Master of Fine ArtsActing

Photo of Detroit '67 by Craig Schwartz

The USC School of Dramatic Arts MFA in Acting is a progressive three-year course of study that fuses two strands of actor-training: the classical conservatory-style that attunes the voice, body and the intellect to the demands of text and performance; and an innovative physical approach that draws upon the work of artists of the past 50 years.

Working with a faculty of accomplished professionals with extensive experience in theatre, film and television, the program enjoys a close-knit, intimate scale that fosters individual attention. Students develop their craft and their vision as artists, and also gain the knowledge, skills, flexibility, experience and confidence to work in any medium, form or technology. We nurture artists who do not merely adapt to changes in technology or the ‘industry,’ but will lead, create and innovate.

While the curriculum and faculty honor the uniqueness of every person, the program envisions a self-motivated, collaborative and flexible actor working with purpose to make choices based on their personal imagery, and having the craft to execute those choices with clear and decisive actions.

In the spring of the third year, industry showcases are currently being held in Los Angeles for casting directors, agents and managers. Recent alumni of this program have been featured in major motion pictures; television series on HBO, NBC, ABC, CBS, TNT, FX and the CW; and in theatres across the United States, including Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, the Berkeley Rep, the Public, Classic Stage Company, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Theatre Center, Dallas Theater Center, the Magic Theatre, and many others.

Apply Now


Our conservatory-style MFA program offers artists the opportunity to engage with other artistic students and develop a skill-set that extends their curiosity and challenges their imagination in a supportive environment.

For more, visit the USC Catalogue.

Year One

THTR 515aAdvanced Movement (2 units)
THTR 520aAdvanced Acting (4 units)
THTR 529aTextual Studies for Performance (4 units)
THTR 540aAdvanced Voice Diction (2 units)
THTR 515bAdvanced Movement (2 units)
THTR 520bAdvanced Acting (4 units)
THTR 529bTextual Studies for Performance (4 units)
THTR 540bAdvanced Voice Diction (2 units)

Year Two

THTR 512Studies in Dramatic Analysis (2 units)
THTR 515cAdvanced Movement (2 units)
THTR 520cAdvanced Acting (2 units) – includes creation of a solo performance
THTR 540cAdvanced Voice Diction (2 units)
THTR 541Diction and Dialects (2 units)
THTR 597Theatre Practicum (2 units)
THTR 480aPerformance for Camera (2 units)
THTR 515dAdvanced Movement (2 units)
THTR 520dAdvanced Acting (4 units)
THTR 540dAdvanced Voice Diction (2 units)
THTR 597Theatre Practicum (2 units)

Year Three

THTR 480bPerformance for Camera (2 units)
THTR 504The Art of Collaboration and Ensemble (2 units)
THTR 540eAdvanced Voice Diction (2 units)
THTR 554Visual and Spatial Relationship (2 units)
THTR 575Creative Production Projects (4 units)
THTR 515eAdvanced Movement (2 units)
THTR 520eAdvanced Acting (2 units)
THTR 540fAdvanced Voice Diction (2 units)
THTR 571Professional Seminar (2 units)
THTR 597Theatre Practicum (4 units)

Learn more about the learning objectives.