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School of Performing and Visual Arts

Auditions and Portfolio Reviews

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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

2024 Open House | Find Your Focus | Date TBA

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. 


Preparing Your Submission

When reviewing a portfolio, we look for the following:

  • An interest in and commitment to art
  • Skills in drawing and/or painting from observation/imagination
  • A sense of color and design
  • All other creative abilities in any visual arts medium         

Portfolio Guidelines:

  • Take good photographs of your work. 
  • Create a document that includes 10-15 images of your work.
  • 1-2 images per page, with title/project name, medium, size, and date.
  • Save the document as a single PDF file, no larger than 25MB.
  • Filename: save file as firstname_lastname_portfolio.pdf
  • You may include images of drawing and painting from observation/imagination, printmaking, sculpture, other three-dimensional works, ceramics, posters, packaging design, illustration, typography, web design, identity campaigns (logos and branding), digital photography, interactive media/motion graphics, etc.
  • If you have interactive media/motion graphics, please share the URL when submitting the form.

Submit Portfolio


To ensure scholarship eligibility, visit the GO systemLearn more about the Art and Design program


USM Dance Students

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 1, 2024*

*As part of High School Dance Day (10 a.m. - 4 p.m.). Those choosing to audition should both register for High School Dance Day and submit the audition application form prior to the audition date. Note that all auditioning prospective students (not just high school students) are welcome for High School Dance Day.

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 you have had thus far in your training and why? How did/does this experience shape your future goals?
    • What has dance taught you about yourself? How does what you have learned as a dancer inform your life and vice 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:

  • Attending our High School Dance Day events including taking a modern, ballet, and jazz class.
  • 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: Priority consideration before March 1, 2024. Scholarship consideration before May 1, 2024. All videos must be received no later than August, 2024.

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 

High School Dance Day is designed for sophomore-seniors in high school and transfer students interested in learning about dance at the college level. Here you will participate in master classes in ballet, modern, and jazz dance techniques, as well as see a showing of faculty and student choreographic works that will give you an idea of the kind of dancing you’ll experience with USM Dance. The event is FREE and includes a provided lunch for students, and a complementary ticket to our Repertory Dance Company (fall) or Dance Gala Concert (spring) at 7 p.m. that night.

If you are interested in auditioning for our program (start date fall 2024 semester) at the end of High School Dance Day, please select that option in our registration form AND complete an  audition form.

  • November 17, 2023 | 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (optional audition through 4 p.m.)
  • March 1, 2024 | 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. (optional audition through 4 p.m.)

Registration closes the Monday prior to the event.



USM Theatre Auditions

Dates for Prospective Students

Curtain Up
| January 27, 2024

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! Headed by some of our APO students,  you'll also enjoy a tour of our facilities!


What to Expect from Curtain Up?

10 a.m. | Gathering – Martha R. Tatum Theatre

  • General Overview of the Theatre Program by department faculty followed by a detailed Q&A.

11 a.m. | Tour Facilities – Theatre and Dance Building (TAD)

12:15 p.m. | Lunch – Gilbert F. Hartwig Theatre

1:00 p.m. |  Scholarship Auditions – Martha R. Tatum Theatre and TAD 126

  • Prospective Performance Students (Martha R. Tatum Theatre)
  • Design and Technology | Interviews and Portfolio Reviews | TAD 126

3:00 p.m. | Conclude (approx.)

  • Possible opportunity to tour Southern Miss campus        

Design and Tech 

  1. 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.

General Theatre 

  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.

USM's Theatre and Dance Building

229-247 Ross Blvd.
Hattiesburg, MS 39401