Thank you for your interest in the Interactive Media & Games Division. The only program of its kind tied to a cinematic arts school, it offers unprecedented opportunities for students to explore media convergence in an environment that leverages the natural advantages of its Los Angeles setting. Presenting a broad and deep curriculum, the division explores the methods and technologies that are shaping art and entertainment today, and provides leading edge research and a hotbed of ideas for future professional storytellers.

The faculty admissions committee evaluates applications for originality, clarity, personal insight and artistic excellence. Considerable importance is placed on the Cinematic Arts personal statement, writing samples, portfolio list, creative work sample and letters of recommendation.

There are no admission interviews but applicants may be contacted for more information or clarification of submitted materials. The committee ensures that all applicants are judged equitably by limiting evaluation to the items listed. Incomplete applications, or applications not submitted as requested, cannot be considered.

Application Overview

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The following items must be submitted to be considered for admission to the Interactive Entertainment B.A. program.

  • SCA Supplemental Application for Admission
  • SlideRoom Application: Cinematic Arts Supplemental Materials
    • All supplemental materials must be submitted via SlideRoom.
      • Cinematic Arts Personal Statement
      • Writing Samples (2)
        • Category I or II (choose one)
        • Category III (must be submitted)
      • Creative Portfolio List
      • Creative Work Sample
      • Letters of Recommendation (3)
        • Submit all letters via the SlideRoom recommendation system.
    • STARS Report
      • Please submit via SlideRoom.

    All matters relating to admission are the applicant's responsibility. Incomplete applications, or applications not submitted, will not be considered. If you have any questions about the application process, please email

    Application Deadlines

    • Fall Admission: February 1
    • Spring Admission: September 1

      *Spring admission is only available to Current USC students.

    View all Application Deadlines.

    All applicants wishing to be considered for admission must complete the following steps in the application process (where applicable):

    Step 1: Submit the SCA Supplemental Application for Admission

    To begin the application process, you must submit the online SCA Supplemental Application.

    Step 2: Submit Supplemental Materials via the SlideRoom Application

    As part of the application process, all students looking to be considered for admission to the Interactive Entertainment program are required to submit supplemental materials to support their application. These supplemental materials must be submitted via the SlideRoom Application. Please complete the SlideRoom application titled: “Interactive Entertainment B.A. Program - Current USC Transfer Students”.

    The following supplemental materials are required for admission consideration to the Interactive Entertainment BA program. Please submit all written materials in PDF format.

    1. Cinematic Arts Personal Statement (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section)
      The Cinematic Arts personal statement is an opportunity to express your ideas about and interest in Interactive Entertainment, help us to understand your background and creative potential, and explain why you would like to study interactive media production at the School of Cinematic Arts. This statement will be read by the Interactive Admission Committee as a measure of creativity, self-awareness and vision. Your statement should give the committee a sense of your long-term goals and artistic ambitions. It should answer the questions: "Who are you as a person? What are you trying to say, using interactive media? Why do you want to attend the Interactive Entertainment Program? What are your career/professional/artistic goals?"
    2. Writing Sample I or II (Character Profile OR Emotional Moment Essay)
      Please submit one of the two writing samples: either the character profile or emotional moment essay. Only ONE is required. (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section)
      • Category I (Character Profile): Write a one-page story about a character or person you find interesting or unique. For example, tell us a story about a person who was not what they first seemed to be, a person who had to make a difficult decision, or a person who made a difference in the world at great cost to themselves. This can be a character you devise or a real world person; it can be someone you know, or someone you don't. Communicate through your story why this person is so interesting to you.
      • Category II (Emotional Moment Essay): Describe an emotionally charged experience you have had. For example, a moment in which you came to understand the value of something differently than you had in the past, or a moment that changed your way of thinking or seeing your family, community or the world. This experience should be told as a story, with a beginning, middle and end, but please limit your description to two double-spaced, typed pages.
    3. Writing Sample III (Interactive Media Experience): (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section)
    4. Describe an experience that has inspired you to enter the field of interactive media. This might be the experience of playing a particular game, visiting a museum installation, seeing an interactive artwork, etc. Or, it might be a story about how you created an interactive experience for others to participate in or play with. Tell us the story of how and why this experience affected you, how it changed your way of thinking about interactive media, and what it means for your plans for the future.

    5. Creative Portfolio List (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section)
      The portfolio list is a written record of the applicant's creative material. Please list all of your creative work, when and in what capacity it was created. For example, was the work made in a class or for a show? What was your role? List your most recent work first and list related work as a single entry, such as a group of drawings completed for a single showing. If you have created interactive software, animation or games, please be sure to list these on your portfolio and describe the development environment for the piece. For example, the program or language used. If you have created paper-based games, please list these as well. The name of the institution or publication should be included when listing creative materials prepared for a class or publication. Include links if work is available online. An example is below:
      • June 2008, Honors, 16mm black-and-white film, one hour. Position: writer/director. Honors is a story about two competitive college roommates. Produced for an advanced film production workshop: "Film Production II," University of San Diego, San Diego, California.
      • February 2008, "Cellomorphosis," short story. Position: writer. A variation on the novella by Franz Kafka; published in Writing, vol. IV, 2007, at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts.
      • Jan 2008, No-Tag Team, Flash game. Position: game designer, programmer. A short, experimental game about two game avatars who wander an unknown land without ever finding each other. Made in a Flash Workshop at Boston Community College. Available to play
    6. Creative Work Sample (please submit via the "Media" section)
      The creative work sample represents your best or most relevant work. Choose a major piece of work that you are extremely proud of for your creative sample. If you have completed a game or animation project, you should strongly consider including this. Otherwise this work might be digital or analog, it or may be a film, photo essay, script or story. For visual art, you may submit a small selection of pieces. Make sure your piece is easily viewable by the admissions committee. If you are uncertain that your software will run, include screenshots and a video play-through just in case.

      You should keep in mind that the committee has limited time to look at each applicant's file, so send a creative sample that can be viewed, played or read in less than 10 minutes. Please limit the length of a written creative sample, e.g. movie scripts and prose should be no more than 20 pages. We are looking for individuals who show both proven talent and personal initiative. Use the creative sample to show us your best work and the portfolio to show us the breadth of your creative endeavors.
    7. Letters of Recommendation (3)
      Three letters of recommendation are required. All letters of recommendation must be submitted via the SlideRoom reference system. Applicants are responsible for requesting letters of recommendation as well as confirming that they have been received.

    Step 3: Submit a Copy of Your STARS Report

    Please submit a PDF copy of your STARS report via the "Forms" section of the SlideRoom application.