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Elektra. Photo: Daniella Toscano (2019)Elektra (2019). Photo: Daniella Toscano. 

Application Information for the MFA Program in Acting

We thank you for your interest in the MFA Acting Program! 

The UC San Diego MFA program in Acting is NOT accepting applications this year. We will begin accepting applications again in September 2024 for the 25/26 academic year.

When we begin recruitment for a new MFA Acting cohort, please see below for detailed application instructions. 

Application Materials

Please upload the following materials to the UC San Diego application portal.

  • Transcripts or official copies of academic records from all post-secondary institutions attended
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation. Please provide the email address of each recommender.
  • Statement of purpose
  • 8X10 headshot
  • Resume

Prospective Student Webinar

For more information about the MFA Acting program, please view our webinar by clicking this link

Helpful Timestamps:

  • 0:00 - Overview and Core Curriculum
  • 40:21 - EDI & Financial Package Information
  • 53:53 - Connections with the La Jolla Playhouse & Directing Program
  • 1:03:22 - Advice from current students


All applicants in the acting area are required to audition. These auditions take place in late January and early February in three cities across the country: New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. A sign-up form for our in-person auditions will be shared via email to all applicants, and will be linked here in November. You will be assessed a $65 audition fee upon sign-up.

If you are unable to do an in-person audition, please contact Head of Acting Ursula Meyer at to discuss potential options.

Audition Tour Dates and Information:TBD 2025

New York: Ripley-Grier Studios
520 8th Ave FL16
New York, NY 10018
TBD 2025
Click here for directions

New York Audition Registration


Chicago: the Hyatt Regency
151 East Wacker Drive
Chicago, IL 60601
TBD 2025
Click here for directions

Chicago Audition Registration


San Francisco: Studio A.C.T.
30 Grant Ave
San Francisco, CA 94108
TBD 2025
Click here for directions

San Francisco Audition Registration



San Diego: Department of Theatre and Dance Building
Galbraith Hall, Room TBD
Revelle College Drive
La Jolla, CA 92037
Click here for directions
TBD 2025

Preparing for Your Audition

Each audition will be scheduled for approximately 7 minutes. Although this time is limited, we hope to gain a clear impression of your range and imagination, the scope of your ability to bring a text to life, and the level of technical skills you have at your command. More importantly , we welcome your passion and your curiosity in what and how you present yourself and your work. This helps us in imagining your potential for growth in our program and beyond.

We ask that you present two audition pieces. These monologues should meet the following criteria: Each piece should be no longer that two minutes in length. At least one should be from a contemporary play and the other from a play with language challenges. It will be to your advantage if you choose clearly contrasting audition pieces that show us as much as possible your creative range. We also suggest that at least one piece be within your age range.  

Attending your audition will be several members of the acting faculty. An information session and callbacks are conducted at the end of each day for those candidates we wish to see again. At that time, we may request that you present a third audition piece and sixteen bars of a song. We also may work with one or both of your original selections. 

After the audition tour, we will invite roughly 16-20 finalists to come to La Jolla for a two day callback weekend. At that time, candidates will audition for the rest of the faculty , meet current students, participate in workshops and information sessions, and attend a performance.

COVID-19 Audition Safety Requirements

Before you arrive:
UC San Diego requires all guests on campus to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. All auditioning applicants will be asked to submit documentation supporting COVID-19 vaccination status prior to auditioning. Individuals are only considered fully vaccinated fourteen days after receiving the final dose of a vaccine authorized by the World Health Organization or the Food and Drug Administration. Additionally, we strongly encourage all auditioning applicants to follow the Center for Disease Control guidelines for vaccine booster shots. The CDC currently recommends those 18 years and older to receive a booster at least 6 months after their second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines or 2 months after a Johnson & Johnson. Updated recommendations can be found on the CDC website.

On the day of your audition:

  • At check-in you will be required to show proof of ID and proof of vaccination. We will accept proof-of-vaccination from all FDA and WHO authorized vaccines. Proof must come directly from the healthcare provider that performed the vaccination. You may display proof digitally or by presenting a physical copy.
  • At check-in you will also be required to bring proof of a negative PCR or Rapid Antigen test taken within 24 hours before attending.
  • At check-in you may be required to answer a health screener.
  • Masks are required inside all audition rooms and will remain on for the duration of the audition and check in process.

Please note:

  • As conditions evolve, applicants planning to audition in New York, Chicago and San Francisco will be updated on any further requirements in response to the university’s latest COVID-19 health and visitor policies.
  • Should COVID-19 related factors further affect our ability to host in-person auditions at any point in the audition schedule, applicants will be notified with alternate options immediately.

We look forward to seeing you and appreciate your flexibility during this dynamic time.

You must bring the following to your audition

  • 8X10 headshot with a resume on the reverse side (contact information should be included on your resume)
  • Your vaccination card and/or a recent negative Covid test – all auditionees will be masked in the waiting area.

At the conclusion of the callback weekend, there will be a final selection process. We will then notify those actors we wish to admit to the acting program. 

International Applicants

We celebrate our international students and welcome you to our audition process. As the majority of classwork and production assignments will be in English, we do require all applicants to demonstrate a proficiency in English.

International applicants are welcome to audition in person at any of the aforementioned locations; however, we will be accepting self-tapes from international students for the initial round of auditions. Self-tapes should submitted here by TBD 2025. The materials should include a headshot, resume, two contrasting audition pieces and sixteen bars of a song. 

We will inform candidates of their callback status byTBD 2025. Dates for initial Zoom callbacks are TBD.  If you are invited to our callback weekend inTBD 2025 we would love to see you in person. However, if that is still prohibitive for you, we will consider a final online callback . 

If you have questions about the application process or about the materials required of you, please e-mail at