36 months
63468 USD/year
63468 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Acting MFA program at University of Southern California is a progressive three-year course of study that fuses two strands of actor-training: the classical conservatory-style that attunes the voice, body and the intellect to the demands of text and performance; and an innovative physical approach that draws upon the work of artists of the past 50 years.


Working with a faculty of accomplished professionals with extensive experience in theatre, film and television, the Acting MFA program at University of Southern California enjoys a close-knit, intimate scale that fosters individual attention. 

Students develop their craft and their vision as artists, and also gain the knowledge, skills, flexibility, experience and confidence to work in any medium, form or technology. We nurture artists who do not merely adapt to changes in fashion, technology or the ‘industry,’ but will lead, create and innovate.

While the curriculum and faculty honor the uniqueness of every person, the program envisions a self-motivated, collaborative and flexible actor working with purpose to make choices based on her or his personal imagery, and having the craft to execute those choices with clear and decisive actions.

In the spring of the third year, industry showcases are currently being held in Los Angeles and New York for casting directors, agents and managers. Recent alumni of this program have been featured in major motion pictures; television series on HBO, NBC, ABC, CBS, TNT, FX and the CW; and in theatres across the United States, including Center Theatre Group, South Coast Rep, the Berkeley Rep, the Public, Classic Stage Company, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the Denver Theatre Center, Dallas Theater Center, the Magic Theatre, and many others.

Learning Objectives

The goal of the USC School of Dramatic Arts’ Master of Fine Arts in Acting program is to offer each actor-student a fully comprehensive, nationally competitive education and training in the craft and discipline of acting, guiding the graduate to achieve both creative and professional excellence in the field.

To this end, the program has four main objectives:

  • Creative. To train and develop the acting skills and to cultivate the creative talent of each actor-student so that, upon graduation, they are (i) able to create, embody, and play a character from any period of dramatic literature in any performance medium, integrating vocal, physical, textual, and imaginative resources; (ii) capable of self-generating new creative material, whether solo or as part of a team or group, in the media of theatre, solo performance, and film, including “virtual” auditioning; (iii) fully prepared to enter into the profession of acting with a comprehensive understanding of the specific demands of the entertainment industry.
  • Corporeal. To instill the necessary strength, stamina, flexibility, and energy in each student-actor’s body so that, upon graduation, they have the necessary vocal, physical, emotional, psychological, and mental resources to withstand the demands of a professional career as an actor, and the ability to sustain and harness those resources ad infinitum.
  • Scholarly. To further the knowledge of each actor-student so that, upon graduation, they have a thorough knowledge of the world’s most influential plays and films, including a detailed comprehension of plays from several critical periods of drama (for example, Athenian tragedies, Elizabethan dramas, French comedies, post-war absurdism, plays of the modern era); and a cogent understanding of genres, differing theatrical story-telling techniques, and major figures of influence in drama, including authors, pedagogues, directors, and practitioners from many periods of history.
  • Collaborative. To give the actor-student the experience of working within an ensemble for three years so that, upon graduation, they have the ability to become a collaborative and productive member in any professional performance context; to extend the actor-student’s connections to the larger creative communities in local, regional, national, and international film and theatre professional contexts; finally, to challenge the student-actor to identify their role as a citizen of their preferred creative community.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Advanced Movement 
  • Advanced Acting 
  • Textual Studies for Performance
  • Advanced Voice Diction 
  • Studies in Dramatic Analysis 
  • Diction and Dialects 
  • Theatre Practicum 
  • Performance for Camera 

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 36 months

Start dates & application deadlines


30 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Student insurance

Make sure to cover your health, travel, and stay while studying abroad. Even global coverages can miss important items, so make sure your student insurance ticks all the following:

  • Additional medical costs (i.e. dental)
  • Repatriation, if something happens to you or your family
  • Liability
  • Home contents and baggage
  • Accidents
  • Legal aid

We partnered with Aon to provide you with the best affordable student insurance, for a carefree experience away from home.

Get your student insurance now

Start from €0.53/day, free cancellation any time.

Remember, countries and universities may have specific insurance requirements. To learn more about how student insurance work at University of Southern California and/or in United States, please visit Student Insurance Portal.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • 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 Purpos
  • Schedule Audition
  • Non-refundable audition fee of $20.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    63468 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 63468 USD per year during 36 months.
  • National

    63468 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 63468 USD per year during 36 months.

Living costs for Los Angeles

1520 - 2570 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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