John Wells Division of Writing for Screen & Television review committee places considerable importance on the autobiographical character sketch, story ideas, writing samples, portfolio list and letters of recommendation during the application review process. 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 Writing for Screen & Television B.F.A. program.

  • SCA Supplemental Application for Admission
  • SlideRoom Application: Cinematic Arts Supplemental Materials
    • All supplemental materials must be submitted via SlideRoom.
      • Autobiographical Character Sketch
      • Creative Challenges (A & B)
      • Most Challenging Moment
      • Commitment Prompt
      • Writing Sample (Maximum of 10 pages)
      • Creative Portfolio List
      • 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: December 1

Note to Current USC Applicants: the undergraduate Writing program is a four-year sequential curriculum of study. There is no spring admission to this program.

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 SCA Supplemental Application online.

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 Writing for Screen & Television program are required to submit supplemental materials via the SlideRoom Application. Please complete the SlideRoom Application titled: “Writing for Screen & Television B.F.A. Program - Current USC Transfer Applicants”

The following supplemental materials are required for admission consideration to the Writing for Screen & Television BFA program. Please submit all materials in PDF format under the "Forms" section.

  1. Autobiographical Character Sketch (please upload in PDF format)

    Write a creative essay or short story that evokes an understanding of how you became who you are. This should reflect your individuality. It's not a resume. (1-2 pages in length)

  2. Creative Challenges - (Both A & B are required) (please upload in PDF format)

    Two scenes with assigned parameters:

    1. Write a scene between two very different kinds of people who get stuck in an elevator on New Year's Eve. 2-5 pages. Please use screenplay format.
    2. Write a scene between two people (e.g., a parent and child, roommates, spouses, etc.) who live together. The first character strongly desires to go out; the second desperately wants the first to stay home. Emphasize visual elements as well as dialogue. 2-5 pages. Please use screenplay format.
  3. Most Challenging Moment (please upload in PDF format)

    Convey in writing the greatest challenge you have faced and how you responded to it. The challenge may be of any kind you care to write about -physical, emotional, moral, creative, personal, professional or some other sort. (1-2 pages in length).

  4. Commitment Prompt: (please upload in PDF format)

    As a creative art, writing requires commitment and dedication. In 250 words or less, why do you believe you have the drive and commitment to pursue a career as a writer?

  5. Writing Sample (please upload in PDF format)

    One sample of your creative writing. This may be an excerpt with a note explaining the context. Writing in script form is not required. Please only include original material-do not submit a television spec episode of an existing television show. Maximum of 10 pages. If you send more than 10, only the first 10 will be read.

  6. Creative Portfolio List (please upload in PDF format)

    A list of all significant creative projects in which the applicant has participated, noting the role the applicant has played. Formal recognition such as awards, publications, and exhibitions should also be noted.

  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.