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Orestes 2.0. Photo: Manuel Rotenberg (2020)Orestes 2.0 (2020). Photo: Manuel Rotenberg. 

Application Information for the MFA Program in Acting



Application Materials

Below, you will find a list of the necessary application materials. After you have gathered your required materials, please visit the UC San Diego application portal. 

  • Official transcripts or official copies of academic records from all post-secondary institutions attended (can be submitted online)
  • A minimum of three letters of recommendation
  • Statement of purpose, submitted online
  • 8X10 headshot and resume
  • Audition self-tape* - details below. 

Due to COVID restrictions, we have deemed that it is no longer necessary to send a hard copy of your photo and resume. Please contact with any questions.

*Due to changing protocols for in person auditions, we are still reviewing our requirement for submitting self-tapes.  We will update our website with final application requirements by October 1st.


Audition Information

We look forward to returning to an in-person audition process this year in New York City, Chicago and San Francisco. The below dates and locations are subject to change. 

New York

  • Location: Ripley Grier
  • Dates: January 21st - January 25th


  • Location: Hyatt Hotel
  • Dates: February 1 - February 2 

San Francisco

  • Location: American Conservatory Theatre
  • Dates: February 5 - February 6

Callback Weekend

  • Location: UC San Diego
  • Dates: February 25 - February 27

After the initial auditions, candidates will be notified of their callback status in late January. The Acting program hosts a final callback weekend at the end of February. 

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. One should be from a contemporary play and the other from a non-contemporary play of language. Obviously, 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.

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

A webinar regarding the audition process and the program as a whole was filmed on December 17th; please click here to access it


Foreign/International Students

International students have attended our program in the past. However, as we are an American institution training actors for the American theatre, all applicants need to speak fluent English.
Actor's Equity is not guaranteed for International students.

If you have questions or would like more information about our Graduate programs, call the Graduate Coordinator at 858-534-1046 or email at