Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic WritingHow to Apply

The deadline to apply is January 15, 2020.

The following application instructions are for:

  • Master of Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing

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.

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV): 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.
  • Original Play: Applicants will be asked to submit one (1) writing sample of no more than 90 pages. Submissions should be formatted using standard Samuel French manuscript format or Final Draft with font set at Courier 12-point type. Applicants may submit a one-act play, but in a highly competitive pool, your chances are better if you submit a full-length sample.
  • Play Synopsis: In addition to your play, please provide a one-page synopsis of your submission which includes your play’s plot without adding any editorial commentary. Submissions should be formatted Courier 12-point font type.
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation: Applicants should solicit letters of recommendation from professionals, instructors or mentors who can speak positively of your work. Online: Please have your recommender submit a letter via SlideRoom. Mail: If your recommender chooses, they may submit a formal letter of recommendation via mail. Each letter of recommendation must be printed on official letterhead and sealed in an envelope with the signature over the flap. We ask that you collect all letters of recommendation and send them with your transcripts.
  • Non-refundable fee of $10

Submit Transcripts

Submit one (1) original transcript, in a sealed envelope, from each institution attended regardless if the coursework is noted on your degree granting transcript.

College seniors: do not wait for senior-year grades before submitting your application and transcript.

USC undergraduates: You do not have to submit official copies of USC transcripts. You must, however, submit one (1) unofficial copy of your USC transcript. You can obtain one at the Registrar’s office (STARS reports are not accepted)

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

Submit a TOEFL score

(International applicants only)

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

(International applicants only)

Admission to the 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.


The GRE is no longer required for admission consideration.

Our Review Process

We carefully review all applications in order to build an outstanding incoming class. We strive to complete this process in a timely manner. Any applicant may inquire on the status of his/her application by calling our office at 213-740-6771. Students should expect notification of a decision no later than April 1.