Get in the act: Performing Arts programs at Adelphi University

Whether your passion is dance, music, or theater, you’ll flourish as an artist at Adelphi. Working with dedicated faculty members who remain active professionally, you’ll build your technical skills, unleash your creativity, and make the connections you’ll need to launch an artistic career.


Perfectly placed
Just 23 miles from New York City, Adelphi is right on the doorstep of the world’s most vibrant cultural scene.

We don’t just take advantage of all the riches New York offers—we bring them to campus with master classes and workshops led by world-famous musicians, actors, dancers, directors, and producers. New York Theatre Workshop and Trio Solisti hold annual residencies at Adelphi, and our faculty include Pulitzer Prize–winning composer Paul Moravec, DMA.

The Adelphi University Performing Arts Center is a cultural attraction in its own right. During its 10th anniversary season in 2017–2018, it featured performances by Mandy Gonzalez, a star of Broadway’s hit musical Hamilton; Lucie Arnaz; Bruce Hornsby; and a cast of Broadway talent performing the songs of Adelphi alumnus Jonathan Larson ’82 in Rent in Concert.

The 2018–2019 season will feature concerts by Broadway legend ChitaRivera and Charles Calello, the pop music producer and arranger for The Four Seasons, Frank Sinatra, and many others.

Small-town charm, big-city perks
Adelphi may be less than an hour by train to New York City, but it’s got a comfortable small-town feel. Our campus in Garden City is safe, welcoming, and beautiful—so beautiful, in fact, that it’s been voted Long Island’s best public garden.

You’ll find a tight, supportive community at Adelphi. Our classes are small, with an average of only 21 students, so you can be sure your professors will know your name. Our community is diverse too; nearly half our students identify as diverse, and our faculty are our most diverse ever. Inclusion and respect are our bedrock values.
And there’s plenty to do close
to campus. From sandy beaches to top-rated parks, award-winning golf courses, magnificent mansions, restaurants, and historic landmarks, the area has so much to offer.

Find your own course, design your own major
At Adelphi, your training as an artist will be part of a well-rounded liberal arts education. Our College of Arts and Sciences offers innovative interdisciplinary programs with the eight other colleges and schools at the University.

You can even design your own interdisciplinary major—just as junior Sebastiano Ricci has done by creating a Television Puppetry major that combines courses in communications, art, and theater. Whatever you choose to study, you’ll gain the knowledge, skills, abilities, and values that lead to success, supported by our engaged faculty and caring mentors.

Learn outside the classroom and studio
Internships are a vital part of an Adelphi education, especially for performing arts students. There are so many music, dance, and theater companies in New York and the entire region, giving you the opportunity to learn firsthand how artistic events are brought to life.

Mirirai Sithole ’12, who received the 2018 Lucille Lortel Award for outstanding featured actress in an off-Broadway play, is one performing arts graduate who launched her career with the help of Adelphi internships. She spent one summer working at New York Stage and Film, a nonprofit that supports emerging artists and their work, then worked at the Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont the following summer. Both produced connections that led to her first professional acting jobs.

Highly praised
At Adelphi, we’re proud to be nationally recognized by top organizations and publications. The Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education named us a “Top US College” in its 2018 rankings. U.S. News & World Report consistently lists us as a top-tier national university. Forbes named Adelphi one of “America’s Top Colleges,” and Money magazine included us in its “Best Colleges” list.

BFA or minor in Dance
Joining our Department of Dance will prepare you for the dance world of today—and tomorrow. Ours is a small, tight-knit program with around 50 students. It’s a performance-based program, and you’ll practice your craft in small classes—no more than 18 students—taught by our experienced faculty.

You’ll perfect your skills in one of the department’s four state-of-the-art studios, where you’ll focus on classical ballet and modern dance techniques and creative traditions, theory and composition, and history and criticism. Outside the studio, you’ll have the opportunity to perform in at least two main-stage productions produced each academic year, as well as two student workshops. You’ll get a well-rounded education too, with a solid academic course load.

Graduates of Adelphi’s Department of Dance have gone on to perform with the Joffrey Ballet, Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Paul Taylor Dance Company, Eliot Feld, Joyce Trisler Danscompany, Nikolais Dance Theater, Pilobolus Dance Theater, and others. They go into musical theater, become choreographers or dance teachers, work behind the scenes in lighting or design, or use the knowledge they’ve acquired in kinesthetics and physiology to pursue careers in fields such as nursing or physical therapy.

BS in Music, Music Education, Concentration in Composition or Vocal Performance, minor in Music
Whether you’d like to become a professional musician or music educator, our program will provide you with the knowledge and technical skills you’ll need to succeed on stage, in the studio, or in the classroom. You’ll learn in small classes that will give you a solid foundation in theory, aural skills, technique, and history. And, of course, you’ll gain valuable experience through instrumental or vocal lessons and performance opportunities, including large and small ensembles—band, chorus, orchestra, chamber, guitar, jazz, opera, and world music, among others.

BFA or minor in Theater Arts: Acting or Design Technology
Immerse yourself in every aspect of theater. When you join our program, you’ll learn from a faculty and staff of theater professionals. You’ll work with other students to understand the roles of acting, theater tech, and set design, and you will gain experience in all genres, from traditional to avant-garde. You’ll participate in more than 20 productions throughout the academic year, held in our state-of-the-art Adelphi University Performing Arts Center. And your Adelphi education will offer you something many other schools can’t—the opportunity to easily attend Broadway and off-Broadway performances, just an hour away by public transportation.

Private education at an affordable price
Adelphi University provides generous assistance to students who have distinguished themselves through academics, the arts, athletics, or outstanding service, as well as students who demonstrate financial need. In fall 2017, nearly 95% of our new full-time first-year students received some sort of financial aid. The average financial aid package for full-time students is $21,500.