Frequently Asked Questions

École nationale de théâtre
Photo par: Maxime Côté


How and when can I apply?

You can apply to the National Theatre School online. Applications are accepted between October 1 and January 31 each year. Application fees are $80 per program, non-refundable.

Is there an age limit for enrolment?

Yes. Candidates must be at least 18 years old as of December 31 of the year of entry at NTS.

Can I apply to several programs at once, including applying to an English program as well as a French one?

Yes, absolutely. Candidates must then:

  • Fill in a different online form for each program; and
  • Include a $80 application fee for each program to which they apply.

Can the National Theatre School offer credits for courses successfully completed at another school?

No. All courses are obligatory; students must complete their entire program of study regardless of their chosen discipline or previous studies. The School does not grant course equivalencies, exemptions or substitutions. Only one status is recognized, that of full-time student.

Can I send in a video?

Under certain conditions determined by the School, candidates who have duly applied for the Acting program can record their audition scenes on DVD and send them to the School. This applies particularly for foreign students. However, you must first apply by consulting the section, Online Registration.

How long does it take before knowing if my application has been accepted?

The selection process for all of the programs at the National Theatre School is a complex series of evaluations carried out by a jury. The final results are officially communicated to candidates during the month of May.

How can I check the status of my application throughout the selection process?

The selection process for all programs lasts from February to May. At each step of the process, candidates are notified in advance of the date and location of their interview or audition as well as the status of their application.

What are the prerequisites to be accepted to NTS?

There is no academic diploma or degree required for any of NTS’s programs.

Is there a “student-for-a-day” program?

Get a behind-the-scenes look at NTS by joining a free Guided Tours of our campuses: offered to teachers, their students and potential candidates.


How many sessions are there per year?

For the professional training programs, there are two sessions per year: fall and winter. Applications are only accepted for the fall session (beginning in September). It is therefore not possible to register for the winter session.
Furthermore, all courses are obligatory. Students must complete their entire program of study in order to receive their certificate from the NTS.

Length of the program:
Acting: 3 years, full time.
Playwriting: 3 years, full time.
Directing: 2 years, full time.
Production Design & Technical Arts: 3 years, full time.
Set and Costume Design: 3 years, full time.

What kind of diploma is given and are there equivalencies (credits) applicable towards a university degree?

Students who have met all the requirements and completed their program of study will receive a certificate from the National Theatre School.

NTS is accredited by the Ministère de l'Éducation et de l'Enseignement supérieur du Québec which recognizes that its training programs are equivalent with those of a college program, but does not issue a collegiate studies diploma (DEC) in theatre.
However, certain universities may grant equivalencies for the National Theatre School’s certificate, or some of the classes followed at the National Theatre School, on a case-by-case basis.


What are the tuition fees?

Canadian citizens and permanent residents:
For the Acting, Production, and Set & Costume Design programs, tuition fees for the 2023-2024 school year are $5,980.50.
For the Playwriting and Directing programs, tuition fees for the 2023-2024 school year are $5,896.75.

International Students:
For the Acting, Production, and Set & Costume Design programs, tuition fees for the 2023-2024 school year are $10,197.
For the Playwriting and Directing programs, tuition fees for the 2023-2024 school year are $11,793.50.

Read more about Financial Aid from NTS

Am I eligible for government student financial-assistance programs?

Students who are Canadian citizens normally qualify for the various loan and bursary programs offered by the government of Canada. Furthermore, students who experience financial difficulties can apply for a bursary from NTS.


Can I work during my training at NTS?

NTS does not allow its students to accept work in the performing arts during the school year without the prior written authorization from their program director.
Also, because of their full schedule of classes and performances, students are strongly discouraged from working other than during their summer vacation.

Can I work on personal artistic projects during my training at NTS?

Yes, absolutely. NTS encourages the creativity, imagination and initiative of its students. It is even possible to obtain financial support from NTS to produce artistic projects outside of the School, thanks to the TEC (Theatre Engaging Communities) program – subject to eligibility.


Does the School provide a list of coaches?

No, candidates are responsible for finding their own coaches and acting lessons to prepare for their auditions for the National Theatre School’s Acting program.

Where can I find preparation classes/coaches?

Canada Actor's Equity Association can refer you to some websites.

If my application is not accepted, will I receive any feedback or comments regarding aspects that need improvement?

No. The School does not divulge the details of the selection juries’ evaluations.


What are the tuition fees for foreign students?

For non-Canadian citizens, the tuition fees for the 2017-2018 school year are $9,700 for the Acting, Production, and Set & Costume Design programs, while for the Playwriting and Directing programs, tuition fees for the 2017-2018 school year are $11,220.
It is possible to obtain financial aid: foreign students and Canadian students alike are eligible for the bursaries offered by the National Theatre School.

Can non-Canadians apply?

International applicants are welcome to apply. However they must be aware that they need to sort out their student visa themselves, as well as travelling and moving to Montréal, Canada. If a selected applicant is not able to complete their visa process or get to Montréal, we will have to rescind their invitation to join the School and select another applicant. 

Also, given the context of the pandemic, program directors reserve the right to refuse an application if the health context is deemed too uncertain to accommodate international students.

The National Theatre School welcomes many foreign students every year. Currently, there are young people from the United States, France, Israel, Algeria, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Slovenia, Venezuela, and Zambia studying at the NTS. They enrich the School’s classes and workshops thanks to their respective theatre traditions and practices.

How can I apply from abroad?

By filling out the online application form in the Admissions section of the National Theatre School’s website.


514-842-7954, ext. 134


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The National Theatre School: 1 art school, 9 professional training programs