Master of Fine Arts in ActingHow to Apply

The application for Fall 2025 consideration will go live in early September 2024.


The priority deadline to apply is December 1, 2024.
The final deadline to apply is January 15, 2025.

The following application instructions are for:

All candidates for graduate admission must complete the following:

Submit a SDA SlideRoom Application

The following materials are required in order to be considered for admission in the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Please be sure to upload all materials via SlideRoom.

  • Current picture or headshot
  • Resume: Your resume should include any and all performance activities. If you would like, you may also add any other non-performance work or volunteer experience.
  • Statement of Purpose: Your statement should address the prompts outlined in SlideRoom.
  • Audition: In SlideRoom, you will be asked to identify your audition date and location preferences based on our audition tour schedule. Auditions will be scheduled after December 1st in the order that applications were received. Once scheduled, our office will send you a confirmation email with the details of your audition.

    International applicants who will be overseas and therefore unable to attend a live audition should select the virtual date option. At this time, the virtual date option is being reserved exclusively for international applicants that will be overseas at the time of our auditions.

  • Non-refundable audition fee of $20

Note: Applicants will not be required to submit transcripts during this phase of the application process. If you are invited to attend our Callback Weekend, you will be asked to provide these materials. The GRE and letters of recommendation are not required to be considered for our MFA in Acting.

Audition Information

All students wishing to be considered for our MFA in Acting program must complete an audition. Prior to your arrival, please prepare two (2) contrasting monologues: one classical and one contemporary. Each monologue should be no longer than two (2) minutes. 

Important note about choosing your pieces:  You are not required to stick to playwrights we are familiar with, nor traditional ideas of contemporary and classical monologues. Classical is not necessarily Shakespeare. Contemporary means language that you use every day and classical means “heightened language” that you don’t. We are interested in you.

Callback Weekend Information

After the audition period, our faculty will identify a select number of students to invite to our Callback Weekend. All applicants will be notified a few days after their audition on the status of their callback invitation. The Callback Weekend will be held either the last weekend of February or the first weekend of March at our campus in Los Angeles. Guests are expected to attend both dates.

2024 Audition Tour Schedule

The USC School of Dramatic Arts welcomes all MFA applicants to join us on our audition tour. 

Los Angeles January 13 & 14 University of Southern California
McClintock Building
1010 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90089
Philadelphia January 19 – 21 Sonesta Philadelphia Rittenhouse Square
1800 Market St.
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Chicago January 27 – 29 Palmer House Hilton
17 East Monroe Street
Chicago, IL 60603
Virtual Option
Students ONLY)
February 3

Submit a FAFSA application (optional)

For applicants who qualify for federal aid, we encourage you to submit a Free Application for Student Aid (FAFSA) application by the posted deadline. To complete an application, please visit the Federal Student Aid website.

International Applicants

Submit proof of English proficiency

International graduate applicants must demonstrate English-language proficiency by submitting either TOEFL, IELTS or PTE academic scores.

For more information, please visit the USC Graduate School guidelines on English Proficency Criteria.

Submit Confidential Financial Statement/Verification of Funds

Admission to the USC School of Dramatic Arts is based on academic and artistic merit rather than ability to pay. The U.S. government, however, requires that all international student applicants provide proof of ability to pay tuition and living expenses for themselves and their dependents (if applicable) before a formal letter of admission and an I-20 or DS-2019 Certificate of Eligibility can be issued.

For more information, please visit the USC Graduate School guidelines on Submitting Financial Documents.

Transcripts in Original Language of Issuance

International students who have earned their degree outside of the U.S. must check our country-specific requirements to determine if we need original-language copies of their academic records. In such cases, a separate, word-for-word, English-language translation of all academic records must also be submitted. The translation should either be issued directly from the school itself or by a professional, certified translator. It must contain all information shown on the original-language documents and “mirror” them as precisely as possible. Dual-language transcripts are also acceptable.


The GRE is not required for admission consideration.

Our Review Process

All applicants will receive an update on their application status and whether they are being invited to our Callback Weekend when a decision is available. Any applicant may inquire on the status of their application by emailing Assistant Director of Admissions Ramón Valdez.