Cinematic Arts Application

<p>I applied for the film/television production program at USC acouple of weeks ago and have a few questions:</p>

<p>First, what exactly are they looking for? I have strong grades, test scores, and extracurriculars plus proffesional experience/film festival/contest acceptance for personal movies I've made....but with such a low acceptance rate, what criteria are they evaluating applications by?</p>

<p>Also, is it possible to be in the Thematic Option as a Cinematic Arts student? Can I get a Merit Scholarship? I am hoping to also minor/double major in history or that possible?</p>

<p>Thanks :)</p>

<p>NOTE: Helpful USC Admissions Standards/Criteria in General</p>


<p>I'm applying for Production and Critical Studies as my second choice, with a Pre-Planning emphasis. From what I know, all I can say about admission to the Film Program is that it's really impossible to tell. First, you have to be admitted to USC as in the University, then they screen you based on which majors you selected on the Application. If neither your first choice or second choice is applicable (example, you are not admitted to the Production major or Writing major) I believe they admit you to a third-choice school/major or as undecided. As for admission to the University itself, chances are easier to gauge. Below are some stats that may help you:</p>

<p>ACT (mid-50%)
Low - 29, High - 33, Avg - 31
Low - 29, High - 34, Avg - 31
Low - 28, High - 34, Avg - 31</p>

<p>SAT (mid-50%)
Low - 1895, High -2195, Avg - 2045
Low - 650, High - 750, Avg - 700
Low - 620, High - 720, Avg - 670</p>

<p>Average GPA reported by Naviance - 3.8 (unweighted)</p>

<p>I also believe an admissions officer told me that USC superscore's the SAT, but not the ACT, and they require the Writing section. They also told me that the most important factor in admitting students are their transcript: they want to see that an applicant has performed well in a challenging curriculum. Also, I believe recommendations are very important. However, USC has a holistic approach to admissions, meaning they look at applicants as a whole, so there are always exceptions/etc. For Cinematic Arts, the most important factor will definitely be your SCA supplement, so if you feel confident about that (after your transcript/recs), you should feel confident about your admission (but not too confident...with numbers like SCA's, it could really be the luck of the draw..)</p>

<p>To answer your question about TO, the answer is yes, you can participate as a SCA student, as it is a more rigorous replacement for the normal Distribution Requirements. Also, you could definitely double major/minor, and it would be a lot easier with history/english than if you were to try to double major in, say, engineering and production. Also, it would be more difficult to more difficult (but not impossible) to double major with the Writing Program, since it is a BFA degree and taught in a more intensive, conservatory-style setting. </p>

<p>As for Scholarship really depends on how well you present yourself. The big scholarships (Trustee, Presidential) come with the prerequisite that you must score in the top one or two percent of test takers, or that you are a National Merit Finalist that has listed USC as their first choice with the program (for an automatic 1/2 tuition scholarship). For the ACT, I believe the 98th percentile is a 32 composite, while for the SAT, the 98th percentile is 2150. SAT Subject Tests are not required, but high scores (700-800) with definitely boost your profile as a scholarship candidate. The big merit scholarships are also divvied up by school, so specific standards may vary between programs (ex. SCA versus Marshall versus Dornsife). I think as long as you show your dedication to your community, passion for your studies/ECs, and have high scores, you are a likely candidate for scholarships. </p>

<p>I kind of wrote you a novel. XD Hope this helps, and hope it helps other applicants with similar questions. (: I'll be waiting for a letter near the end of January too...if I don't get one, I might take it the same as a rejection, as I don't think USC will be a viable option without some $$$ assurance for the next four years. Good luck!</p>

<p>The SCA supplement offers many opportunities to express your passion and vision for making cinematic art (films, tv, games, scripts, etc). They look for not only exceptional promise, but also a diversity of voices, interests, dedication to the craft, and backgrounds to make up a balanced class. So while they may have a hundred fabulous applicants who all want to make deeply moving eco-terrorism dramas (for example), they would be unlikely to fill their entire incoming class with so many of the same sort of artist.</p>

<p>Powerful writing can really help an application to the film school, as can strong rec letters showing work ethic, commitment and creativity. The file will be read by faculty in the program so they are well aware of the level of writing and scope of creative inspiration that has proven successful there.</p>

<p>As indigo says above, it is possible to be in TO as a SCA major. My older son did TO and thought it was excellent--but time consuming. It offers excellent professors, great engaged peers, and small classes--very similar to a top LAC within a university. It is also possible to double major (although some majors are more time intensive--like engineering or any BFA, so may be impossible to finish in 4 years, even with a lot of AP credits). My younger son is also an SCA major and he is double majoring, but is not doing TO.</p>

<p>Generally, one has to make some choices in college before they become stretched too thin. While it may be technically possible to do double majors, take on minors, do TO, etc etc along with a film major, when will you have time to work on your own films? When will you write your script for next semester? When will you work on a film set on an internship? When can you go to Sundance? How can you work crew on your friend's films? When will you be networking and attending the hundreds of film screenings on campus where you get to meet the filmmakers? In other words, you may find once you get to USC that there is so many things to do, you simply will need to make some choices about where you want to be.</p>

<p>Best of luck in admissions.</p>