Frequently Asked Questions


What is the faculty committee looking for?

There is no “type” 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 into the USC Kaufman program? 

The university and USC Kaufman run their admission processes in tandem. While the USC Office of Admission is reviewing your undergraduate application, USC Kaufman’s faculty committee reviews your portfolio and evaluates your live audition. After all four live auditions, USC Kaufman will recommend students to the USC Office of Admission. Final decisions must be mutual.

When is my application due?

All application materials, including the USC Undergraduate Application (Common Application) and USC Kaufman Portfolio are due 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.

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 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.

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 USC Admission.

Will I get any feedback if I am not given a live audition or if I am not accepted after my live audition? 

We are not able to provide any feedback on the portfolio or live audition.

USC Kaufman Portfolio

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. <link to resume sample>

What do you mean by “contrasting” solos?

The faculty committee is interested in seeing how you interpret the word contrasting.

Can I choreograph my own solo(s)? 

You are welcome to choreography 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 letters of recommendation to the USC Office of Admission.

Live Auditions

When will I hear if I was chosen to attend a live audition?

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

Can I submit a second video instead of attending a live audition?

We do not accept additional videos in lieu of a live audition. You must attend a live audition for admission consideration.

What if I cannot afford to go to the in-person audition?

USC Kaufman provides travel stipends for students with high financial need.

What should I expect during the audition day?

The audition day consists of a ballet class, contemporary class, improvisation class, and hip-hop class in the morning. After lunch, students will interview and present a solo one at a time.

Are there cuts at live auditions?

There are no cuts at live auditions. The faculty committee is interested in seeing the totality of each student’s work.

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 you to wear them for the ballet class at live auditions.

Does the solo I perform at the live audition need to be one of the solos I submitted in my portfolio?

The solo you perform at the live audition can be one of the solos submitted through your portfolio. It can also be a different solo.

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. For a full list of USC Merit Scholarships, please visit USC Admission.

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?

To be considered for dance scholarships and the majority of USC Merit Scholarships, you need only submit your application by the December 1 deadline. Some USC Merit Scholarships require additional materials, as listed on the scholarship page.