Admissions
Undergraduate Requirements

How To Apply

Both the Common Application and a Supplementary Material Application are required for all School of Drama undergraduate programs.

The Common Application opens on August 1 and is due for Drama programs on DECEMBER 1. Please visit http://www.commonapp.org to submit the Common Application online.

Supplementary Material Applications should be submitted through https://app.getacceptd.com/cmudrama for Acting, Acting/Music Theater, Design/Production, and Directing applicants. The Acceptd application opens September 1 and is due on DECEMBER 1. Supplementary Material Applications for Dramaturgy should be emailed to our Director of Recruitment and Enrollment Mica Harrison Loosemore at micaharr@andrew.cmu.edu by DECEMBER 1.

Pre-screen videos are required for Acting and Acting/Music Theater. Pre-screen portfolios are required for Design/Production. You must complete this pre-screening process in order to be invited to audition or interview. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Drama will host virtual auditions and interviews for invited applicants in January and February for the 2020-2021 admission season.

Please scroll for details on preparing for your undergraduate Audition or Interview/Portfolio Review. For questions, please email our Director of Recruitment and Enrollment Mica Harrison Loosemore at micaharr@andrew.cmu.edu.

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Scheduling Your Audition or Interview/Portfolio Review


Registration for audition and interview/portfolio review dates and appointment times will be available this fall through our Acceptd portal. We honor these appointments by invitation only following the pre-screen process on a first-come, first-serve basis, for Carnegie Mellon applicants only.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Drama will host virtual auditions and interviews/portfolio reviews for invited applicants in January and February for the 2020-2021 admission season.


» Visit our Acceptd site

Please note: We cannot accommodate walk-in auditions/interviews.

Tour and Visits


All on-campus admission events including School of Drama visits and tours, are canceled until further notice to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus.

Our primary focus is the health and safety of our campus community as well as that of potential visitors to campus. Get the most up-to-date information on the university's guidelines and current response on CMU's Coronavirus Information page.

A virtual tour of campus will be available online later this fall.

Financial Resources

Application Fee Waivers

The School of Drama provides application fee waivers for students who meet one of the indicators of economic need as outlined on the Common Application:
  • I’ve received or am eligible to receive an ACT or SAT testing fee waiver.
  • I’m enrolled in or am eligible to participate in the Federal Free or Reduced Price Lunch program (FRPL).
  • My annual family income falls within the Income Eligibility Guidelines set by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service.
  • I’m enrolled in a federal, state, or local program that aids students from low-income families (e.g., TRIO programs such as Upward Bound).
  • My family receives public assistance.
  • I live in federally subsidized public housing, a foster home or am homeless.
  • I’m a ward of the state or an orphan.
  • I can provide a supporting statement from a school official, college access counselor, financial aid officer, or community leader.

  • If you meet one of these criteria, please email the Director of Recruitment & Enrollment Mica Harrison Loosemore at micaharr@andrew.cmu.edu with appropriate documentation after the application has opened.

    Carnegie Mellon University Financial Aid

    76% of first year students who applied for financial aid received need-based assistance. We recommend using the Net Price Calculator in partnership with College Board to estimate financial aid eligibility.

    If you’re a US citizen or permanent resident, the FAFSA is required to be considered for federal and state financial aid programs. The CSS PROFILE, along with the FAFSA, is required to be considered for all institutional grant and scholarship programs. Regardless of need, we encourage you to complete these documents in order to be considered for any type of funding. Follow instructions from the Office of Undergraduate Admission. Deadline: February 15.

    Preparing for Your Undergraduate Audition or Portfolio Review

    Acting

    Applicants to the School of Drama's Acting Option must fulfill the pre-screen, then the audition requirement, which is the main basis for admission to the program.

    All applicants interested in auditioning for both the Music Theater and Acting Options should submit a pre-screen for the Music Theater Option. This one pre-screen will be sufficient to address the needs and requirements of both programs.

    PRE-SCREEN GUIDELINES:

    Visit Acceptd to upload the following between SEPTEMBER 1 and DECEMBER 1:
  • Resume including any training and experience in theater, film, music and dance as well as academic achievements, work experience and community service.
  • Headshot
  • Each piece requested below should be filmed/uploaded as a separate piece of media. No continuous videos.
  • There should not be a separate “slate” video, rather slates are to appear at the beginning of each piece. The proper slate for a song is to share your name, the title, and show in which it appears. The proper slate for a monologue is to share your name, the title of the play, and the playwright.

  • PRE-SCREEN MONOLOGUES
  • Two, 60-90 second monologues.
  • One contemporary (written after 1900); Contemporary monologue should be filmed in a “close-up” shot which means the top of the head to the chest should be visible in the frame.
  • One classical (written before 1900); Classical monologue should be filmed in a “full body” shot which means the top of the head to the feet on the floor should be visible in the frame. Only perform Shakespeare if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Should portray characters that fall in your natural age range (teens and 20s).

  • Pre-Screens are required for Acting. You must complete this pre-screening process in order to be invited to audition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Drama will host virtual auditions for invited applicants in January and February for the 2020-2021 admission season. If you are invited, you will register for your audition at getacceptd.com/cmudrama. We cannot accommodate “walk-ins.”

    AUDITION GUIDELINES:
  • Perform two, contrasting monologues.
  • One classical monologue from a play written before 1900 with an emphasis on heightened language.
  • One contemporary piece written after 1900.
  • Each monologue should be only one minute.
  • Each monologue should be within your natural age range (teens and 20s).
  • Be sure to read the entire play the monologue is excerpted from so you are able to demonstrate an understanding of the character and situation.
  • You may use hand props, but not costumes.
  • Be prepared to perform a third monologue if asked.


  • Music Theater

    Applicants to the School of Drama Music Theater Option must fulfill the audition requirement, which is the main basis for admission to the program.

    All applicants interested in auditioning for both the Music Theater and Acting Options should submit a pre-screen for the Music Theater Option. This one pre-screen will be sufficient to address the needs and requirements of both programs. We are participating in the 2020-2021 Musical Theater Common Pre-Screen.

    PRE-SCREEN GUIDELINES:
    Visit Acceptd to upload the following between SEPTEMBER 1 and DECEMBER 1:
  • Resume including any training and experience in theater, film, music and dance as well as academic achievements, work experience and community service.
  • Headshot
  • Each piece requested below should be filmed/uploaded as a separate piece of media. No continuous videos.
  • There should not be a separate “slate” video, rather slates are to appear at the beginning of each piece. The proper slate for a song is to share your name, the title, and show in which it appears. The proper slate for a monologue is to share your name, the title of the play, and the playwright.

  • PRE-SCREEN MONOLOGUES
  • Two, 60-90 second monologues.
  • One contemporary (written after 1900); Contemporary monologue should be filmed in a “close-up” shot which means the top of the head to the chest should be visible in the frame.
  • One classical (written before 1900); Classical monologue should be filmed in a “full body” shot which means the top of the head to the feet on the floor should be visible in the frame. Only perform Shakespeare if you feel comfortable doing so. 
  • Should portray characters that fall in your natural age range (teens and 20s).

  • PRE-SCREEN SONGS
  • Students should prepare 2 contrasting pieces: One song should be a ballad and one song should be up-tempo.
  • Each song file should be 60-90 seconds (this time limit includes the slate at the beginning of the piece and is strictly adhered to; please do not upload media files longer than 90 seconds).
  • One song should be written prior to 1970. This song can be either the up-tempo or the ballad (student’s choice).
  • One song should be written after 1970 and contrast the style of the first.
  • Sing with recorded or with live accompaniment, not a cappella. 

  • Pre-Screens are required for Acting.You must complete this pre-screening process in order to be invited to audition. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Drama will host virtual auditions for invited applicants in January and February for the 2020-2021 admission season. If you are invited, you will register for your audition at getacceptd.com/cmudrama. We cannot accommodate “walk-ins.”

    AUDITION GUIDELINES
  • Perform two, contrasting monologues.
  • One classical monologue from a play written before 1900 with an emphasis on heightened language.
  • One contemporary piece written after 1900.
  • Each monologue should be only one minute.
  • Each monologue should be within your natural age range (teens and 20s).
  • Be sure to read the entire play the monologue is excerpted from so you are able to demonstrate an understanding of the character and situation.
  • You may use hand props, but not costumes.
  • Be prepared to perform a third monologue if asked.

  • In addition to the monologue requirements, you must perform two contrasting songs approximately one minute in length:
    • One ballad
    • One up tempo song
    • Sing with recorded or with live accompaniment, not a cappella
    Please Note: There is no longer a dance component of the audition so it is not necessary to bring dance clothes. Every accepted Music Theater student will have a dance skills assessment at the beginning of their first semester and will be placed at the appropriate level in classes.

    Design and Production Technology and Management

    Applicants to Design and Production Technology and Management programs must have some practical experience in theater and be able to demonstrate basic proficiency in design, project planning and execution by submitting a portfolio for pre-screen review. The portfolio should include about 15 items of work in several media and techniques as well as a resume or CV. Not all samples of work have to pertain to theater.

    Pre-screen portfolios are required for Design/Production. You must complete this pre-screening process in order to be invited to interview. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Drama will host virtual interviews for invited applicants in January and February for the 2020-2021 admission season.

    PORTFOLIO REVIEW GUIDELINES

    Provide 15 examples of work which could include:
  • Use of color, line drawing, painting
  • Drafting, mechanical drawing
  • Photography, including photographs of your productions
  • Models, costume pieces, masks
  • Sculpture or installation art
  • Sound cues or recordings containing original recordings or music (no more than five and no more than one minute in length each)
  • Video or media files containing original work (no more than five and no more than two minutes in length each)
  • Plots, ground plans, elevations and other production paperwork you may have produced for a show
  • Paperwork developed for schedules, reports, budgets, estimates, etc.
  • Photos of work both finished and in process

  • Download a Design/Production Admissions checklist


    Dramaturgy

    Applicants to the School of Drama Dramaturgy Program must show that they have significant research and writing skills, as well as the drive, aptitude for research and imaginative writing, and potential to develop in this rigorous program. Dramaturgy applicants do not need to schedule an audition or portfolio review, but must include the following with their application. We prefer that teacher recommendations be submitted through the Common Application.

    • Cover page with your name, birthdate, address and in large, bold letters "Dramaturgy Applicant."*
    • Letter describing your theater experience and ambitions in theater.*
    • Two samples of original argumentative writing of approximately 1,000 words each (applicants should submit writing that demonstrates an ability to use evidence to support a thesis: e.g. an analysis of a work of literature or art, or of an event in history - these can be papers written for a high school course).*
    • Resumé or curriculum vitae.
    • Two letters of recommendation from sources familiar with your research and writing skills.
    • There is no in-person interview required, but the Option Coordinator may contact applicants via phone or email to obtain further information after January 15.
    *These documents (containing your name and Application ID number, and saved as pdfs) should be submitted by DECEMBER 1 to micaharr@andrew.cmu.edu.

    The John Wells Directing Program

    Applicants to the School of Drama Undergraduate John Wells Directing Program must fulfill two distinctive requirements, an application with audition, statement and portfolio, and an interview. These requirements are the main basis for admission.

    Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the School of Drama will host virtual interviews for applicants in January and February for the 2020-2021 admission season.

    APPLICATION GUIDELINES

    Submit an audition video:
  • 1 monologue
  • Either a classical monologue from a play written before 1900 with an emphasis on heightened language or a contemporary piece written in the 20th or 21st century
  • The monologue should be no longer than one minute
  • The monologue should be within your natural age range
  • Be sure to read the entire play from which the monologue is excerpted so that you can demonstrate an understanding of the character and situation
  • You may use hand props, but not costumes

  • Submit a statement that:
  • Describes why you are pursuing this line of study
  • Explains your choice of monologue
  • Includes a critical analysis of the play from which the monologue is excerpted

  • Submit evidence of your creative life including:
  • Scripts you have written
  • Production photographs from shows that you have directed
  • Examples of creative writing
  • Creative expression including: photography, painting, drawing, etc.
  • The virtual interview will assess your drive, maturity, vision and aptitude for Directing.

    Download a Directing Admissions checklist