Learn about NYCDA's mission, history, and degree programs

Our Mission – Liberating Talent Through Craft

The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts is dedicated to liberating talent through craft by providing practical, relevant, and rigorous training to aspiring actors who are determined to succeed. The Conservatory offers immersive, disciplined, and focused professional training programs designed to give students the tools and techniques they need for successful careers.


Actress Joan See, who began her own career in the 1960s, founded the school that would ultimately become NYCDA in 1980. She saw a growing demand from students and talent agents for more advanced training specifically geared toward television commercials. Word spread like wildfire and soon the curriculum expanded to include training for film, television, speech, movement, voice-over, daytime TV, and improv. In 1990, the school launched the first conservatory-style Two-Year Professional Training Program for Film and Television Performance.


Associate in Occupational Studies, Film and Television Performance
Grounded in the experientially-focused Meisner technique, the two-year Film and Television Performance curriculum is designed to help each student develop the technique and discipline required to succeed in every form of screen acting, from film to sitcoms to daytime dramas to commercials and voice-overs.

Theater Certificate
All students who earn AOS degrees also have the option of entering the Certificate Theater Performance Program focused on refining stage-acting skills.

BA and BFA Options
Students are able to transfer credits from NYCDA to a number of other BA and BFA programs including those at Adelphi University and the University of Northern Colorado. Here are some details on our Transfer-of-Credit-Policy-and-Articulation-Agreement.

Professional Training Programs Summer Acting Training Program

Accredited Acting Programs

The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts is an institutionally accredited member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre and has been authorized to offer an Associate in Occupational Studies (AOS) degree program in Film and Television Performance by the New York State Board of Regents.