Graduate ProgramsTuition, Financial Aid & Awards

A graduate education is a significant investment in yourself and your future. At USC, we are committed to working with you to meet your demonstrated financial needs along with government and private loans.

Tuition, Fees & Expenses

To assist with your financial planning, the following is provided as an estimated budget for an average domestic student entering in the fall. While living expenses vary, this is the standard estimate used in determining financial need.

Master of Fine Arts

Financial Aid

Your personal resources for financing your education are not considered in our admission decisions. Students interested in applying for financial aid will need to follow the instructions outlined via the USC Office of Financial Aid. For our MFA candidates, the USC School of Dramatic Arts offers a generous financial support of 50 to 75 percent tuition to offset the cost of attendance.


Thanks to the generosity of friends and alumni, the USC School of Dramatic Arts is able to provide awards to some of our exceptional graduate students.

The Ava Greenwald Memorial Award – which is endowed by family and friends in memory of Ava Greenwald, a graduate of the MFA in Acting program. It is an annual award for an outstanding graduating actor as selected by a professional panel of judges.

The Joan Beber Playwriting Award of the USC School of Dramatic Arts’ Master in Fine Arts in Dramatic Writing program is given to a student in the MFA in Dramatic Writing program who best fulfills the program’s mission — which is to cultivate artists who engage meaningfully in society and the profession, utilize their innate artistry to build excellence and to discover their authentic voice, and develop professionally promising plays as professionally maturing artists. The Joan Beber Playwriting Award recognizes an organically integrated commitment to art and society.

To be considered for an award, a graduating MFA actor simply needs to submit a completed application to one of the awards. For more information, please contact the Office of Admissions & Student Services at 213-740-1286 or

In addition to the awards listed above, the school offers scholarships during the admissions process thanks to generous philanthropic support from individual donors, corporations, and foundations.  These scholarships are allocated by our admissions team based on a combination of merit and need and are separate from financial aid.  SDA is committed to increasing our scholarship pool in order to ensure access for all students, regardless of financial status.   

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