Applying to Undergraduate Programs

Bachelor of Arts

To apply to the Media Arts and Practice BA program, please refer to the admission guidelines on the USC School of Cinematic Arts website. Please note that applicants must complete both the USC Common Application and the School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Slideroom Application.

Step One: USC Common Application

For information on applying to USC and to start the Common Application (with the USC Supplement), please visit the USC Admissions website.

Step Two: School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) Slideroom Application

For information on how to complete the SCA Slideroom application, please visit the following links:

The SCA Slideroom application should be completed only after completing the USC Common Application above.

The following supplemental materials are required for the SCA Slideroom application:

  • Personal Statement
  • Aspirational Portfolio
  • Letters of Recommendation (2)

Application Deadlines:
  • December 1 for Freshmen Applicants
  • February 15 for External and Current USC Transfer Applicants
  • September 15 for Current USC Transfers (for spring transfer)

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Prospective students may schedule a campus visit through the USC Office of Admission, or an information session through the USC School of Cinematic Arts.

No. The Media Arts and Practice department does not accept portfolio submissions. Applicants’ creative and critical abilities will be assessed based on the work that they submit as part of their application materials.

At least one of the two recommendation letters must be from an academic source (a teacher or professor in any discipline). The other letter may be written by an educator, or by a co-worker, supervisor, coach, etc. Students are encouraged to seek recommendations from mentors who really know them well and can speak to their background, strengths and aspirations.

The faculty admissions committee seeks applicants who demonstrate creativity, strong critical thinking skills, and a willingness/desire to explore a wide array of artistic and academic genres. Applicants must also demonstrate strong writing and communication skills.

No, applicants are not required to have extensive media experience.

No. Applicants are considered holistically, so all components of the application are equally important.

No. All applicants will be assessed based on the application materials that are submitted. We do not allow members of the admissions review committee to accept additional submission materials.

The Media Arts and Practice program aims each year to have an entering freshman class of 15-20 students and an entering transfer student cohort of 5-10 students.

Applicants can choose MA+P as a first-choice or a second-choice major. Applicants are encouraged to choose first and second choice options in order of how they relate to the applicant’s personal interests and future career aspirations. Applicants may choose any major(s) at USC, they are not restricted to the School of Cinematic Arts.

Applicants cannot apply as double majors, but if they are admitted they may inquire with the Office of Admission regarding the possibility of double majoring. Students may also choose a second major after beginning their studies at USC. If they did not apply to that major initially, they will have the option to submit an “internal” application during their first year.

MA+P does not conduct interviews for general admission. Interviews may be conducted by USC for students who are in consideration for merit scholarships. We do not accept interview requests.

Transferring students often use previous university coursework to apply to their general USC requirements (general education, university writing, foreign language). For requirements specific to the MA+P major, it is possible for students to obtain transfer credit, however this is not guaranteed. Admitted students will work with the MA+P advisor to review their transcript(s) and request MA+P transfer credits, which will be decided by faculty during the student’s first semester at USC.


Students who are interested in participating in non-major programs or courses should seek an appointment with the Media Arts and Practice academic advisor. Please note: non-major programs are only available to students who are already attending USC.

There is no formal application for the minors in Digital Studies, Future Cinema or Media and Social Change. Students can add these programs to their record by filling out a minor add/drop form. Most students choose to declare these programs after taking their first course – students may wait longer if necessary, but it is not encouraged.

*Digital Studies Minor, Honors Track

The application for the Honors track of the Digital Studies minor can be submitted via the minor add/drop form. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis – students will be notified of a decision within eight weeks of application submission.

We highly recommend that students apply for the program within their first four semesters at USC, after completing two or more minor courses.

Frequently Asked Questions

There is no formal application for the Media Arts and Practice minors. Students add a minor to their record by filling out a minor add/drop form.

Students can begin taking minor courses at any time, even before they officially declare a minor. In fact, students are encouraged to declare their minor after completing at least one course.

Declared students will receive first priority in advising, as well as first consideration in internship and research opportunities. Students with a declared minor are also eligible to apply for USC Renaissance Scholar candidacy, or USC Academic Achievement Award funding.

No, students can complete minor courses in whatever order works best for them. Students are encouraged to discuss any potential minors with their major advisor to ensure that they have enough units available in their course plan.

Students who pursue the Honors track must enroll in IML 346 Methods in Digital Research during their junior year, and then enroll in IML 440 Thesis Project during the fall semester (please note: fall only) of their senior year. This means that students on the honors track should aim to complete the majority of their minor coursework prior to the second semester of their junior year.

All Cinematic Arts minor students will be added to the SCA student mailing list to receive event and career announcements. Students will also be given access to our Cinematic Arts Job Board. Media Arts and Practice minors will also be given access to Media Arts and Practice equipment and computing resources as it pertains to their current enrollment.
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