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Emma Roos '17, Ezekiel Edmonds '17, Tristen Buhttel '17, and Kelsey Roberts '17 in the Department of Drama's "Nine" | Photo by Mike Davis Emma Roos '17, Ezekiel Edmonds '17, Tristen Buhttel '17, and Kelsey Roberts '17 in the Department of Drama's "Nine" | Photo by Mike Davis

The Hollywood Reporter (THR) has ranked the College of Visual and Performing Arts’ Department of Drama among the top five schools for undergraduate study in its May 24 issue.

The department was ranked no. 4, jumping four spots from its no. 8 ranking last year. The department has moved steadily up THR’s annual rankings since 2012.

“The department’s rise from the top 20 to the top five in just five years is a tribute to the sustained excellence of its faculty and staff and to the hard work of students in all our programs of study,” says Ralph Zito, professor and chair.

The article cited the ability for students to earn Equity points during their education, thanks to the department’s affiliation with Syracuse Stage, an outstanding Equity theater company located in the same theater complex. THR also listed four of the department’s successful alumni: Taye Diggs ’93, Vera Farmiga ’95, Frank Langella ’59 and Vanessa Williams ’85.

“We take great pride in the accomplishments of all of our alumni,” says Zito. “In addition to the established names mentioned in the article, rising stars such as Patti Murin ’02, Josh Young ’03, Clarence Derwent Award winner Will Pullen ’13, Tony Award-winner Jessie Mueller ’05 and countless other graduates too numerous to mention continue to distinguish themselves in all areas of the entertainment industry.”

The department offers four bachelor of fine arts (B.F.A.) degree programs in acting, musical theater, stage management and theater design and technology, as well as a bachelor of science (B.S.) degree program in drama that features a theater management track. The department’s culture of rigorous conservatory-style training at a major research university with a direct connection to the working professionals at Syracuse Stage is of great benefit to students in all of its programs of study, including the non-performance areas.

Drama students also benefit from the support of the department’s extensive alumni network. Many alumni return to campus to offer workshops or participate in discussions, while others have established more immersive experiences, such as the Tepper Semester (named for Arielle Tepper Madover ’94) and the Araca Project (established by Mike Rego ‘90 and Hank Unger ‘90) in New York City and Sorkin Week (named for Aaron Sorkin ’83 H’12) in Los Angeles.

Says Zito, “Without the ongoing support of our alumni, our continued success would not be possible.”

In addition to opportunities in New York and Los Angeles, students may also study abroad in London (with classes at Shakespeare’s Globe and Rose Bruford College) and Florence, Italy. Learn more at