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GW Application Form

What is the best way to fill out an application for GW/ACA?
We strongly encourage you to apply online at GW. For an application, click here.

How should I answer the following questions on the application form?

  1. School?
    Columbian College of Arts and Sciences
  2. Field of Study?
    Theatre (Classical Acting)
  3. Concentration?
    No concentration
  4. Degree?
  5. Please indicate the campus you plan to attend:
    Foggy Bottom

For an application, click here. Then click on the "Apply Now" button on the left to create an application account. If you have problems creating an account or connecting to the GW website, please call 202.994.2819.

Application Process

What is the correct deadline for the applications?
The deadline for applications has been extended to January 12th, 2016. Please direct any questions regarding the application process to

What exactly should be included in the Statement of Purpose?
The Statement of Purpose should address your reasons for wanting to study classical acting. The essay should be typed and contain between 250 and 500 words.

Do I have to use the “Recommendation Provider” tool provided in the online application  for recommendations?
No, the tool provided by the website serve as a guide but do not have to be used as the method of recommendation. A letter from an individual that can attest to your abilities as an actor is preferred.

I'm in my forties and my academic letters of recommendation are twenty years old. Do you still want them?
If you have been out of school for 15+ years, or have 10+ years of professional acting experience, then 2 professional letters of recommendation will suffice.

What do you mean by 'professional' and 'academic' letters of recommendation?
An academic letter is from a teacher of theatre from any acting class or program in which you have been enrolled. A professional letter is from a director, Artistic Director, or other professional theatre artist with whom you have worked recently. Although one of each type of letter is preferred, two academic or two professional letters would be acceptable.

What if I have a hard copy of a transcript or recommendation that cannot be  sent electronically?
Send original documents (transcripts, application form, headshot and resume, letters of recommendation, etc.) to: Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, Office of Graduate Admissions, George Washington University, 801 22nd St. NW, Washington, DC 20052. The staffs of both GW and the ACA keep in close correspondence with one another about what documents each office has received. In the end both offices will have all of your application materials.

Do I need to send duplicate copies of my letters of recommendation, transcripts, and other materials, and do I send to both the GW Graduate Admissions Office and the ACA Office?

Do I need to submit a hard copy of my transcript?
No.  An electronic version, including scanned copies, is acceptable when initially applying.   Official copies of your transcripts will be required only if you are offered admission.

Do I have to have all of my application materials in by the posted deadline?
No. The online application and application fee are due by the listed deadline. Other materials may be sent as soon as possible thereafter. Naturally, we want a complete file by the time you audition.

What is the difference between a Certificate student and a Master's student at the ACA?
Program-wise, there is no difference between Certificate (non-degree / those who do not hold an undergraduate degree) and Master's candidates. All students take the same classes for the same number of credits and the tuition is a fixed-rate charge. However, if you are planning to apply for loans to help finance your education, please be aware that Certificate students are not eligible for the Federal Loan Program (FAFSA). Certificate students must finance their time here through private loans. More information about these various private loan programs can be found through or through the GWU office of Financial Aid:, 202.994.6620.

I have applied to the ACA in the past. What do I need to resubmit in terms of application materials?
If you have applied to ACA in past years, transcripts need not be resubmitted. You are required to submit a new application form, application fee, a revised statement of purpose (telling us about any growth or changes that have taken place professionally since we last saw you) and an updated resume and headshot. You should also submit new letters of recommendation if there are people who can attest to your most recent work as an actor since the last time you applied.

I'm a Canadian or dual citizen. Do I have to abide by any other procedures?
An international student accepted for graduate study at The George Washington University is NOT eligible for Federal Loan money unless he or she is also a U.S. citizen. For more information or questions pertaining to visa/citizenship issues please visit the GWU International Services Office at:

Before I decide to apply, I would like to talk to someone who has graduated that has similar circumstances. Is this possible?
Yes. Please email to be put in contact with an alumnus of the program.

Audition Process

What do you mean by "at least two classical monologues?"
This means your initial audition will consist of two classical/Shakespeare monologues within a five minute time slot. We recommend that your pieces be in verse.

Will there be any callbacks?
Yes. The callback session will take place later the same day as your audition. A callback list will be posted during the day. If you are called back, we may want to work more intensely on one or both of your monologues, and/or see what other pieces you have prepared. You should therefore have at least 2 additional classical pieces prepared as well as a contemporary piece.

When will my audition be scheduled?
Once your application and application fee have been received by The George Washington University, you will be contacted to schedule your audition. Obviously, the sooner you submit your application materials, the sooner you will be contacted about scheduling.

Required Background and Training

I have a BA degree, but it is not in theatre. Can I still apply?
Yes. The bachelor's degree can be in any field. Your experience and training in theatre and, of course, your audition will be the primary basis for your selection as a student. Note: the ACA is an advanced acting program and is not intended for beginning actors—applicants should already possess a solid background in theatre.

Tuition and Fees

How much does the program really cost?
Tuition is $33,095 for the 12-month program. Living costs (rent, food, transportation, clothing, supplies) are estimated at $15,000-18,000, bringing the cost of attendance to approximately $47,000. Fees (health, graduation, application, etc.) are not included in this total.


Are there any scholarships available from the ACA; if so, how and when will they be awarded?
There are several partial scholarships available through the ACA. These funds will be awarded based on both need and merit. The development departments of both institutions raise funds annually. These funds depend on the timing and generosity of individual donors, so the amount varies from year to year, and sometimes the amount of the gift is not known until close to the beginning of the school year.

How do I apply for Federal Aid?
To apply for Federal Financial Aid go to the FAFSA homepage at There you will be able to apply online, track the status of your application and receive answers to any Federal Aid related questions you may have.


Does the ACA provide housing; if not, can the ACA help me find a place to live?
Students are responsible for making their own housing arrangements. Often, incoming students can work out arrangements with graduating students of the ACA to take over their lease in August. The ACA Program Coordinator can provide some help and advice on housing in the area. Most students will find apartments for the year in the Capitol Hill area of Washington, DC (rent will vary depending on location and on whether a student lives alone or with a roommate; however, monthly rent for an individual averages between $850 and $1,200).

Program Information

What is the difference between the Acting Fellows Program at the Shakespeare Theatre Company and the Academy for Classical Acting?
Acting Fellows are interns with the Shakespeare Theatre Company for a season whereas actors at the ACA are full-time graduate students of The George Washington University. Learn more about the Acting Fellows program.

How often do the students work with Michael Kahn?
In the latter part of the Fall term, students begin working on Shakespeare scenes with Michael Kahn. In the Spring, students spend about four weeks with him working on scenes from Jacobean plays. Michael’s participation is always subject to his availability.

Are ACA students cast in shows at the Shakespeare Theatre Company during their training?
No. Actors at the Academy are full-time graduate students and are in classes five days a week from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Students are not allowed to perform professionally during their year of training.