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School of Performing and Visual Arts

Auditions and Portfolio Reviews

The School of Performing and Visual Arts welcomes all applicants interested in our programs to attend one of our recruitment events!

Art and Design      Dance   Theatre

Art and Design

USM Art and Design Portfolio Reviews

Dates for Prospective Students

2023 Open House: Get Lost In It  | T.B.A

Art & Design's Open House is designed to share information about our BFA programs in Drawing and Painting; Sculpture (plus Ceramics); and Graphic Design, as well as our liberal arts studio BA degree with potential students from area high schools and community colleges. Future USM students can meet our faculty and get their hands dirty making art as they learn more about becoming a professional artists.


Step 1

Apply to the University. For acceptance into the Art and Design programs, apply to the University. 


Open House 

(Optional) Submit your digital portfolio review. Portfolios are encouraged as part of the scholarship awarding process when attending Open House. 



The USM Art and Design program encourages a portfolio review as part of the admissions and scholarship awarding process. Typically, portfolio reviews are mostly conducted in-person during the Art and Design recruitment event, but due to our Covid-19 response, only digital portfolio reviews are being accepted.

Preparing Your Submission

Digital Portfolio: What do we look for in your a portfolio review submission? We look for both an interest in and commitment to art, as well as skills in drawing and painting from observation/imagination, a sense of color and design, and other creative abilities.

Here are some guidelines for submitting your digital portfolio:

  • Portfolios should include 10-15 images of your work. You may include: drawing and painting from observation/imagination, printmaking, sculptures or other three-dimensional works, ceramics, print, packaging, illustration, typography, web design, identity campaigns (logo design and branding), digital photography, and interactive media/motion graphics.
  • If you have interactive media/motion graphics, please share the URL when submitting the form.
  • File should be saved as a single Adobe PDF document.
  • Include 1-2 images per page: Include title of work and medium used.
  • File should be no larger than 25MB.
  • Please use the following format for the file name: first_lastname_portfolio.pdf.

Recommendation: You will need to submit the contact information of a reference. It can be a visual arts teacher or an employer. You will need their first name, last name, email, title/position, and organization.

Once you submit your application form online, your reference will receive an email on behalf of Southern Miss Art and Design with an online recommendation form for them to submit. Note: You will need to certify that you have permission from your reference to share their email address, so they can be contacted via email by USM to request the recommendation.

Essay: An essay titled “Why I Want to be an Art Major at Southern Miss?”


Submit Portfolio



USM Dance Auditions

Audition Dates for Prospective Students

Our Dance program is accepting online or in-person audition materials and video submissions, as an option for students. When submitting the audition form, please select if you are auditioning online or in-person.

In-Person Dance Audition Dates:

  • March 4, 2023 from 2 - 4:30 p.m.

Application/Audition Process

To apply for acceptance into the undergraduate BFA programs in dance at Southern Miss, you must apply to the University AND audition as part of the application process.

Step 1

Apply to the University. To apply for acceptance into the undergraduate BFA program in dance at Southern Miss, you must apply to the University.


Step 2

Submit the audition application form. You may audition online or in-person. Please see below to prepare the supporting materials required when submitting the form.



Audition Information

Here is a checklist of materials you need to prepare to submit to the audition application form:

  • Resumé
  • Personal Dance Major Narrative Questions
    • Share any significant dance experiences or training you’d like to highlight or makes sure we are aware of.
    • Why do you want to study dance in college? Do you have career goals yet?
    • How did you hear about the USM Dance Program?
  • Essay: Select one of the questions below for your one-page essay (If auditioning for a scholarship) :
    • What is the most meaningful dance experience(s) you have had thus far in your training and why? How did these shape what you hope for from here?
    • What has dance taught you about yourself? How does what you have learned as a dancer inform your life and visa versa?
  • Name and contact information for a reference, or upload a .pdf of an existing letter of recommendation (if applying for a scholarship).
  • In-person or online video audition   

The USM Dance in-person audition includes the following:

  • Learning and performing a ballet barre and a couple of short modern dance combinations
    • Note: if you audition on November 4, 2022, you will take a modern, ballet, and jazz class during high school dance day in place of this part of the audition
  • Participating in a short creative task (you do not need to prepare anything for this)
  • Perform a 1-minute solo in a style of your choice
    • this may be self-choreographed or choreographed by another
    • please be prepared with your own music available on your phone or other device that is compatible with a line-in aux cable 
  • Small-group interview/Q & A

Please submit either a video file or YouTube link to your completed video audition submission. In your video, please include the following:

Introduction: Let’s get to know you! Look at the camera and state the following information to begin your audition video:

  • Name
  • Where you are from
  • Your goals as a dance major
  • Why you would like to attend The University of Southern Mississippi’s School of Performing and Visual Arts to major in dance

Dance Performance: This section may include combinations from dance classes, a performed dance piece, improvised movement, etc. Movement can be in any dance style, a variety of dance styles, and be self or instructor choreographed (or a combination of both).

Length: Please note that the video should not exceed ten minutes in length. Please include at least 5 minutes of you dancing.

Attire: Applicants should wear well-fitted dance attire where the body is fully visible.

Deadline: All videos must be received no later stated University deadlines for undergraduate admissions.

Format: Your audition video may be submitted via video form by either uploading an MP4 file or a YouTube link. 

Recording details: Your video should be taped in a studio or theatre if possible, or at least a large enough space to showcase your technique and artistry. Please ensure your video content is well-lit and in-focus for consideration.

Thank you for following the instructions above. This will assist us in evaluating everyone on similar work and make the video audition close to what students are asked to do during the in‐person auditions. We can’t wait to review your submission!


High School Dance Day 

We can't wait to welcome high school students to our dance day! Here, you will participate in master classes in the ballet, modern, and jazz techniques as well as see a showing of faculty and student choreographic works that will give you an idea of the kind of dancing we do at Southern Miss.

If you are interested in auditioning for our program at the end of the November High School Dance Day, please select that option in our registration form AND complete an audition form.

  • April 28, 2023



USM Theatre Auditions

Dates for Prospective Students

Curtain Up
| Date TBA

You will meet faculty and students representing the many degree programs and production areas, including BA in Theatre, the BFA  (Design and Technology) and the BFA (Acting), and production opportunities in Acting, Directing, Costumes, Lighting, Sound, Scenic, Paint, Props, House Management, Producing, Technical Direction, Stage Management, and more! 

You will then move to the appropriate breakout rooms, depending on area, Design and Tech, Acting, and General Theatre.  Students will then be taken on a virtual tour of the facilities, headed by some of our APO students.  

Scholarship, Portfolio, and Audition Information

Consist of a portfolio review and interview.

  1. Acting auditions will consist of a 1-minute monologue, as well as an interview.  
  2. Additional 16 bar song excerpt optional.
  1. General Theatre will consist of an interview.
  2. No prior training or materials are required. Your interest and potential may be demonstrated through the interview.

Contact Us

School of Performing and Visual Arts

201E Theatre and Dance

Campus Hattiesburg

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