Summer Pre-College Drama

The Pre-College Drama program gives students the chance to participate in a professional training program with three options: acting, music theater and design/technical production. The program focuses on the exploration of a conservatory training program with emphasis on creativity, craft and discipline.

The Experience

The School of Drama’s Pre-College program is not a summer camp. It is an intensive program modeled after our undergraduate BFA curriculum. Students should arrive on campus expecting to participate in an intense college-level program. 

The Carnegie Mellon Pre-College program provides a strong basis for the student to decide whether or not to pursue further professional theater training. At the end of the program, students will receive a written evaluation of their work in each course. 

The honing of audition skills or the creation of a design and production portfolio is an essential component of the Pre-College curriculum. At the conclusion of the Pre-College program, students from all options are required to complete a mock audition or interview for the School of Drama at Carnegie Mellon. Because the program is geared toward individual progress rather than product, there is no “final production.”


Students are expected to fulfill all the requirements of the program in which they are enrolled, including, without limitation: attending and participating in all classes; completing all assigned coursework, homework, projects, exams and any other program requirements. 

Classes run Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Students will have a daily lunch break, and depending on course load, may have an additional free period during the day.

Optional workshops and Master’s classes are held in the evenings.

Please remember that there is an academic component to the Pre-College Drama program. Students are required to take dramatic literature, and may not drop this course.


The acting curriculum includes classes in acting, voice and speech, movement, audition techniques, styles and dramatic literature, with courses in playwriting, directing and improvisation available as electives.

The music theater curriculum mirrors the acting curriculum, with courses in singing and dance rather than voice and speech, movement and styles. Music theater studies will focus on the rudiments of music and singing in large and small group sessions. Dance classes consist of training in ballet and jazz and are tailored for beginning, intermediate and advanced dance students.

Design and production technology and management students will be exposed to a curriculum of basic design, scene painting, technical production, drafting, stage lighting and dramatic literature.

Private voice lessons are also available for an additional fee.    

Fees & Requirements

There are a limited number of scholarships available for students applying to the Summer Programs for Diversity for the Fine Arts. Scholarships cover the costs of tuition, housing and dining. All students are responsible for the costs of books, supplies, transportation and recreational expenses, with an average cost of $300. Students who are awarded scholarships will be notified in their decision letter.

Students are highly encouraged to live on campus. The School of Drama is not able to make special class arrangements for commuters.