Applying to USC Kaufman

November 6, 2017


Members of the class of 2020 in hip-hop class | Photo by Carolyn DiLoreto

A common question I get asked is, “Am I applying to Kaufman or USC or both?” Each dance program has its own process, requirements, and timeline—so I get that it can be super confusing. In short, you are simply applying to the University of Southern California, declaring dance as your intended major, and submitting some additional documents for the dance faculty to review. Let’s walk through the application process step by step.

Start at

The process starts with the Common Application. Select your application type (first-year or transfer) and add ‘University of Southern California’ to your list of colleges. In addition to the Common App requirements, you will provide additional information on the USC Writing Supplement.

Indicate your intended major in dance

When you have to select your USC major, be sure to choose “KSOD: Dance, B.F.A.”. (You’ll have to scroll down a bit on the drop down menu.) From there, you’ll be asked to confirm that the major you selected has a portfolio requirement. A new section titled “Portfolio” appears in the left navigation when you click “Yes”.

Follow the Portfolio link within the Common Application

Click on the link to be magically transported to SlideRoom. Here is where you’ll provide your USC Kaufman Portfolio of dance materials. You can start the portfolio while working on the rest of your application to the university. However, you cannot submit the USC Kaufman Portfolio without submitting the Common Application.

Submit everything by December 1

You must submit your Common Application plus USC Writing Supplement AND your USC Kaufman Portfolio by December 1. We’re happy to accept your application before December 1 too!

Your USC Kaufman Portfolio is reviewed by our faculty

The Office of Admission starts its review of your Common Application and USC Writing Supplement, while our faculty spend the first two weeks of December reviewing your USC Kaufman Portfolio.

Get your live audition results in mid-December

You will get an email about live auditions in mid-December. Students who are not invited to a live audition will receive full consideration for their second-choice majors. Students who are invited to a live audition will be scheduled for an audition date based upon the preferences listed on their USC Kaufman Portfolios. Please note that the Office of Admission has not weighed in on our finalists’ academic preparation at this point.

Audition in January

You’ll join us for an entire day on campus. You’ll take ballet, contemporary, improvisation, and hip-hop classes. You’ll also have about fifteen minutes to chat with our faculty and present a two/three-minute solo of your choice. To answer the question that follows: Yes, it can be a longer version of the solo from one of your videos.

Relax while we do our thing

Okay, that’s not entirely fair to ask of you. But, at this point, you’ve done all you need to do. After we’ve finished all live auditions, our faculty will recommend students to the USC Office of Admission. There will be a back and forth between the two groups about the candidates’ talent, academic preparation, and fit for the USC community. Students not recommended for the dance program will receive full consideration for their second-choice majors.

Apply for financial aid

Actually, don’t forget to submit EVERYTHING for financial aid by early February. Don’t wait until you’ve been admitted.

Get your decision!

You’ll receive a decision by April 1 via snail mail. If admitted to USC, your packet will indicate the major to which you’ve been admitted. Fingers crossed, that it lists BFA, Dance

And then you get to make us sweat

We’ve made you jump through lots of hoops and wait to hear if you accept your admission. Now you get to make us sweat it out while we wait for you to choose us by May 1.


By Anne Aubert-Santelli, Director of Admission and Student Services