Inspired by one of the most inventive and prolific Disney artists and Imagineers, the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts embraces diversity of genre, topics, culture and animation approaches. The program focuses on creative collaboration and critical thinking and attracts top students from around the world who aspire to be the next generation of filmmakers and storytellers. Here, you will learn the many facets of the art, from hand-drawn and stop-motion animation to digital design and effects. You can take courses in character animation, performance capture, research, visual effects, and more.

The faculty admissions committee reviews applications for originality, clarity, personal insight, artistic excellence and collaborative spirit. Considerable importance is placed on the Cinematic Arts Portfolio, Personal Statement, responses to all application questions and letters of recommendation. There are no admission interviews. By limiting the evaluation to the items listed, the committee ensures that all applicants are judged by the same criteria.

Application Overview

The following items must be submitted to be considered for admission to the Animation & Digital Arts B.A. program.

  • SCA Supplemental Application for Admission
  • SlideRoom Application
    • Cinematic Arts Personal Statement
    • Portfolio
    • Project Question 1
    • Project Question 2
    • STARS Report
    • Letters of Recommendation (3)
  • In order to be considered for admission, all required applications and materials must be submitted by the deadline. Late applications will not be considered. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that all materials are submitted.

    The School of Cinematic Arts cannot verify receipt of any application materials. Applicants may check their SlideRoom Application portal for the status of materials.

    Application Deadlines

    • Fall Admission: February 1st (Application will open on August 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 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

In addition to the SCA Supplemental Application for Admission, all applicants are required to submit supplemental materials via the SlideRoom Application. Please be sure to submit the SlideRoom Application titled: " Division of Animation & Digital Arts B.A. Program - Current USC Transfer Applicants". All materials must be submitted via the SlideRoom application and any materials sent by mail or email will not be considered.

  1. Cinematic Arts Personal Statement (Must be uploaded in PDF format only)
  2. The Cinematic Arts Personal Statement should reflect the applicant's individuality and explain why he or she would like to study Animation & Digital Arts at USC. The faculty admissions committee will review this statement as a measure of the applicant's creativity, intelligence, self-awareness, determination and vision. The statement should be a page and a half, and it should give the committee a sense of the applicant's long-term goals and artistic ambitions.

  3. Portfolio List (Upload in Portfolio section)
  4. The Portfolio may consist of life drawing or painting examples, 2D organic and digital art work as well as traditional and/or 2D/3D digital animation, integrated live action or motion graphics work or any other samples that represent the applicant's aesthetic sense and capabilities. Please ensure that the portfolio is no longer than 15 minutes in length (12-15 still pieces). If submitting a joint project, please clarify your role in the production.

  5. Project Question 1 (Must be uploaded in PDF format only)
  6. Provide an example of a project that you have contributed to or led. Choose a project that left you feeling proud. Please describe the context of the project (e.g. the people involved the goals, etc.) and also describe your role in the project. Finally, state what about your role in the project gave you a feeling of pride. (No more than one page)

  7. Project Question 2 (Must be uploaded in PDF format only)
  8. Describe a project that you have worked on that was a failure. Describe the situation in which the project took place, the objectives of the project and others (if any) who were part of the project team. Be clear about your role in the project. Describe how and why the project failed. Finally, summarize what you learned from the project and what you would do differently next time. (No more than one page)

  9. Letters of Recommendation
  10. Three letters of recommendation in particular format are required. At least one letter of recommendation must be an academic reference. All letters of recommendation must be submitted via SlideRoom Application. Applicants are responsible for requesting letters of recommendation as well as confirming that they have been submitted by the deadline.

Step 3: Submit a Copy of Your STARS Report

Please submit a PDF copy of your STARS report in the SlideRoom application.

You can save any document as a PDF (for free). Once you have your STARS Report ready to save as a PDF, click to print and then choose “Save as PDF” instead of selecting a printer.

View the step-by-step instructions here: https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/how-to/print-to-pdf.html. Note: You will need to have Adobe Reader installed on your computer to do this; it is free download and available here: http://get.adobe.com/reader/.