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History – Circle in the Square Theatre School, an independent non-profit 501(c)3, began training actors in 1961. We are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Theatre. We share a busy space with the famed Circle in the Square Theatre. Click here for more information about Circle in the Square.

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Our Students – Approximately fifty-four (54) total students are accepted into our Two-Year programs annually, selected from approximately 700 applicants each year. The average student age is early to mid-twenties. Students must be at least 18 years old and have a high school diploma or its equivalent. Circle's diverse group of students comes from across the country and around the world. For our Summer Workshops, the minimum age for applicants is 18, and have approximately one hundred (100) students every summer.

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Application/AdmissionClick here to download an application and review admission requirements.

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Progress Review – Individual teachers continually critique students' classroom participation. This critique is an integral component of the program and is the process by which each student is kept fully informed of his or her progress in each classroom exercise or setting. The Director of the School, E. Colin O'Leary, is available for consultation and counseling, along with the rest of the administrative staff.

Circle in the Square does not use a letter grade format, however, the Administration holds a minimum of four formal meetings with the Faculty over the course of the school year to discuss each student's progress.

Students periodically have individual meetings with the Director of the School to discuss the Faculty's written evaluations of the student's work and to express any concerns either the student or the administration may have. At these conferences, mid-year warnings and/or probation may be issued to those students whose work or behavior is not satisfactory.

Re-admission to the Second Year of either program is based on a review of individual progress and motivation at the end of the First Year. Participation in Scene Night, Cabaret presentations and Performance Projects is dependent on the student making satisfactory progress.

All students who have successfully completed all the requirements of their specified program will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

Start Date Students Completed the Program Graduation Date
Fall 2006 47 Total
*8 First Higher
Education Experience
*39 Prior Higher
Education Experience
37 Total
*3 First Higher
Education Experience
*34 Prior Higher
Education Experience
Spring 2008
Fall 2007 49 Total
*9 First Higher
Education Experience
*40 Prior Higher
Education Experience
38 Total
*7 First Higher
Education Experience
*31 Prior Higher
Education Experience
Spring 2009
Fall 2008 55 Total
*16 First Higher
Education Experience
*39 Prior Higher
Education Experience
42 Total
*12 First Higher
Education Experience
*30 Prior Higher
Education Experience
Spring 2010
Fall 2009 54 Total
*15 First Higher
Education Experience
*39 Prior Higher
Education Experience
37 Total
*7 First Higher
Education Experience
*30 Prior Higher
Education Experience
Spring 2011

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Consumer Information - Gainful Employment Data – The following data is from the award year ended June 30, 2011.

Cost of completing CIRCLE's Two-Year Certificate Programs for the 2012-11 academic year and other data presented according to the US Department of Education's Gainful EMplyment Guidelines.
Number of Sudents who Graduated
% of These Students who Graduated on Time
Tuition & Fees (one semester)
Time to Degree (number of semesters)
Tuition & Fees for the program
Estimated Books & Supplies (one semester)
Estimated Books & Supplies for the program
Room & Board (one semester)*
Room & Board for the program*
Median Federal Loan Debt**
Median Institutional Loan Debt
Median Private Loan Debt
Classification of Instructional Program (CIP) Code
Standard of Occupation (SOC) Codes

* CIRCLE does not have on-campus housing. The average cost of rent and food spent by students living in the New York City area based on common knowledge is $6,100 per term.

** Of the 38 students that completed CIRCLE's Certificate Program 14 borrowed student loans. Of these 14 students, 14 borrowed an average of $14,036 in DIRECT loans. No students borrowed Instititional Loans, and no students borrowed Provate Loans.

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Discipline and Dismissal – Students are expected to familiarize themselves and to comply with the rules and regulations, standards of conduct, attendance and satisfactory progress of Circle in the Square Theatre School. If pursuant to such rules, regulations and standards, the withdrawal of a student is required before the end of the term, a refund will be made according to the standard schedule for refunds.

If a student's work or conduct has fallen below the prescribed standards, he or she may be placed on probation for the upcoming term or the remainder of the current term. A student is placed on probation by the School Administration upon the recommendation of the Faculty. Students who are placed on probation meet with the School Director, where reasons for their probation are discussed. At that time, the student my be required to appear before a panel of the Faculty where they are given guidelines for the requested changes in class work and/or behavior, as well as the amount of time these changes must be maintained before they are taken off probation. During the time a student is on probation, if he or she does not maintain the requested changes, it will be considered grounds for dismissal.

The Faculty and Administration reserve the right to dismiss any individual student after a thorough evaluation of the student's progress or lack thereof. In the event of a student's dismissal, the reasons for the dismissal and the criteria used are fully explained to the student in a personal interview with the School Director. If the student wishes to appeal his or her case, they may do so, in writing to the School Director. After a review period in which the Director further consults the Faculty, the student will be notified as to the disposition of their appeal.

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Refunds of Tuition – Students who must, for whatever reason, withdraw from any Circle in the Square Theatre School program, will receive refunds of tuition in the following manner:

  • Withdrawl prior to the opening date: 100%
  • Withdrawal within the first calendar week from opening date: 85%
  • Withdrawal within the second calendar week from opening date: 70%
  • Withdrawal within the third calendar week from opening date: 55%
  • Withdrawal after the completion of the third calendar week: NONE

PLEASE NOTE: An Administrative fee of $100 will be deducted from all refunds. Requests for refunds must be made to the School Director in writing.

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Housing – It is the responsibility of the student to secure housing. However, Circle tries to offer any information we can to assist the student in their search. Incoming students who need a place to live in New York may contact the School Office for any current information regarding housing sources, potential roommates or apartment rentals. Incoming students are advised to make preparations prior to arrival as locating affordable housing in the city can be difficult. This information is limited and made available only to incoming/current students.

If you have been accepted into the program, returned your contracts with payment and have the appropriate pass codes, CLICK HERE for housing information.

If you have been accepted into the program, returned your contracts and deposit, and need the pass codes: Please call the school at (212) 307-0388 or email us at admissions@circlesquare.org (please write "Housing" in the Subject line).

If you are having trouble logging onto the Housing page:

  • Click on the Tools Menu/Button at the top of your internet browser and choose Internet Options.
  • Click on the Security tab and choose Trusted Sites. Then click button labeled Sites.
  • Uncheck the box that says “Require server verification (https:) for all sites in this zone”.
  • In the box that says “Add this website to the zone:” Type http://www.circlesquare.org
  • Click the Add button and then click the Close button to close that window.
  • Click the Ok button to exit the Internet Options window. This should allow you to log in with the correct pass codes without any difficulty.

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Internships – Non-paying internships are available for administrative positions in our School Office. Interested candidates should email or mail a cover letter and resume to the attention of David Pleva. Questions regarding internships can be sent to admissions@circlesquare.org.

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Theatre School Office – The Theatre School Office is located at the Circle in the Square Theatre School, on West 50th Street between Broadway and Eighth Avenue. The School's telephone number is 212-307-0388. All "snail" mail should be sent to the following address:

Circle in the Square Theatre School
1633 Broadway
New York, NY 10019

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1633 Broadway at 50th Street
New York City, NY 10019
Tel: 212-307-0388
Fax: 212-307-0257