MA Admission


The fall 2024 application priority deadline for admission to the MA program is Monday, January 15, 2024. 

For more information about the program or to arrange a tour, please contact us at:


Graduate IN-PERSON Information Session  |  Details to come; check back after September 1
Graduate VIRTUAL Information Session  |  Details to come; check back after September 1

We encourage potential applicants to attend one of our regularly scheduled Info Sessions in the fall, available either in-person or virtual. These informative "open house" events feature an overview of the program and application requirements, along with a tour of the graduate programs space at the USC Roski Graduate Building in the Los Angeles Arts District. The USC Roski Graduate Building in the Los Angeles' Art District is located at 1262 Palmetto Street, LA, 90013. 

RSVP for the IN-PERSON Info session to confirm your attendance (coming soon)
RSVP for the VIRTUAL Info session to confirm your attendance (coming soon)  

Participants for the IN-PERSON Info Session are invited to attend the proceeding Roski MA Exhibition closing event. Faculty, staff, current students, and community members will be in attendance.

The VIRTUAL Info Session will be followed by a breakout session for each graduate program: MA, MFA Art and MFA Design.



  • BA, BFA, or equivalent, from an accredited school (minimum 3.0 overall GPA)
  • USC Graduate Application
  • Official academic transcripts
  • Three letters of recommendation

  • Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  • 1500-word personal statement
  • Writing sample
  • Curatorial Essay
  • TOEFL, IELTS or PTE (for international students only)

Applicants should apply online using the USC Graduate Application. The online application is required for all graduate applicants to USC. It can be accessed at Letters of recommendation, CV, personal statement, and writing sample should be uploaded as part of the online application. Official copies of all college transcripts should be submitted directly to the USC Office of Admission. Official test scores should be sent from the testing agency directly to USC. USC's ETS school code is 4852.



The USC Graduate Application

This online application is required for all graduate applicants to USC. You may return to work on your application over several sessions. Only after you submit your application will it be available for review by the admissions staff. When you are ready to submit your application, you must pay the application fee via credit card online (Visa, MasterCard and Discover cards are accepted).

Official transcripts (also referred to as "academic records")

You must request that official transcripts from all post-secondary schools you have attended be sent to the USC Office of Admission. For details, see:


Three letters of recommendation

You are required to submit three (3) letters of recommendation from instructors or persons able to comment on your artistic and/or scholarly research and potential as a graduate student. Try to get at least two letters from academic supporters, and the third can be from an academic or professional supporter (for example, a gallery director or supervisor in an arts organization would be ideal). If this is impossible, let us know why in your Personal Statement.

These should be sent electronically via the online USC Graduate Application, which is the preferred method of submission. If necessary, these may also be sent in hard copy form directly from your recommender(s) to the USC Roski School of Art and Design.


Curriculum Vitae or Resume

Please upload this document detailing your employment, education, extra-curricular collegiate and community activities, honors, awards, publications, professional organizations, travel and any other relevant information you would like to include. Be sure to get advice on formatting and organizing the c.v. from a professor or arts professional.


Personal Statement (1,500 words)

Ideally, the statement should do the following:

  • Clarify your interest in our program specifically, making note of people at Roski with whom you might want to work.
  • Outline any anomalies in your academic or professional record, gaps in your timeline, shifts in interest over your studies and work so that we may better understand your background.
  • Make note of particular pressures or experiences that might have informed your life and studies and/or work in the arts.


Writing Sample

To demonstrate your writing skills, please include at least one academic paper, preferably 15-30 pages in length. Ideally, this should be a paper that shows evidence of research and writing skills, including academic footnotes or in-text references with bibliography. The paper does not have to be on an art-related topic, but obviously this would be ideal. The arguments should show critical thinking if possible. If you have published professionally (short catalogue entries, for example), however, feel free to include a few of those in addition to the academic paper. If you have no academic writing to submit, please let us know why in your statement.


Curatorial Essay

Please submit a brief essay (500 words maximum) describing an exhibition you would like to curate or reviewing an exhibition you have seen that especially informs your curatorial ideas and/or research goals. Your essay should provide an overview of the proposed/reviewed exhibition, and highlight the key artist(s), artworks, and curatorial themes that motivate your application.


International Students

International applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit TOEFL, IELTS or PTE scores.  If you are sending TOEFL scores, the institution code for USC is 4852 (no department code required). If you are sending IELTS scores, please choose USC from the list of available institutions. More information about proficiency requirements in English are here:

International students should also complete the Financial Statement of Personal or Family Support along with bank verification documents. 

A checklist of required documents for international students is here: