Applying to US Dance Programs as an International Student

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THE NEW MOVEMENT The Glorya Kaufman School of Dance at the University of Southern California is an epicenter of excellence in the interdisciplinary study of dance. Dance is an increasingly dynamic art form, and we believe that the professionals who will shape the future of the field need the ability to move seamlessly between dissolving boundaries around them. Our goal is to shape the next generation of dance leaders who are connected to the world at large. We call this vision The New Movement.

Mariana Carrillo (BFA ’20) | Photo by Rose Eichenbaum



Applying to U.S. dance programs as an international student

RESEARCHING Factors to consider when researching college dance programs: ▪ Location in a city,

suburb or rural area

▪ Faculty ▪ Commercial and/or

▪ BFA or BA degree

WHY PURSUE A DANCE DEGREE IN THE U.S.? There are many reasons to pursue a dance degree in the United States. In addition to training with distinguished faculty, you will develop your artistry through performance and choreographic opportunities, as well as exposure to both classical and contemporary dance forms. At the USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance, you can also explore multidisciplinary collaborations and innovate beyond the traditional stage. CATALYZE YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH, gain independence and learn self-reliance. By exchanging ideas with others and immersing yourself in the traditions of another country, you will see your culture through a new lens. The experiences and tools you gather will help you become a truly global citizen.

▪ College/university or

conservatory setting

▪ Performance and

choreographic opportunities


We hope this resource will help you, as an international student, navigate the process of applying to USC Kaufman and other U.S. dance programs.

Jessica Muszynski (BFA ’19, Dancer with Montrealbased RUBBERBAND) | Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

support office

▪ Other academic programs

ʭ Health services

(i.e. minors)

ʭ Housing

▪ Dance styles

ʭ Clubs, including religious

▪ Post-graduation work

and cultural communities

▪ Type of visa needed

ʭ Off-campus activities

Steps to take when applying to college dance programs: ▪ Test early.

▪ Complete the college

ʭ Find free online test prep

(i.e. CollegeBoard and Khan Academy’s Official SAT Practice).

▪ Submit materials required

application (i.e. Common Application).

for the dance program (i.e. dance portfolio).

ʭ Write essays.

ʭ Prepare a prescreen, if one

is required before a live audition.

ʭ Compile a resume.

ʭ Take the SAT or ACT, if

ʭ Request letters of



ʭ Complete English

▪ Schedule auditions. ʭ Request a video audition,

ʭ Send test results.

Proficiency exams, if English is not your native language.

if it is an option.

ʭ Provide official transcripts,

including official translations, if not in English .

▪ Connect with the college

admission counselor who works with your home country.


ʭ International student

▪ Alumni


BROADEN YOUR EDUCATION through a college or university’s liberal arts curriculum and through access to other academic programs. Graduates of USC Kaufman earn an undergraduate degree from one of the world’s leading private research universities. As part of the larger USC student body, our students are able to pursue minors, second majors and progressive graduate degrees while working toward a BFA in Dance. EXPAND YOUR CAREER PROSPECTS WITH A U.S. DEGREE — whether you want to dance for an internationally renowned company, bolster arts education in your home country or pursue another profession entirely. The transferable skills you gain in a college dance program will help you choreograph an enduring professional life.

ʭ Diversity of student body

concert focus

▪ Size of the school and

dance program

▪ Student life

PAYING Ways to help finance your education: ▪

Consider the total cost of attendance, not just tuition.

Look into the school’s merit scholarships.

Submit a certification of finances, if required.

Ask if the school has specific international student and dance scholarships.

Apply to outside scholarships, such as funding provided by your home country’s government.

Research possible opportunities to work on campus.





Designed to prepare the artist, the innovator and the entrepreneur, our groundbreaking professional degree offers you rigorous training with the flexibility to design a curriculum in line with your career goals.

The University of Southern California is one of the world’s leading private research universities, giving you access to high-level resources not just in dance, but in every field imaginable.

USC Kaufman provides exclusive resources to ensure the success of our graduating students. After receiving their BFA in Dance, alumni have gone on to pursue a variety of careers in the arts and beyond.

As a Trojan, you will join a vibrant campus community where you can feel at home from day one.

DANCE five to eight hours a day. PERFORM seminal and new dance works by influential choreographers at a company level. TRAIN WITH WORLD-CLASS FACULTY: artists unparalleled in their depth and diversity of experience and talent, known for shaping the future of the art form. DEVELOP AS A HYBRID ARTIST with studio instruction in ballet, hip-hop and contemporary styles. BUILD ESSENTIAL SKILLS in choreography and improvisation. CONNECT YOUR STUDIO PRACTICE to courses in dance history, dance leadership, health, music, business, writing, new media and critical theory. EXPERIMENT AND INNOVATE through collaborative projects with faculty and students from across the university, including the USC BACHELOR OF Thornton School of Music. FINE ARTS

IN DANCE PREPARE FOR AN ENDURING CAREER with wellness resources such as annual screenings, daily physical therapy appointments, mental health services, a training and fitness zone and our partnership with the USC Division of Biokinesiology and Physical Therapy. SHAPE YOUR PERSONAL ARTIST IDENTITY by focusing on one concentration such as Dance Performance, Choreography for Stage & Screen, Dance & Music or Design Your Own. DREAM BIG in one of the largest facilities dedicated to dance at a private university: a professional setting with six large dance studios, including a 3,550-square-foot performance space.

RECEIVE INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION at a private research institution with intimate class settings and an average class size of 26 students. PURSUE A RIGOROUS LIBERAL ARTS EDUCATION needed to become an innovator and a leader. DIG DEEPER into one of USC’s 190 minors. EXPAND YOUR ARTISTIC WELLSPRING in ways no traditional conservatory can offer, with courses across more than 15 USC schools, including five other worldrenowned art schools. STUDY ABROAD through a USC Kaufman Maymester course. START A MASTER’S DEGREE as an undergraduate by pursuing a progressive degree.

LOS ANGELES: A CREATIVE CAPITAL At USC Kaufman, you will be in the heart of Los Angeles — a global center for the arts and entertainment, famous for its innovative spirit and cultural diversity. TAKE ADVANTAGE of boundless opportunities for performing, interning and collaborating in the city’s thriving dance community and unmatched access to all facets of the entertainment industry. ATTEND PERFORMANCES by local and touring dance artists at numerous art venues, including special access through USC Kaufman’s partnership with The Music Center. EXPERIENCE a multitude of cultural communities and experiences, all accessible via public transportation MAKE THE CITY YOUR PLAYGROUND. Relax on the beach, enjoy a hike or go to a concert. Los Angeles is a place of infinite possibilities... and perfect weather.

PERFORM. Alumni have danced with Alonzo King LINES Ballet, Aszure Barton & Artists, Ballet BC, Ballet Hispánico, Broadway’s “West Side Story,” Complexions Contemporary Ballet, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Les Ballets Jazz de Montréal and RUBBERBAND, among others. DIVERSIFY YOUR CAREER. Alumni have worked as brand ambassadors, Broadway actors, choreographers, marketing coordinators, dance journalists, dance photographers, fashion models, freelance videographers, music composers, teaching artists and more. NETWORK with company directors, agents and choreographers through exclusive events and showcases as upperclassmen.

LIVE ON OR NEAR CAMPUS with fellow students in a residential college, where you will have access to dining halls that meet various dietary needs. JOIN A DIVERSE STUDENT BODY made up of over 15 percent international students and representing over 135 countries. ACCESS IMPORTANT RESOURCES through USC’s Office of International Services (OIS), which helps ease the transition to life in the U.S. and helps students navigate the visa process. FIND YOUR NICHE with more than 1,000 student organizations, including cultural communities and religious/spiritual groups, hundreds of on-campus events and USC athletics. JOIN THE TROJAN FAMILY, a lifelong and worldwide support network of more than 350,000 individuals.

ACCESS RESOURCES like professional headshots, reel footage, private audition opportunities, industry workshops and career stipends in your senior year. STAY CONNECTED after graduation with international offices in Brazil, China, England, India, Korea, Mexico and Taiwan, as well as alumni clubs in Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East.



Admission to USC Kaufman is highly selective, with the school seeking to enroll about 24 dance artists each year. The faculty committee looks to build a cohort of dancers with individual perspectives and backgrounds. Candidates should submit work that reflects their unique artistic abilities.

Although federal, need-based financial aid is available only to U.S. citizens or eligible non-citizens, international students are eligible for many merit-based scholarships. International students at the top of the applicant pool may also be considered for the International Freshman Academic Scholarship.

For more information, visit Jainil Mehta (BFA ’21) | Photo by Rose Eichenbaum

CONNECT WITH US One of the best ways to learn more about USC Kaufman is to visit campus or connect with us virtually or at domestic events. Attend an admission presentation, take a student-led walking tour of campus, visit the Glorya Kaufman International Dance Center and meet with an admission representative at our Meet USC events. Take master classes with faculty, learn about financial aid and more at our Fall Open House. Plus, meet with USC admission representatives at college fairs and dance festivals worldwide. Visit apply for a full list of on-campus and off-campus events.


USC Glorya Kaufman School of Dance 849 W 34th St, KDC 203 Los Angeles, CA 90089 United States

Follow us @usckaufman and never miss a move! Jona Huang (BFA ’22) | Photo by Rose Eichenbaum | Interior photos by Michael Owen Baker, Mary Mallaney, Ema Peter and Gus Ruelas.