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TOP 10 UNDER 10: Top Musical Theatre Programs In 2018 (Based On Alumni Success Within 10 Years Since Graduation)

What musical theatre programs across the country are producing the most successful young alumni in the past 10 years? Many MT programs and conservatories have been around for several decades, and have an incredible and long legacy dating back to the mid-1900's; meanwhile, many programs have popped up in the past 15 years. A great indication of a program’s training in today's age and their preparation of their students in 2018 is how their recent alumni are doing professionally - so we sought out to research just that.

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OUR CRITERIA

Here's how we ranked the "TOP 10 UNDER 10" musical theatre programs:

1. Focused only on musical theatre alumni from BFA/BM/BA programs across the country.

2. Focused only on alumni in graduating classes since 2008.

3. Focused on alumni working on Broadway, in National Tours, and in Television and Film.

4. Pulled research from Playbill, each program's websites, and online records and articles noting alumni successes.

*Please note: This is only one way to rank musical theatre programs, and is not a definitive ranking. Additionally, some schools (such as Juilliard, Yale, Northwestern, and UNCSA) do not have musical theatre degree programs and thus have been omitted from this article.

1. University of Michigan

The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) is well-known for its renowned musical theatre program, which has been a powerhouse since the mid-80's and is consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the country. The program produces successful performers every year from their "triple-threat" conservatory-style program situated within the historical School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, which was founded in 1880 at one of the top public universities in America. To this day, every graduating class has produced successful artists, which can also be attributed to its well-run Senior Showcase in New York City. Michigan Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen in Broadway shows such as Aladdin, The Band's Visit, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hamilton, Head Over Heels, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, Once on This Island, The Prom, School of Rock, Summer, and Wicked.

The University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI) is well-known for its renowned musical theatre program, which has been a powerhouse since the mid-80's and is consistently ranked as one of the top programs in the country. The program produces successful performers every year from their "triple-threat" conservatory-style program situated within the historical School of Music, Theatre, and Dance, which was founded in 1880 at one of the top public universities in America. To this day, every graduating class has produced successful artists, which can also be attributed to its well-run Senior Showcase in New York City. Michigan Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen in Broadway shows such as Aladdin, The Band's Visit, Come From Away, Dear Evan Hansen, Frozen, Hamilton, Head Over Heels, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, Once on This Island, The Prom, School of Rock, Summer, and Wicked.

2. Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the oldest musical conservatory in the nation and was the first of its kind. Since its inception in Cincinnati, OH in the 1800's, the rigorous conservatory has thrived and has consistently produced some of the most successful and renowned performers, and continues to be incredibly selective with a mere 4% acceptance rate. CCM's young performers within the past 10 years of graduating have continued the school's legacy, which can be attributed to the talent and extensive training which is demonstrated at their well-attended New York Showcase every spring. CCM Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like Anastasia, Beautiful, Chicago, Come From Away, Frozen, Hamilton, Head Over Heels, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, and Waitress.

The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (CCM) is the oldest musical conservatory in the nation and was the first of its kind. Since its inception in Cincinnati, OH in the 1800's, the rigorous conservatory has thrived and has consistently produced some of the most successful and renowned performers, and continues to be incredibly selective with a mere 4% acceptance rate. CCM's young performers within the past 10 years of graduating have continued the school's legacy, which can be attributed to the talent and extensive training which is demonstrated at their well-attended New York Showcase every spring. CCM Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like Anastasia, Beautiful, Chicago, Come From Away, Frozen, Hamilton, Head Over Heels, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, and Waitress.

3. NYU Tisch

NYU Tisch's Musical Theatre program has been praised as one of the top musical theatre programs for years. Under the New York University Tisch Drama program, the New Studio on Broadway has become a highly competitive MT program, with a 15% acceptance rate. This program under Tisch provides rigorous training right in the heart of New York City. Tisch's young alumni are carrying on the program's legacy, as they train and perform with incredible cultural resources and esteemed faculty members and guest faculty in New York. Graduates of NYU Tisch can be currently seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, The Band's Visit, Beautiful, The Book of Mormon, Come From Away, Frozen, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, Phantom of the Opera, Pretty Woman, Waitress, and Wicked.

NYU Tisch's Musical Theatre program has been praised as one of the top musical theatre programs for years. Under the New York University Tisch Drama program, the New Studio on Broadway has become a highly competitive MT program, with a 15% acceptance rate. This program under Tisch provides rigorous training right in the heart of New York City. Tisch's young alumni are carrying on the program's legacy, as they train and perform with incredible cultural resources and esteemed faculty members and guest faculty in New York. Graduates of NYU Tisch can be currently seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, The Band's Visit, Beautiful, The Book of Mormon, Come From Away, Frozen, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, Phantom of the Opera, Pretty Woman, Waitress, and Wicked.

4. Elon University

Elon University's Music Theatre program is on the young side, having popped up within the past two decades. The program is situated within Elon's Department of Performing Arts at the small liberal arts school in Elon, NC, which is often ranked among the most beautiful campuses in the nation. Despite the program being younger than others, it is consistently ranked among the top in the nation, with an acceptance rate of only 3%. Over the past 10 years, several dozens of Elon graduates have made appearances on Broadway and National Tour stages. This success is aided by their Casting Director and Agent Masterclass Series with each senior class, which is the program's unique way of bringing their "New York Showcase" to their own campus. Elon Music Theatre alumni can currently be seen in Broadway shows such as Aladdin, Beautiful, The Book of Mormon, Dear Evan Hansen, Head Over Heels, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, The Prom, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, and Wicked.

Elon University's Music Theatre program is on the young side, having popped up within the past two decades. The program is situated within Elon's Department of Performing Arts at the small liberal arts school in Elon, NC, which is often ranked among the most beautiful campuses in the nation. Despite the program being younger than others, it is consistently ranked among the top in the nation, with an acceptance rate of only 3%. Over the past 10 years, several dozens of Elon graduates have made appearances on Broadway and National Tour stages. This success is aided by their Casting Director and Agent Masterclass Series with each senior class, which is the program's unique way of bringing their "New York Showcase" to their own campus. Elon Music Theatre alumni can currently be seen in Broadway shows such as Aladdin, Beautiful, The Book of Mormon, Dear Evan Hansen, Head Over Heels, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, The Prom, Summer: The Donna Summer Musical, and Wicked.

5. Carnegie Mellon University

Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama is the oldest conservatory training, and the first degree-granting drama institution, in America. It also is one of the most difficult programs in the country to be admitted to, with a 3% acceptance rate. Since being founded in Pittsburgh, PA in 1914, the musical theatre program has consistently produced incredibly successful performers, Tony-Award winners, and brilliant artists. Graduates of the School of Drama also consistently find much success in the Television and Film mediums. Their young, recent graduates are no different, with many of them creating successful careers after their New York Showcase within years of graduation. Carnegie Mellon Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, Beautiful, Harry Potter, Head Over Heels, The Lion King, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, School of Rock, Waitress, and Wicked.

Carnegie Mellon's School of Drama is the oldest conservatory training, and the first degree-granting drama institution, in America. It also is one of the most difficult programs in the country to be admitted to, with a 3% acceptance rate. Since being founded in Pittsburgh, PA in 1914, the musical theatre program has consistently produced incredibly successful performers, Tony-Award winners, and brilliant artists. Graduates of the School of Drama also consistently find much success in the Television and Film mediums. Their young, recent graduates are no different, with many of them creating successful careers after their New York Showcase within years of graduation. Carnegie Mellon Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, Beautiful, Harry Potter, Head Over Heels, The Lion King, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, School of Rock, Waitress, and Wicked.

6. Boston Conservatory

Boston Conservatory at Berklee is one of the country's oldest and most prestigious conservatories in America. Since being founded in Boston, MA in 1867 as a professional training academy and music school, Boston Conservatory has become an internationally recognized leader among conservatory programs, with incredibly successful alumni. The young alumni within the past ten years have carried on this legacy, and have continued to have successful careers in Broadway shows and in National and International Tours after graduation and showcase. Boston Conservatory Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows such as The Band's Visit, Beautiful, The Book of Mormon, Come From Away, Frozen, Head Over Heels, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, Waitress, and Wicked.

Boston Conservatory at Berklee is one of the country's oldest and most prestigious conservatories in America. Since being founded in Boston, MA in 1867 as a professional training academy and music school, Boston Conservatory has become an internationally recognized leader among conservatory programs, with incredibly successful alumni. The young alumni within the past ten years have carried on this legacy, and have continued to have successful careers in Broadway shows and in National and International Tours after graduation and showcase. Boston Conservatory Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows such as The Band's Visit, Beautiful, The Book of Mormon, Come From Away, Frozen, Head Over Heels, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, My Fair Lady, Pretty Woman, Waitress, and Wicked.

7. Point Park University

Point Park University's BFA musical theatre program is situated within the conservatory of performing arts in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, PA. Point Park's program is among the newer programs, but consistently ranks among the top for programs of its kind. The 129-credit program equally emphasizes each aspect of the "triple threat" training, and regularly bring guest artists and casting directors to campus to work with students. Additionally, the school just opened the "Pittsburgh Playhouse," a new state of the art building specifically designed to be a learning laboratory for the conservatory students. The program's young alumni have done exceptionally well, and they can be seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, Anastasia, Chicago, Frozen, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, and School of Rock.

Point Park University's BFA musical theatre program is situated within the conservatory of performing arts in the heart of downtown Pittsburgh, PA. Point Park's program is among the newer programs, but consistently ranks among the top for programs of its kind. The 129-credit program equally emphasizes each aspect of the "triple threat" training, and regularly bring guest artists and casting directors to campus to work with students. Additionally, the school just opened the "Pittsburgh Playhouse," a new state of the art building specifically designed to be a learning laboratory for the conservatory students. The program's young alumni have done exceptionally well, and they can be seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, Anastasia, Chicago, Frozen, Hamilton, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, and School of Rock.

8. Pace University

Pace University's rigorous and highly competitive BFA Musical Theatre program is located within the Pace School of Performing Arts in New York City. The program is on the up and coming side, but has already been yielding successful alumni in the performing arts and in television and film. The program utilizes its New York City location to include many artists in residency and provides its students with important industry connections with guest artists and masterclasses; culminating in their showcase senior year. The program also allows students to audition professionally in New York while in school, which could attribute to the wide range of alumni and student success in the city. Additionally, the program focuses on the creation of new material with the "Pace New Musicals" program and "Hatched." Pace alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like The Band's Visit, The Book of Mormon, Frozen, Hamilton, Head Over Heels, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, Once on This Island, Pretty Woman, Waitress, and Wicked.

Pace University's rigorous and highly competitive BFA Musical Theatre program is located within the Pace School of Performing Arts in New York City. The program is on the up and coming side, but has already been yielding successful alumni in the performing arts and in television and film. The program utilizes its New York City location to include many artists in residency and provides its students with important industry connections with guest artists and masterclasses; culminating in their showcase senior year. The program also allows students to audition professionally in New York while in school, which could attribute to the wide range of alumni and student success in the city. Additionally, the program focuses on the creation of new material with the "Pace New Musicals" program and "Hatched." Pace alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like The Band's Visit, The Book of Mormon, Frozen, Hamilton, Head Over Heels, Mean Girls, My Fair Lady, Once on This Island, Pretty Woman, Waitress, and Wicked.

9. Penn State University

Penn State School of Theatre's Musical Theatre program has been consistently ranked in the top in the country for programs of its kind for years. Now in 2018, the musical theatre program is officially celebrating 25 years. The program, located in University Park, PA, is an incredibly selective program - only admitting 14 to 20 new students a year, thus providing students with individualized attention and rigorous training. Penn State also emphasizes their "new musicals initiative" as well as musical theatre wellness in their program. Young alumni also do exceptionally well, with the help of Penn State's Senior Showcase in New York City. Penn State Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, Beautiful, Frozen, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Mean Girls, Pretty Woman, School of Rock, and Wicked.

Penn State School of Theatre's Musical Theatre program has been consistently ranked in the top in the country for programs of its kind for years. Now in 2018, the musical theatre program is officially celebrating 25 years. The program, located in University Park, PA, is an incredibly selective program - only admitting 14 to 20 new students a year, thus providing students with individualized attention and rigorous training. Penn State also emphasizes their "new musicals initiative" as well as musical theatre wellness in their program. Young alumni also do exceptionally well, with the help of Penn State's Senior Showcase in New York City. Penn State Musical Theatre alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, Beautiful, Frozen, Kinky Boots, The Lion King, Mean Girls, Pretty Woman, School of Rock, and Wicked.

10. Baldwin Wallace University

Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music's musical theatre program (Berea, OH) has recently popped up in the past 20 years and become one of the top, most acclaimed and selective musical theatre programs in the country. Their New York Showcase is one of the most-attended, which aids in the success of their alumni. Baldwin Wallace also presents their graduates with a BM (Bachelor of Music), which shows their concentration on musical education and is unique compared to other BFA programs across the country. Baldwin Wallace's young alumni do exceptionally well in the performing arts, and their alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, Anastasia, The Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, and School of Rock.

Baldwin Wallace Conservatory of Music's musical theatre program (Berea, OH) has recently popped up in the past 20 years and become one of the top, most acclaimed and selective musical theatre programs in the country. Their New York Showcase is one of the most-attended, which aids in the success of their alumni. Baldwin Wallace also presents their graduates with a BM (Bachelor of Music), which shows their concentration on musical education and is unique compared to other BFA programs across the country. Baldwin Wallace's young alumni do exceptionally well in the performing arts, and their alumni can currently be seen on Broadway in shows like Aladdin, Anastasia, The Book of Mormon, Kinky Boots, Mean Girls, and School of Rock.

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