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.
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 & College Transcripts
- 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.
- Fall Admission: February 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 Both the Common Application for General Admission and the USC Writing Supplement
Students wishing to apply for admission should submit the Common Application and the USC Writing Supplement, both of which can be accessed at The Common Application website.
Under “Academics” in the "Questions" section of the USC Writing Supplement, you will be asked to select the majors you wish to apply for. Upon selecting the Cinema and Media Studies program, a box will appear indicating that you that you will be submitting a portfolio for consideration to the Cinema and Media Studies program—a “Portfolio” link with instructions on where to submit your supplemental materials will appear on the left menu bar.
To better prepare for all Cinematic Arts majors, it is recommended that students complete the transferable General Education Categories, including the Writing and Foreign Language requirements. The Cinematic Arts programs are project intensive and completion of transferable general education courses is highly recommend. For additional information, please visit 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. Please submit the SlideRoom Application titled: "Cinema & Media Studies B.A. Program — External Transfer 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Letters of Recommendation
Three letters of recommendation (no particular format) are required. It is recommended that letters be submitted via the SlideRoom References system. Any letters submitted via the Common Application may also be used towards the three letters of recommendation required. Applicants are responsible for requesting letters of recommendation as well as confirming that they have been received.
Step 3: Send Official Academic Transcripts
Official transcripts from all High Schools and Colleges attended must be submitted to USC for review. Please request official transcripts to be sent directly from your schools to USC's Office of Undergraduate Admissions at:University of Southern California
Office of Undergraduate Admissions
University Park Campus
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0911
Step 4: Submit Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE Test Scores (International Applicants Only)
International students are required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language), IELTS or PTE exam, unless you fulfill the one of these two conditions:
- Your native language is English. This applies to native English speakers from countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and Canada (except Quebec) where English is both the only official language of the country and the language of instruction.
- You receive a 650 on the SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing exam or 27 on the ACT English exam.
If you are unsure if you need to take the language exam, please check with the USC Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Applicants must meet one of the minimum required scores below:
- Minimum required score: 100 on the iBT test
- Submit scores via ETS. When sending the scores, please indicate the institution code for USC, which is 4852 (no department code is required).
- Minimum required score: 7.0 overall band score
- To submit your IELTS results to USC, please select the “University of Southern California”
- Minimum required score: 68 on the PTE test
- Please request to have official scores sent electronically through the PTE website.
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.
The School of Cinematic Arts offers scholarships to incoming students; to learn more, please visit the SCA Scholarships page. Many financial aid and scholarship processes run concurrently with the admissions process. Therefore, please be sure to research and apply for financial aid and scholarships as you are applying for admission. For more information about applying for financial aid at USC, please contact the USC Financial Aid Office. Prospective students are also encouraged to consider USC Scholarships as the university maintains a number of prestigious scholarship programs.