The primary goals of the Film & Television Production program are to develop the student’s ability to express original ideas and to instill a thorough understanding of the technical and aesthetic aspects of motion pictures and television. Students learn all aspects of the art of storytelling and develop the ability to take audiences on emotional journeys using a wide array of cinematic skills. Students learn to access this unique power by working in many forms - from traditional large-screen films to those designed for the smallest cell phone screens, to episodic content across multiple formats. Courses in production provide individual and group filmmaking experiences and the opportunity to learn all aspects of filmmaking in a collaborative environment.

The faculty admissions committee evaluates applications for originality, clarity, personal insight and artistic excellence. 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.

*Note to transfer applicants: To be considered for admission, you must first obtain 48 transferable semester units (excluding AP & IB credits). This total may include units in progress during the fall or spring semester. As such, the average time for degree completion for transfer admits is 2.5 years at USC.

Access the Film & Television Production BA Program - External Transfer SlideRoom Application here.

  1. Cinematic Arts Personal Statement (Must be uploaded in PDF format only)

    The Cinematic Arts Personal Statement will be read by the admissions committee as a measure of creativity, self-awareness and vision. We are looking for a sense of you as a unique individual and how your distinctive experiences, identities, values, and/or views of the world have shaped who you are and what you want to say as a creative filmmaker. We want to know about the kind of stories you want to tell. Bear in mind that enthusiasm for watching films, descriptions of your favorite films and the involvement in the filmmaking process is common in most candidates. As a result, we encourage that you focus on your individuality. Note that there is no standard format or correct answer. (500 words or less)

  2. Writing Sample - Choose One (Must be uploaded in PDF format only)
      1. A description of a four-minute film that contains no dialogue. It can be fiction or non-fiction. The story has to be communicated visually. (400 words or less)
      2. A dialogue scene between two people in screenplay format. (400 words or less)
  3. Creative Portfolio List (Must be uploaded in PDF format only)

    The portfolio list is a written record of the applicant's creative materials. It should include a concise description of each project, the month and year the project was completed, the applicant's creative role and the purpose of the project. The material, which does not need to be film or television related, should give an idea of the range and depth of the applicant's creative ability. You may include links to previous film samples and photo essays. Formal recognition - such as awards, publications, jobs and exhibitions - should be noted. The name of the institution or publication should be included when listing creative materials prepared for a class or publication. An example of the portfolio list is below:

    • July 2023, A Day in the Life, digital video, 12 minutes. Position: writer/director. A documentary on a homeless Iraq vet who has lived on the streets since his return from the military. Created for senior-year multimedia term project, San Raphael High School, Miami, Florida.
    • March 2023, Doorways, a series of 5 black-and-white photographs. Position: photographer. "Second Prize Winner" in the Des Moines Sunday Journal photo contest.
    • February 2022, Cellomorphosis, short story. Position: writer. A variation on the novella by Franz Kafka; published in Writing, vol. IV, 2022, at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts.

    We're not looking for a specific number of projects, but rather a demonstrated commitment to creative work.

  4. Creative Team Question (500 words or less)

    Describe how you handled a difficult situation that you have faced with other people in your creative life.

  5. Video Introduction
  6. Submit a 30-60 second video of yourself speaking directly to the camera, in a single take with no edits, introducing yourself and explaining what will make attending SCA a successful experience for you and others.

  7. Media Sample (Upload in Portfolio Section)
    • Submit a 2-minute short film based on the prompt: "A secret." Previous work cannot be used; you must create a film for this application.
    • Submissions can be any genre, narrative, documentary, or experimental. The reviewing committee is interested in seeing your storytelling ability. Creativity is what's important, not scale. We understand the time and production limitations. This exercise does not require large expenditures or a huge production; cell phones may be used for this project if desired. The project should be in English or be subtitled in English.
    • Applicants must perform at least 3 of the 6 crew jobs, which are: 1) Director, 2) Producer, 3) Writer, 4) Editor, 5) Sound Recording and Design, 6) Cinematography and Production Design.
    • (If you'd like to show us additional creative work, your Creative Portfolio section can include links to previous film samples.)
    • In addition: Please submit a critique of your film and a crew list (in PDF format only).
    • The critique should be brief, 150 words or less, and in the form of notes you would give the filmmakers. We want to see your objectivity and ability for self-reflection.
    • The credits should include the names of the crew members performing the 6 jobs outlined above.
    • Videos should be housed on a publicly viewable link and not password protected. Videos should be no more than 2 minutes maximum, with no more than 15 seconds of credits.

As part of the Film & Television Production program applicant review process, applicants may be selected to have a remote interview with faculty or staff. Not every applicant will be interviewed, and an interview is not required for admission. The window for the interview time may vary, so please keep an eye on the inbox of the email address used in your application for a request to schedule one. Please respond to such requests within 72 hours.