Alexa P.

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FilmSchool.org Writer
I'm excited to announce I will holding a follow-up admissions department interview with USC SCA next month! Take a look at the first interview here:

How to get Into USC SCA: Advice from an Admissions Committee Member

How to get Into USC SCA: Advice from an Admissions Committee Member

Considered by many to be the best film school in the world, it’s no wonder why the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) is so sought after by prospective undergraduate and graduate students alike. However, the film school’s prestige can often make the application process particularly stressful and...

I'm open to questions from undergraduate and graduate students about the application process, campus culture and student life (clubs, etc.), financial aid and scholarships, and more.

Please submit your questions by Monday, February 26th at 11:59 p.m. ET. Thank you!
 
Even though USC says an interview isn't required and doesn't always take place, they don't address specific majors. It appears from all of the applications I've reviewed (here and elsewhere) that Production majors all have had interviews, only writers and critical studies got admitted without one.

I'd be curious to know what influence GPA really has because it seems SCA doesn't review that info - so does the main campus admissions team override an SCA recommendation or prioritize the applicant pool based on GPA (because the common app has you manually enter your grades)?

And here's my FAV unanswered question: The majority of their famous and accomplished alumni from USC all had pretty significant experience before film school, but USC doesn't seem to look for that when considering applicants, why? At least when I attended, they were admitting students with very little experience and appeared to frown upon the prodigies and hardcore enthusiasts like a Quentin Tarantino - unlike other depts such as the music school which requires a proficiency in your craft. My sophomore USC roommate was a child actor who began directing at a young age and had a letter of recommendation from Steven Spielberg and they turned him down at first, so he called Amblin and they called the school and got him in.
 
Even though USC says an interview isn't required and doesn't always take place, they don't address specific majors. It appears from all of the applications I've reviewed (here and elsewhere) that Production majors all have had interviews, only writers and critical studies got admitted without one.

I'd be curious to know what influence GPA really has because it seems SCA doesn't review that info - so does the main campus admissions team override an SCA recommendation or prioritize the applicant pool based on GPA (because the common app has you manually enter your grades)?

And here's my FAV unanswered question: The majority of their famous and accomplished alumni from USC all had pretty significant experience before film school, but USC doesn't seem to look for that when considering applicants, why? At least when I attended, they were admitting students with very little experience and appeared to frown upon the prodigies and hardcore enthusiasts like a Quentin Tarantino - unlike other depts such as the music school which requires a proficiency in your craft. My sophomore USC roommate was a child actor who began directing at a young age and had a letter of recommendation from Steven Spielberg and they turned him down at first, so he called Amblin and they called the school and got him in.

Thanks so much for taking your time to write out so many great questions! This is very helpful. :)
 
Reminder that we're interviewing tomorrow so if you have any last minute questions now's the time to reply here :)
 
Hello, I recently received an email from the USC admissions office regarding my application for the Graduate Film & Television Production MFA program. While I've been placed on the waitlist for Fall 2024, I've been offered admission for Spring 2025. I'm curious about the differences between starting in the Spring semester as opposed to the traditional Fall intake, specifically in terms of Curriculum Structure, Financial Aid and Scholarships, and the Graduation Timeline. Thank you!
 
Does it mean anything if you get an interview or not?
If you applied for production, my observation on this site and elsewhere is that an interview usually takes place. I've only seen other specialties like critical studies and writing be admitted without one. However, I guess there's always an exception.
 
Do they notify all accepted applicants at once or is there a specific process they follow regarding acceptance and rejection notifications? Do they typically release decisions in waves?
 
If you applied for production, my observation on this site and elsewhere is that an interview usually takes place. I've only seen other specialties like critical studies and writing be admitted without one. However, I guess there's always an exception.
does that mean everyone for production gets an interview (which means that it means not much) or does getting an interview for production mean you have a decent chance off getting accepted?
 
does that mean everyone for production gets an interview (which means that it means not much) or does getting an interview for production mean you have a decent chance off getting accepted?
Don't quote me, but I hear it's a 50% chance once you get an interview.
 
Do they notify all accepted applicants at once or is there a specific process they follow regarding acceptance and rejection notifications? Do they typically release decisions in waves?
I haven't seen waves other than just two days or so for each - keep in mind this observation is only made by looking at prior years that are self-reported on social media sites. MFAs appear to be notified first, then BFAs.
 
The article is now up. :)

As a special bonus article for FilmSchool.org's Supporting Members, @Alexa P. recently followed up with a USC SCA undergraduate admissions committee advisor here:

How to Get Into USC SCA in 2024: More Tips for Applying from a Committee Member

How to Get Into USC SCA in 2024: More Tips for Applying from a Committee Member

As the oldest film school in the U.S., University of Southern California School of the Arts has taught more than ten thousand filmmakers how to create exceptional narrative films and documentary films. In 2023, TheWrap ranked USC SCA the #2 best film school in the country, praising its advanced...

This is a follow up to our original free article:

How to get Into USC SCA: Advice from an Admissions Committee Member

How to get Into USC SCA: Advice from an Admissions Committee Member

Considered by many to be the best film school in the world, it’s no wonder why the USC School of Cinematic Arts (SCA) is so sought after by prospective undergraduate and graduate students alike. However, the film school’s prestige can often make the application process particularly stressful and...
 
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