts. Its nine-show season offers more than 120 opportunities for actors, 100 positions for design staff, 70 for production staff, and another 70 for theater management staff and 30 artistic staff—all reserved exclusively for Performing Arts students.
  • Our campus is home to a vibrant student theater scene with 30 student performance organizations, including Emerson Shakespeare Society, Mercutio Troupe, RareWorks Theatre Company, Musical Theatre Against the Grain, and Emerson Urban Dance Theatre.

Careers for Acting Majors

Our Acting graduates seek careers on stage and screen, as well as roles behind the scenes. Examples of careers include:

  • Actor
  • Casting Agent
  • Choreographer
  • Theater Company Founder

Notable Performing Arts Alumni

  • Jade Catta-Preta, Former host of The Soup on E!, comedian, and actress
  • Michael Cyril Creighton, Actor and writer, Spotlight, The Post, Only Murders in the Building, Jack in a Box
  • Chrystee Pharris, Actress, Passions and Scrubs
  • Watsky, Rap/performance artist

Emerson’s BFA Acting program has provided me the perfect balance of structure and flexibility to explore and succeed in my creative goals. More importantly, it is because of this program that I’ve found my place within an incredibly supportive network of peers and faculty. I have truly discovered who I am, who I want to be in the world, and what I want to create.

Meet Our Faculty

Performing Arts faculty are working professionals and dedicated educators who teach the theory and practice of bringing characters to life on stage and screen. They reside in the School of the Arts.