Frequently Asked Questions

Application

When is your application available for Fall 2017?

Applications will be available September 1st.

When is the application due?

The deadline for applications is December 1st.

Can I apply to more than one program?

Students may apply for up to two degree programs at USC. Students will be considered for their first-choice selection in the initial review followed by their second choice, if they are not admitted to their primary major.

Do I need to audition?

Applicants applying to our BFA in Acting program are required to audition. Auditions are not available for BA applicants.

When are auditions for the BFA in Acting program held?

The 2017-2018 audition schedule will be as follows:

Los Angeles University of Southern California
McClintock Building
1010 W. Jefferson Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90089
January 20th, 21st, 22nd, 28th, 29th
New York Double Tree Suites
1568 Broadway
New York, NY 10036
February 3rd, 4th, 5th
Chicago The Westin Michigan Ave.
909 North Michigan Ave.
Chicago, IL 60611
February 7th, 8th
San Francisco Double Tree Guest Suites
835 Airport Blvd.,
Burlingame, CA 94010
February 10th

How do I schedule an audition?

You will be able to identify your top three audition date preferences when you are completing your SlideRoom application.

When will I know when my audition is scheduled?

You will receive confirmation of our audition after December 1st via email.

How can I reschedule my audition?

If you need to reschedule your audition, please click here to submit your audition change request. Requests will be handled on a first-come, first- serve basis and are subject to availability.

What do I need to bring with me for the audition? What do I need to prepare?

Please prepare two monologues that are contrasting in nature. One monologue should be a classical piece (pre 1910) and a contemporary piece (post 1910). Each monologue should be no longer than two minutes in length. Do not use accents, dialects, or stylized characters. Aside from your monologues, there is nothing else you need to bring with you. You may, if you’d like, bring a copy of your headshot and resume.

What should I wear for my audition/interview?

You should wear whatever you feel is appropriate and will make you feel comfortable. Please do not wear any costumes to your audition.

What if I cannot attend a live audition?

For students that are unable to attend an in-person audition, you will have the opportunity to upload your video audition via SlideRoom.

Can I perform a monologue that I wrote?

Students should be prepared to perform monologues from published plays. Written work from a non-published source makes it difficult for the faculty to understand the context of the character and play.

Do I have to complete an interview?

All BA applicants are required to conduct a BA interview with the School of Dramatic Arts. Students who conduct an interview with the University’s Office of Admission should still plan on completing an interview with SDA.

When do I need to schedule my BA interview?

BA interviews will be conducted from December 6, 2016 – January 20, 2017. To schedule your BA interview, you must first submit your SlideRoom application and then visit our calendar.

I am a transfer student, when do I need to interview?

Transfer interviews will be conducted between March 20, 2017 and March 24, 2017. To schedule your interview, please click here.

If I am applying to the BFA and the BA programs, do I need to submit two supplemental applications in SlideRoom?

Students who are applying to both the BFA and the BA program need only submit a BFA SlideRoom application.

What is your policy on the submission of supplemental materials, including performance clips?

We recognize that you may have other things you wish to share with the review committee. Unfortunately, given the very small window we have to review and audition students, we ask that the only materials you submit are the items outlined in our application.

What if there are updates to the resume or headshot that I uploaded?

If there are any changes to the materials that you submitted as part of your application, please email us these changes to sdaugrad@usc.edu

I am an international applicant. Is there anything special I need to know?

International applicants must meet and submit the additional prerequisites outlined here. Acting applicants unable to attend a live audition, may submit a video of their monologues via SlideRoom. Production applicants will need to submit their portfolio via SlideRoom and will be later scheduled for a Skype interview.

I am applying to a BFA in Production. What should be included in a portfolio?

Your portfolio is a visual representation of your experience and talent. Please submit no more than 15 slides that provide an overview of the type of work you have completed and serve as the impetus for discussion between you and the panel.

How much of my admission to the School of Dramatic Arts is based on the audition or portfolio review?

The audition and portfolio review is the primary qualifier for admissions into our BFA programs but it is not the only factor that is considered. The Office of Admissions will review all materials in your application including academics and extracurricular involvement.

When will I be notified of the admissions decisions?

USC strives to have all decisions in hand by April 1st. Please note that the School of Dramatic Arts can not release any decision information.

Are transfer students accepted into the School of Dramatic Arts?

We gladly accept transfer applicants to SDA. Given that transfer students are coming from another institution, it is highly recommended that they consider the BA program to ensure a timely degree completion. To learn more about the application process for transfer students, please click here.

How many students apply to the School of Dramatic Arts?

On average we receive 1,300 applicants every year for 105 spots in both our BA and BFA programs combined.

How many students do you accept into each program?

Ultimately we are looking to bring in a class of 105 freshmen. For our BFA in Acting program we are looking for a cohort of 18-20 students. Our BA program brings in the largest pool at 70 and the remainder is supplied by our BFA in Production majors.

Visiting the School of Dramatic Arts

How do I arrange a facility tour?

The School of Dramatic Arts offers tours on select Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 2:00PM PST. During your tour you will have the opportunity to meet with a current SDA student and visit the different venues our students work in. To schedule a tour, please visit our online tour calendar. Tours are subject to availability.

Are there other on campus events that SDA offers?

  • Information Session
    Open to all prospective students. Our information sessions offer prospective applicants and their families the opportunity to meet with an admission counselor from the School of Dramatic Arts to discuss our programs and admission procedures. Information sessions are available most Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3:00PM PST. Duration: 45 minutes. To schedule an information session, please call 213-740-1286.
  • Meet USC
    For guests interested in receiving a comprehensive overview of the University, Meet USC is the ideal program. This three hour program includes an information session led by a USC admission counselor, a walking tour led by a current USC student, and an information session with the School of Dramatic Arts. Please note that Meet USC does not include an School of Dramatic Arts facility tour. To register for Meet USC, please click here.
  • Discover USC
    The School of Dramatic Arts participates in Discover USC, the University’s most thorough campus visit day. At Discover USC you will have the opportunity to attend an information session with one of our Admissions Counselors, meet current students and participate in workshops with our faculty.
  • Behind the Scenes Day
    Behind the Scenes Day is an exclusive opportunity for prospective production students to spend a day on campus meet with current production students and faculty, attend workshops and end the day with one of our mainstage productions.

Does the School of Dramatic Arts participate in off campus programs?

Yes. However, the School of Dramatic Arts off-campus events have concluded for this year.

Is it possible for me to sit in on a class?

Class visits require a minimum of two week notice and are subject to availability. To schedule a class visit, please email Mabel Lopez at mabellop@usc.edu

Does USC offer summer programs for high school students?

Yes! We offer a 4-week summer programs for rising high school sophomores – seniors. To learn more about the specific programs being offered and how to apply, please click here.

I am high school theatre teacher/director and would like to set up a visit to your school or have you visit our campus. What is available?

If you would like to schedule an information session with one of our Admissions Counselors, please email us at sdaugrad@usc.edu

Performance Opportunities

How many productions does the department produce per year?

Our typical mainstage season will include about 25 productions a year. These productions, with the exception of the spring musical, are only available to SDA majors and minors. In addition, our students will produce about 10 Independent Student Productions (ISPs) a year. ISPs are non-unit bearing and are open to all students in the University.

Do you have a showcase for graduating actors?

Currently, there is a curricular showcase available only to students in the BFA in Acting program during the spring semester of their senior year.

Are freshmen and non-majors allowed to perform in productions?

Our mainstage productions are available exclusively for our majors and minors with the exception of our spring musical which is open to all USC students. Freshmen are also not allowed to audition during their first semester at USC. We encourage students to take the fall semester of their freshmen year as a transition period to learn what it means to be in college and at USC.

Student Life

Are there professional internships available?

Yes, students may begin pursuing internships starting their sophomore year. Our students intern all over Southern California at some of the leading theatre, film, television and performance companies – such as Center Theatre Group, NBC Universal, Mosaic Media/Atlas Productions, HBO and DreamWorks Animation.

What is the Spotlight@SDA?

Created by Dean David Bridel, Spotlight@SDA is a new event series that brings some of the industry’s most influential artists to share their advice, perspective and experience with our students through informal Q&A sessions, workshops and master classes. To learn more about upcoming and recent Spotlight@SDA events, please click here.

Will I have the chance to participate in student groups and clubs on campus?

Regardless of the degree program you are pursuing, students at USC enjoy the opportunity to diversify their experience by participating in any of the 700+ recognized student groups on campus. To learn more about the student groups on campus, please click here.

Financial Aid

What is the cost of tuition?

To learn more about the estimated cost of tuition, please click here.

How do I apply for financial aid?

To apply for financial aid, you will need to submit the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) at www.fafsa.gov and the CSS PROFILE at profileonline.collegeboard.com. For more information, please visit our the Financial Aid web site.

Are international students eligible for financial assistance?

To learn more about financial aid for international students, click here.

Academics

What is the difference between a BFA and a BA?

Generally speaking, our Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) programs are conservatory style programs built with a formal progression and limited to specific cohort of students. In addition, all BFA students are expected to complete the USC Core and General Education courses. Performance is a curricular requirement of the BFA programs.
The Bachelor of Arts (BA) program is broad-based approach to theatre training that allows the student to experience a core curriculum designed by the faculty paired with a number of elective classes a student self-selects. In addition, all BA students are expected to complete the USC Core and General Education courses. Performance in the BA program is optional.

Does the School of Dramatic Arts teach a specific acting technique?

The School of Dramatic Arts does not subscribe to any one given acting technique.

Do you teach film and television acting?

At the School of Dramatic Arts, we strive to help you develop the skillset necessary to be an actor – the medium you choose to engage in is your choice. While our primary platform of instruction is the stage, we recognize the number the changing landscape of this industry and thus expose our students to film, television and new media.

Does your BFA program implement a cut system?

We do not have a cut system in place. To keep their BFA status, however, students must maintain a 2.75 GPA.

Does USC accept AP or IB credit?

Yes. For more information on how USC handles AP or IB test scores, please click here.

As a theatre major, will I be able to do a double major or a minor?

Students pursuing our BA in Dramatic Arts will have a lot more flexibility, and heighted possibility, of completing a double major depending on the specific major a student is trying to complete. Typically, students in our BA program are able to complete their BA and minor in a four-year timeline.

What is the average class size at USC?

The typical class size for our classes will usually be 25 students, at most.

Can I study abroad?

The School of Dramatic Arts offers students the opportunity to study theatre in London for either a semester or year by audition. The course credits earned through this experience will be used for degree credit at USC. Students interested in studying abroad at any other location should speak with their academic advisor to determine the viability of incorporating studying abroad into their four-year course plan. While studying abroad is an option for our students, it might not always be feasible or possible. In order to study abroad students must be have earned a minimum of 64 units, be in good academic standing and complete all necessary applications through the Office of Overseas Studies. To learn more about study abroad, please click here.

What are the USC Core and General Education curriculum?

The USC Core consists of courses in General Education, Writing, Diversity and Foreign Language. All undergraduate students must complete the USC Core requirements in order to graduate. For more information, please click here.

Miscellaneous

Who are your alumni and where are they working?

The USC School of Dramatic Arts has the privilege of teaching the nation’s top students who go on to make an indelible mark on the artistic fields they enter. They have been honored with the most prestigious awards in the profession, including the Oscar, Tony, Emmy and Golden Globe. To learn more some of our notable alumni, please click here.

My question was not answered in this FAQ.

For any questions not addressed in this FAQ, or for more information, please contact us at sdaugrad@usc.edu