The Division of Cinema & Media Studies is committed to the understanding of film, television and new media in relation to the world. By studying and analyzing these forms and the processes behind their creation, Cinema & Media Studies scholars gain insight into the power and aesthetics of moving image media. Cinema & Media Studies students also have the opportunity to expand their knowledge and experience of film and television by taking hands-on production courses.

The committee favors applicants with academic records and personal statements that indicate a diversified liberal arts and humanities background. The committee is also interested in experiences and activities that show a continuing or recent involvement in film and television studies, the arts, criticism and/or aesthetics. There are no admission interviews. The committee ensures that all applicants are judged equitably by limiting evaluation to the items listed.

Application Overview

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The following items must be submitted to be considered for admission to The Division of Cinema & Media Studies B.A. program.

  • The Common Application
    • USC Writing Supplement
  • SlideRoom Application
    • Cinematic Arts Supplemental Materials
      • Cinematic Arts Personal Statement
      • Writing Sample
      • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • Official High School Transcripts
  • Official SAT or ACT Test Scores
  • Official English Proficiency Test Scores (International Students Only)

All matters relating to admission are the applicant's responsibility. When submitting an application, make sure you have completed all screens of the online process. The application system allows you to check your application to verify your application materials have been uploaded and submitted. Incomplete applications, or applications not submitted, will not be considered.

Each year, we strive to develop a well-balanced cohort of students for each of our programs. As such, we do not grant admission deferrals and we recommend that applicants apply for a future term when certain they can accept admission.

Application Deadlines

  • Fall Admission : December 1st

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 Common Application for General Admission and the USC Writing Supplement

The Common Application and USC Writing Supplement can be accessed at The Common Application website. Please note that the Common Application and USC Writing Supplement are two separate submissions. Both must be submitted by the deadline in order to be considered for admission.

Please carefully review and follow the application instructions for first-year applicants on USC's Undergraduate Admission website.

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 Division of Cinema & Media Studies program are required to submit supplemental materials to support their application. These supplemental materials must be submitted via the SlideRoom Application. Please submit the SlideRoom Application titled: "Cinema & Media Studies B.A. Program - First-Year/Freshmen Applicants".

The following supplemental materials are required for admission consideration to the Cinema & Media Studies B.A. program. Please submit all materials in PDF format under the "Forms" section.

  1. Cinematic Arts Personal Statement (please upload in PDF format)
    The Cinematic Arts personal statement should be a carefully prepared explanation of the applicant's goals, describing any film, television, scholarly, critical or other creative background, as well as career objectives. It should present a clear and accurate picture of the applicant, outline objectives in the field of cinema and media studies and explain how attending the School of Cinematic Arts will help reach these goals.
  2. Writing Sample (please upload in PDF format)
    The writing sample should be a review or analysis of some aspect of film, television, or new media; a discussion or application of critical theory; or a published article.
  3. Letters of Recommendation (One letter must be an academic reference)
    Three letters of recommendation (no particular format) are required. Letters can be submitted via the SlideRoom references system. Any letters submitted via the Common Application may be used towards the three letters of recommendation required and do not need to be resubmitted via SlideRoom. Applicants are responsible for requesting letters of recommendation as well as confirming that they have been received.

Step 3: Send Official Academic Transcripts

First-year applicants should submit official transcripts of all high school and college coursework completed to USC's Office of Admission, not the School of Cinematic Arts.

Transcripts can be sent electronically via the Common Application or sent by mail to:

University of Southern California
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911

Step 4: Send Official Test Scores

Arrange for the testing agency to send your SAT or ACT scores directly to USC.

The essay portion of the ACT is optional. The essay portion of the SAT will be optional for students taking the redesigned test in March 2016 or after.

Step 5: Submit Official English Proficiency Test Scores (International Applicants Only)

Academic success at USC depends on your ability to communicate effectively in English. All international applicants whose native language is not English must demonstrate English proficiency in the following manner:

First-year international applicants should earn:

  • Minimum score of 600 on the SAT Critical Reading exam (previous SAT) or 650 on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing exam (redesigned SAT) or 27 on the ACT English exam; OR
  • A minimum score of 100 on the TOEFL iBT (with a minimum score of 20 in each section); OR
  • A minimum IELTS score of 7; OR
  • A minimum PTE score of 68.

Applicants must receive the minimum required score to be considered. Official scores must be received directly from the testing service and date no earlier than 2 years (24 months) prior to the start of your intended first term at USC.

Please carefully review and follow the application instructions for first-year international applicants on USC's Undergraduate Admission website.

Financial Aid & Scholarships

The School of Cinematic Arts offers scholarships to incoming students. To learn more, please visit the SCA Scholarships page. The Office of Student Affairs will notify all students who submit a completed application for admission information about the SCA scholarship application process. Please note that in order to be considered for SCA scholarships, domestic students are required to apply for Financial Aid at USC. Therefore, please make sure to complete your application for financial aid on time. 

Prospective students are also encouraged to consider USC Scholarships as the university maintains a number of prestigious scholarship programs. Learn more about costs and financial aid here.