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 USC Kaufman portfolio and evaluates round two interviews and materials. After all interviews are complete, USC Kaufman will recommend students to the USC Office of Admission. Final decisions must be mutual.

When is my application due?

There are two deadlines for application materials, which includes the USC Undergraduate Application (Common Application) and USC Kaufman Portfolio. First-year applicants who would like to be considered for a USC Merit Scholarship must apply by December 1. The final deadline for first-year applicants, transfer applicants and current USC students is January 15.

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 2020-2021 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 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 round one or round two of our process, 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 USC Admission.

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 the portfolio or round two interview and materials.

USC Kaufman Portfolio

When will the USC Kaufman Portfolio become available?

The USC Kaufman Portfolio will launch on September 1. In the meantime, feel free to start the Common Application, which will be available on August 1, and to compile some of the materials for your 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.

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 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 letters of recommendation to the USC Office of Admission.

What do you want to see for the video demonstrations in Hip-Hop, Contemporary and Ballet?

We will release video demonstrations, showing you exactly what the faculty are looking for, on September 1.

Second Round

When will I hear if I was chosen for the second round?

You will be notified of this decision in early February.

What should I expect for the second round?

The second round will include a virtual interview, with an improvisation component. You will also need to submit another 2-minute solo prior to your interview.

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

The two-minute solo you submit for round two can be a longer version of 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?

First-year applicants who would like to be considered for USC Merit Scholarships must submit a complete application by the December 1 deadline. Some USC Merit Scholarships require additional materials, as listed on the scholarship page. All applicants, regardless of their application submission date, will be considered for dance scholarships.