Facebook pixel Frequently Asked Questions | Fine Arts | Pepperdine University | Seaver College Skip to main content
Pepperdine | Seaver College

Frequently Asked Questions | Fine Arts


  When is your application available for Fall 2022?

Applications will be available August 1 on SlideRoom and can be accessed via the Common Application portal.

  When is the SlideRoom application due?

The deadline differs for each application type:

  • Spring 2022 applications are due October 8th.
  • Early Action (First-Year applicants only) applications are due November 10th
  • Regular decision application are due January 30th. 
  Can I apply to more than one program?

Yes. Students may apply for up to two degree programs at Pepperdine. Students will be considered for their first-choice selection in the initial review followed by their second choice, if they are not admitted to their primary major.

Please only submit one supplemental application per student. 

  Do I need to audition?

Yes. All candidates for Music and Theatre programs will be required to submit an audition as part of their SlideRoom application materials. 

Applicants may also choose to participate in a live Zoom audition during Early Action and Regular Decision. Live auditions are optional and do not replace the audition video requirements in SlideRoom. 

  When are live auditions held?
  • Spring Only: Not applicable.
  • Early Action: Saturday, November 13th, in-person and on Zoom
  • Regular Decision: Saturday, January 22nd, in-person and on Zoom
  • Saturday, January 29th, in-person and on Zoom
  • Saturday, February 5th, Zoom only
  How do I schedule a live audition?

Live Auditions for the 2022-2023 academic year will be facilitated both in person and on Zoom. Audition sign-ups are available in an online registration format. We are offering Live Auditions on the following dates. 

  • January 22: This Audition Day is for all applicants wishing to be considered under the regular decision deadline. Auditions are offered both virtually or in-person. For those auditioning/interviewing online, students will receive instructions regarding the Zoom session after registering for an audition date. Sign-ups for this audition day will close on January 10, 2022. Sign up.
  • January 29: This Audition Day is for all applicants wishing to be considered under the regular decision deadline. Auditions are offered both virtually or in-person. For those auditioning/interviewing online, students will receive instructions regarding the Zoom session after registering for an audition date. Sign-ups for this audition day will close on January 17, 2022. Sign up.
  • February 5: Please note that this Audition Day will be virtual only, and hosted over Zoom. No in-person auditions will be offered. This Audition Day is for all applicants wishing to be considered under the regular decision deadline. Students will receive instructions regarding the Zoom session after registering for an audition date. Sign-ups for this audition day will close on January 24, 2022. Sign up.
  When will I know when my live audition is scheduled?

You will receive an email confirmation after you submit your registration.

  How can I reschedule my live audition?

If you need to reschedule your audition, please email the Fine Arts Recruitment Office at fineartsrecruit@pepperdine.edu. Requests will be handled on a first-come, first-served basis and are subject to availability.

Keep in mind, live auditions should be completed within the same Common App season to avoid any difficulties with the admissions process. Example: If you are applying to Seaver College during Early Action, and wish to participate in a live audition, you will want to register for the November Zoom audition. Do not reserve a January audition date as they fall within the Regular Decision season. 

  Can I audition with an original monologue or song?

Students should prepare and perform monologues from published plays or musicals. Work from a non-published source makes it difficult for the faculty to understand the context of the character and play or the song. 

  May I submit additional supplemental materials and performance clips?

Within the SlideRoom application, there is an option to link outside to a personal website. Given the very small window we have to review and evaluate audition materials, we cannot guarantee that personal websites will be reviewed. During the live audition, we ask that you submit only the items outlined in the live audition requirements. 

  What if there are updates to the resume or headshot that I uploaded?

Please email these changes to fineartsrecruit@pepperdine.edu. Please note that no updates will be made once the application process has closed. 

  I am an international applicant. Is there anything special I need to know?

International applicants must meet and submit additional requirements

  When will I be notified if I am accepted into the program?

Program decisions are sent concurrently with admissions decisions for Seaver College. You can view the complete list of deadlines here

  What are the fees to apply?

There is an application fee associated with applying to Pepperdine University (The Common Application). There is a $10 application fee associated with applying to the Fine Arts Division (SlideRoom). There is no fee to participate in a live audition.

  Is an audition required for multiple degrees/majors (theatre, music, etc.)?

Yes.  Each major will have different requirements. You will need to sign up for a separate audition for each major you are applying to. If you have more questions, please contact the Fine Arts Recruitment Office

  Are there practice rooms available?

Yes. Practice rooms will be left unlocked and available for warm-up, practice, etc.  Practice rooms are available on a first-come, first-served based, and you will be directed to the practice rooms upon check-in.

Fine Arts

  Do you offer scholarships?

Awards are given on a case-by-case basis in recognition of talent and/or financial need. Students wanting to be considered for a Fine Arts scholarship should answer "yes" to the question on the SlideRoom application that asks, "Do you wish to be considered for a scholarship?" Scholarship requirements will vary by major. 

  What if I cannot audition in person?

Live auditions are recommended, but not required. Regardless of your ability to participate in a live audition, all applicants will be required to upload program materials into SlideRoom, including video materials for all applicants in Music and Theatre. For the 2022-2023 academic year, applicants will have the choice to attend a live audition in person or over Zoom. 

  What should I wear for my audition?

Your appearance does make a difference in how you are received as a performer, whether performing in a concert or auditioning. Be well-groomed and make your best impression! Choose clothes that make you feel confident and professional and reflect who you are as an artist. Please no costumes or flip-flops. Theatre students who attend the on-campus audition in November will participate in a group warm-up. You are encouraged to wear clothes that allow freedom of movement for the warm-up. You will have time to change into your audition clothes before you perform your monologues and/or songs.

  How long is the audition or interview?

In general, programs that require an interview or a portfolio review allot fifteen to twenty minutes per candidate. If you are not participating in a live audition, you will be contacted by someone from the program regarding this requirement.

  Do I need to bring an accompanist?

For on-campus auditions, an accompanist will be provided for Music auditions and for Musical Theatre auditions. Even so, students may bring an accompanist if they wish. Please see the specific guidance under the FAQs for Music and Theatre below.

  When will I be notified about my acceptance to a fine arts program?

Since decisions for each of the programs in Fine Arts are contingent on the applicant's admission to Seaver College, individual program notifications will be included with Seaver Admissions notifications. For a complete application timeline, check out the Deadlines page. (Can we hyperlink to the Deadlines when they hover over this word?)

Art History

  Do I have to audition or interview to declare an Art History major or minor?

No. Any student may declare an Art History major by selecting it as your "intended major" on the Common App. After you submit your application, a member of the Art History faculty may reach out to you to find out more about your particular interests or to request an Art History writing sample.


Art: Studio

  Do I need to submit a portfolio as part of my application?

No, you do not need to submit a portfolio to be accepted into the studio art major. However, if you would like to be considered for financial aid through the Art department then you must submit a portfolio through SlideRoom.

  What kind of artwork should I include?

We are most interested in seeing a diverse body of artwork that you feel best represents you as a creative and dedicated artist.

  Can I bring in actual paintings, sculptures, etc.?

We understand that images are never as good as the real thing, but for this review please only present images of your work.



  Will an accompanist be provided for the live audition?

Yes, for the live in person audition. However, if you audition via Zoom, that will eliminate our ability to provide you with an accompanist.  We encourage you to coordinate your audition with pre-recorded accompaniment or to have an accompanist with you if you plan on auditioning over Zoom.

  • Instrumentalists, when you register and select your instrument, an option will be available for you to indicate if you will need an accompanist or not.
  • Vocalists, an accompanist will be provided for all vocal auditions.  Please bring sheet music (in the correct key) for the accompanist.
  Can I schedule practice time with an accompanist before my audition?

No.  Accompanists are not available to rehearse before auditions however practice rooms will be available for your use on each audition day.  All of our accompanists are professional collaborative artists and will be capable of sight-reading your music.

  Do I have to memorize my audition pieces?

Vocalists - Yes. 

Instrumentalists – Piano and classical guitar candidates are required to present memorized audition pieces. All other instrumentalists will be permitted to use music. 

  What is the MFSA?
The Music Fundamental Skills Assessment (MFSA) is an online placement exam given to all students to assist us in placement for music theory. 
  Can I test out of theory?

In order to determine whether or not an advancement in the theory and skills curriculum is a possibility, a theory professor on occasion may administer a separate test to an individual student who has demonstrated advanced knowledge of music theory and aural skills. These requests are usually considered on a case-by-case basis after the MFSA has been administered.

Click here for policy information about AP Music Theory.

  Can I schedule lessons with a studio teacher before the audition?

Normally, yes.  We encourage prospective students to come to campus and enjoy a free ½ hour private lesson with one of our instructors. In addition, there are classes and rehearsals that you may audit for the day. 

However, due to COVID19 restrictions, studio teachers are currently not offering lessons. Please check back with us in November 2021. The Fine Arts Recruitment Office can assist with scheduling and availability. 

  What should I bring to the audition?

Bring only what you require for your performance (i.e. your instrument(s), music for the accompanist, etc.)  All other application materials should be submitted through the Common Application and the SlideRoom application.

  Are there talent awards for non-majors?

Music scholarships are available to talented students who wish to participate in instrumental ensembles without majoring or minoring in music.  An audition is required.  Please contact Dr. Tang for more information:  longtao.tang@pepperdine.edu

  Can I minor in Music?  If so, how?

Yes. The requirements are essentially the same. However, in your SlideRoom application, indicate “music minor”.



  What will my Production/Design interview be like?

Interviews typically last 10-15 minutes and are relaxed and conversational. The first half of the interview is your time to present your work to the faculty members. Highlight a few of the most important bullet points about each show, project, or piece of art. Focus on your experience, what you learned, and the reasons behind any design decisions. Faculty members may stop you to ask questions about your work. During the second half of the interview, faculty members will continue the conversation to learn more about your life, interests, passions, and goals as well as what draws you to Pepperdine. Finally, you'll be given an opportunity to ask any questions that weren't answered during the course of the interview.

  What should I put in my Production/Design portfolio?

Portfolios come in many styles, sizes, and levels of "polish." More importantly, this is your opportunity to show who you are, what areas of theatre excite you the most, and the kinds of experiences you've had so far. Portfolios can include photos or sketches of sets, costumes, and props that you built or painted. They might include photos of lighting designs, light plots, or audio files of sound cues. Stage managers should include calling scripts and any other paperwork such as schedules, scene breakdowns, run sheets, etc. You may include designs or projects even if they were never built or fully-realized. Also include any related non-theatrical work like drawing, painting, photography, etc.

  If I am singing, do I need to bring an accompanist?

We do not provide an accompanist for auditions in the Theatre Arts: Acting emphasis or the Theatre and Screen Arts major. If you choose to sing for your audition, you may bring an accompanist or, as is more common, bring an accompaniment track on your phone or a CD, and sing 16 bars of a Broadway standard.

We will provide an accompanist for Musical Theatre auditions, but you may bring your own accompanist if you wish. You will have the opportunity to meet the accompanist and discuss the tempi of your selections immediately prior to the audition. Please bring your double-sided sheet music in a binder with the beginning and ending of each song clearly marked. Omit any lengthy instrumental introduction and begin with a 2-bar lead-in. When creating a photocopied score, please make sure all the notes of the music fit neatly on the page. 

  When can I expect a response about my acceptance into the program?

Once we have received all of your application materials and seen your audition and/or interview, you can expect your notification by no later than April 1.

  What if I can't interview in person?

Production/Design applicants unable to attend an interview in person, may request to interview over Zoom. Directing applicants may also do their interviews by Zoom, but should follow the "video audition" instructions regarding the performance portion of their audition. For more information contact Cathy Thomas-Grant at cathy.thomas-grant@pepperdine.edu.