Awards and Honors, Institutional News

Bennington College Theater Achieves #3 Ranking from Princeton Review 2024

College earns a top-ten ranking for classroom experience.

Bennington College is proud to share that its theater program ranked #3 in the nation this year in the Princeton Review’s “Best Colleges” list. The College also ranked #9 in the nation for its classroom experience. The schools selected for the Best Colleges lists are based on student surveys.

“This year’s rankings are a testament to the power of our talented faculty and students and to our rigorous self-directed education,” said Laura Walker, Bennington College President. “Bennington students work in close collaboration with faculty, are boundlessly creative, and make an outsized impact in the arts and sciences.” 

In addition to these top ranks for theater and classroom experience, Bennington College appeared in the top ten nationwide for the “most politically active students” (#5) and for being “LGBTQ-friendly” (#6). 

Bennington’s Drama Department offers students a thorough grounding in virtually every dimension of theater-making, including acting, playwriting, devising, theater history, dramatic literature, dramaturgy, stage management, set design, costume design, and lighting. Students get access to state-of-the-art theater spaces, hands-on production experience, and abundant opportunities to get involved on all levels.

From studying Drama at Bennington, many students have continued on to study in graduate programs, pursue cross-disciplinary work, or carve out distinguished careers on stage, film, and television. 

Bennington’s classroom experience ranking is reflected in written comments to the publication’s surveys. Bennington students praised their interactions with faculty members, with whom they wrote they are on “a first-name basis.” Students said that faculty “often bring their colleagues in to discuss and connect with students” and that the one-on-one guidance each student receives is “a game changer in terms of getting experience in your field.”

Similarly, the review quoted students’ impressions of diversity and inclusion on campus. “This is a place that is ‘full of people open to self-expression and being who you are, whoever you may be,’ where students are ‘very, very LGBTQIA+ accepting’ and ‘most people are a part of the community.’” 

Bennington College ranked in the top fifteen for “Green Matters: Everyone Cares About Conservation” (#13), “Best College Radio Station” (#14), and “Most Beautiful Campus” (#15). “If nature inspires you,” one student wrote, “Bennington is the place to be.” 

Finally, the Princeton Review gave Bennington a high rating for selectivity, 90-99 on a scale of 60-99. This rating measures how competitive admissions are at the school and is determined by several institutionally reported factors, including the class rank, standardized test scores, and high school GPA of entering freshmen; the percentage of students who hail from out-of-state; and the percentage of applicants accepted. Only 45 percent of applicants are accepted.