Bachelor of Fine Arts, Acting

The B.F.A. is a professional degree program, which offers a conservatory approach to training. This degree emphasizes practical experience in addition to traditional course work.

The B.F.A. in Acting is intended to prepare students for the economic and psychological demands of the acting profession. The acting emphasis comprises an integrated four-year sequence of training in acting, voice and body movement, as well as course work in critical and historical studies, theatrical production and technical theatre. During their first three semesters, students in the B.F.A. Acting program do not have required performance, although they do have opportunities to perform. They will engage in class workshops that are process-based exercises emphasizing personal discovery and growth.

B.F.A. Auditions

Each student who submits an application to the B.F.A. in Acting program as their first-choice will be granted an audition. Auditions are scheduled through the USC School of Dramatic Arts supplement in the Common Application.

All students are expected to prepare the following: Two memorized contrasting monologues of no more than two-minutes a piece. Contrasting can encompass one classical/one contemporary or one comedy/one drama.

Learning Objectives

Our B.F.A. degrees are anchored by several principles aimed at developing artists through pre-professional study in a highly structured, conservatory approach using practical experience within an educational framework.  In addition, the B.F.A. major is guided by these additional learning objectives:

  • Obtain a working knowledge of the collaborative relationships between the actor, text, theatre event and the audience in a range of social contexts, historical periods, performance styles and cultures.
  • Acquire a practical understanding of the processes of rehearsing, performing, in live and filmed/recorded media.
  • Apply their developing physical, vocal and emotional skills to performances in productions that are mounted in the School's performing venues.


First Year

THTR 110 Dramatic Analysis (fall term)
THTR 115 Movement I (fall term)
THTR 120ab Acting I
THTR 140ab Voice I
THTR 210 Theory and Practice of World Theatre I (spring term) 

Second Year

THTR 130 Introduction to Theatrical Production (fall and spring terms)
THTR 211 Theory & Practice of World Theatre II (fall term)
THTR 212 Theory & Practice of World Theatre III (spring term)
THTR 215ab Movement II
THTR 220ab Intermediate Acting I
THTR 240ab Voice II
THTR 397 Theatre Practicum (spring term)

Third Year

THTR 305a Directing (fall term)
  or THTR 365 Playwriting (fall term)
THTR 315ab Physical Theatre I
THTR 320ab Intermediate Acting II
THTR 340ab Intermediate Voice
THTR 397 Theatre Practicum (fall and spring terms)
THTR 480a Performance for Camera (spring term) 

Fourth Year

THTR 415ab Physical Theatre II
THTR 420ab Advanced Acting
THTR 440ab Advanced Voice
THTR 471 Senior Showcase (spring term)
THTR 497 Advanced Theatre Practicum (fall term) 

Critical Studies Requirement (choose one course)

THTR 301 Greek andRomanTheatre
THTR 302 Shakespeare in His World
THTR 303 The Performing Arts
THTR 313 Comedy of Manners
THTR 314 Advanced Topics in Modern Drama
THTR 395m Drama as Human Relations
THTR 396 God, Drama and Entertainment
THTR 404 Acting Theory
THTR 405m Performing Identities
THTR 476m African American Theatre, Dance and Performance

Total Units Required: 128