Master of Fine Arts in ActingHow to Apply


The deadline to apply is January 15, 2021.

The following application instructions are for:

  • Master of Fine Arts in Acting

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.
  • Upload Audition: In SlideRoom, you will be asked to upload your two filmed audition monologues. More information on audition requirements are listed below.
  • Non-refundable audition fee of $20

Note: Applicants will not be required to submit transcripts or letters of recommendations 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 is not required to be considered for our MFA in Acting.

Audition Information

All fall 2021 applicants wishing to be considered for our MFA in Acting program must upload their audition to SlideRoom. You will need to submit one video (1) that starts with a minute or so of introduction where you share your name and anything else you’d like the faculty to know and then transitions straight into your first monologue. Once you have finished your first monologue, please transition into your second piece.

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 — your essence.

Your video should be done as a single continuous shot to mimic the in-person audition experience – for instance, if you need to get a chair or stand up from one piece to the other, simply make that physical transition and begin. Each monologue should be no longer than two-minutes and be performed in the order that you list them in your SlideRoom application.

Callback Weekend Information

After the audition period, our faculty will hand-select a small group of students to attend our Callback Weekend. Students will be notified at the close of each city as to your invitation status. The Callback Weekend will be held in late February. Guests are expected to attend both dates.

Due to COVID-19, we will be monitoring the possibility for us to host a live Callback Weekend. A decision will be made in January 2021.

2021 Audition Tour Schedule

In person auditions will not be available for the fall 2021 admissions cycle. Fall 2021 applicants will upload their two filmed audition monologues to their SlideRoom application.

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 a TOEFL score

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.

Our Review Process

Any applicant may inquire on the status of their application by emailing Assistant Director of Admissions, Ramón Valdez, at All applicants will receive an update on their application status and whether they are being invited to our callback weekend no later than the end of January.