Frequently Asked Questions


What is the faculty committee looking for?

There is no “type” of student admitted to USC Kaufman. The faculty committee is looking to enroll a diverse cohort of dancers with individual perspectives and backgrounds. You should showcase YOU in all parts of the admission process.

Do I have to get into USC before I am admitted to USC Kaufman? 

The university and USC Kaufman run their admission processes in tandem. While the USC Office of Admission is reviewing your USC Undergraduate Application, USC Kaufman’s faculty committee reviews your USC Kaufman Portfolio and evaluates your live audition. After all auditions are complete, USC Kaufman will recommend students to the USC Office of Admission. Final decisions are mutual.

When is my application due?

There is one application deadline for all prospective candidates: December 1. All application materials, including the USC Undergraduate Application (Common Application) and USC Kaufman Portfolio (SlideRoom) for first-year applicants and transfer applicants, are due by this date. Current USC students need only submit the USC Kaufman Portfolio by December 1.

How important are grades and test scores to get into the program?

Your academic preparation is an important factor in the admission process. The USC Office of Admission takes a holistic approach when evaluating your academic profile. Standardized test scores are optional for students applying in the 2022-2023 admission cycle.

When will admission decisions be made by?

Students will receive an admission decision around April 1.

How many students are admitted each year?

The number of students admitted each year varies. This number is generally in the high 20s to low 30s.

Can I apply Early Action to USC Kaufman?

You cannot apply Early Action to USC Kaufman. You must select “Regular Decision” on the USC Undergraduate Application.

Can I apply for other programs at USC in addition to applying for USC Kaufman? 

Yes. You can apply for up to two majors on your USC Undergraduate Application. If you are not recommended for USC Kaufman’s BFA in Dance either after the review of your USC Kaufman Portfolio or the live audition, you will automatically go back into the USC applicant pool and receive full consideration for your other major.

How is the admission process different for international applicants?

International applicants must submit a few additional materials as a part of their USC Undergraduate Application. For more information, please visit the international student section of the USC Admission website.

Do I have to do pointe work in order to get in?

Pointe work is not required for admission. However, if you do wear pointe shoes, the faculty committee would like to know.

Will I get any feedback if I do not advance to the second round or if I am not accepted after my live audition? 

We are not able to provide any feedback on your application materials or live audition.

USC Kaufman Portfolio

When will the USC Kaufman Portfolio become available?

The USC Kaufman Portfolio is available now.

Does my headshot need to be professionally taken or can it be taken on a phone?

You do not need a professional headshot. A simple photo taken with your phone will suffice.

What is the best way to format my resume?

Your resume should be in the same format as our resume sample.

What do you mean by “contrasting” solos?

The faculty committee is interested in seeing how you interpret the word contrasting. In fact, in your USC Kaufman Portfolio, you will have to tell us how your solos are contrasting.

Can I choreograph my own solo(s)? 

You are welcome to choreograph your own solo(s). This is not a requirement.

Can I send in any letters of recommendation along with my application? 

USC Kaufman does not accept or consider letters of recommendation. Please send all letters of recommendation to the USC Office of Admission.

Live Audition

When will I hear if I was chosen for a live audition?

You will be notified of this decision in mid-December.

What should I expect from my live audition?

The live audition will take place in over two weekends in mid-January. It will last the entire day, since there are no cuts. There will be classes in Ballet, Contemporary, Hip-Hop and Improvisation/Freestyle. After a lunch break, students will spend 10 to 15 minutes with the faculty panel for an interview and to present a longer solo of approximately two minutes.

Does the two-minute solo need to be one of the solos I submitted in my portfolio?

The two-minute solo for the live audition can be a longer version of one of the solos submitted for your USC Kaufman Portfolio. It can also be a different solo. It can be in any style.

Financial Aid

How do I qualify for need-based financial aid?

To apply for need-based financial aid, submit the FAFSA, CSS Profile and any additional information requested by the Financial Aid Office by mid-February. The amount of need will be determined by the information presented on these documents.

Does the university offer merit-based scholarships?

Both the university and USC Kaufman offer merit-based scholarships. Scholarships are competitive. For a full list of USC Merit Scholarships, please visit the USC Scholarships page.

Does USC Kaufman offer dance scholarships?

USC Kaufman awards dance scholarships to students with outstanding talent in dance. Scholarships are competitive and amounts are determined on an individual basis.

How do I apply for scholarships?

All first-year applicants and transfer applicants are automatically considered for USC Merit Scholarships. Some USC Merit Scholarships require additional materials, as those listed on the scholarship page. All applicants—including current USC students or internal transfer applicants—will be considered for dance scholarships.