We will not be recruiting for the 2024-25 incoming class (we are not actively recruiting during this current school year). The next incoming Sound Design class will start the Fall of 2025.  Recruiting for that classs will not officially start until the Fall of 2024.       

If you are interested in applying for 2025, you should not wait to start your discussion with us.  Please reach out to Professors Olivieri or Hooker  for more information.


Application is done online (direct with UCI) or through the U/RTA reviews. If you think that UCI could be a strong contender for your graduate studies, we recommend applying directly, and you can start this via the Drama Department website (click here). To apply for the MFA program, a completed application and $120.00 fee is require, $140 for international (the application fee may be waived in case of need, veteran status, or other select situations). All graduate applications are submitted electronically and must be supported by appropriate academic transcripts and three letters of recommendation, which should be submitted online. You can also go directly to the Graduate Division application website (click here).

If you choose a U/RTA interview, please contact them directly at 212.221.1130, info@urta.com or www.urta.com. Please note that we do not always recruit via U/RTA each year.

For Sound Design applicants, the GRE exam is not required. After we receive your completed application and fee, we will contact you regarding the city and time of your interview. If you move after you submit your application, it is essential that you notify our office with your new address and phone number. The deadline for submitting a completed application, including transcripts and letters of recommendation is 10 March, but we recommend applying as soon as possible in order to secure an interview date. Please be sure to contact the Drama office if you haven't heard back from us within three weeks of submitting your application.

Please note that we cannot consider your application candidacy if your cumulative GPA is less than 3.0. Do not apply if your GPA is less than 3.


Although October 15 is the earliest you can apply, our recruitment season begins in December. The deadline is March 10 but it is not a good idea to wait this long. Our selections are usually made concurrently with the U/RTA offer/acceptance period. Even if you choose to interview via U/RTA you will still have to apply to UCI if you are to be accepted. You may both apply directly and interview at U/RTA and, in fact, if you believe that UCI is a competive choice then you are encouraged to apply directly.


All applicants to the UCI Sound Design program must submit a portfolio as part of the application/interview process. Sound Design portfolios are dynamic documents, and unlike visual design portfolios, there is no established standard for portfolio contents. It is incumbent on you to determine the most creative, engaging, and effective way to use your portfolio to show us who you are as a Sound Designer and artist. We expect you to include sounds from your designs, discussions of your creative & analytic processes, and examples of your organization and paperwork. Your portfolio should be self-guided. Website/online portfolios are very popular among Sound Designers, as they can include sound, music, photographs, and video, all in an inclusive package.


Visiting the UCI Sound Design program should be an essential part of your application/interview process, and we highly encourage and welcome campus visits from applicants and prospective students. With advanced notice, we are happy to arrange for you to sit in on classes, see rehearsals and/or productions, and meet both faculty and students. Contact either Professor Hooker or Professor Olivieri for more information. When you visit, you might also arrange a campus tour through the UCI Office of Campus Tours. These tours are geared towards prospective undergraduate students, but they are a great way to learn more about UCI in general. Effectively, a visit is required except in cases of extreme hardship or international travel expenses.


It is your responsibility to make sure the following items are received in a timely manner. Do not assume that a request for a letter or transcript actually comes to fruition - about 30% of the time they never make it into your application folder in our office.

  • (3) Three letters of recommendation.
  • Copies of all your undergraduate and community college transcripts (unofficial is ok until an acceptance offer is made).
  • Personal statement (as outlined in the application website)
  • Your portfolio or a link to your online portfolio website. No action will be taken on your application until we receive this.
  • Application fee paid

We recommend a follow-up email if you have not heard back within three weeks of your application. If we interviewed you at U/RTA and you are interested in UCI you should apply shortly after your interview. We will not make any U/RTA offers unless the application process is 100% complete. U/RTA does not waive your application fee.

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