The Application Process | The Program | Housing/Life in San Francisco
Fees/Financial Aid/Health Insurance


If you still have questions after reading the information on this website, the FAQ, and the other application materials, please email sfs@act-sf.org.


The Application Process

Q: How do I apply?
A: Complete the application form and submit it along with the following materials:

  1. One full-face photograph or 8" x 10" headshot
  2. Current résumé of theatrical experience
  3. Two confidential letters of recommendation, including cover sheet 
  4. Official transcripts from all colleges and universities you have attended
  5. A nonrefundable, nonwaivable application fee in the form of a money order or cashier's check payable to American Conservatory Theater in the amount of $50
  6. An essay (no longer than one typewritten page) describing why you are pursuing training in theater
  7. Approval form (for those seeking undergraduate credit)


Send all application materials to:

Registrar, American Conservatory Theater
30 Grant Avenue, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94108-5834


Q: Who is eligible?
A: Applicants for The San Francisco Semester must be

  • Theater majors in their junior or senior year,
  • Theater minors and second-term sophomores with special recommendations from theater faculty, or
  • Recent college graduates (after September 1, 2011) with a theater major or minor


Q: What are the application requirements?
A: Applicants for The San Francisco Semester must have

  • A GPA of 2.75 or higher, and
  • Evidence of personal health insurance


Q: When is the application deadline?
A: Application deadlines for Spring 2017 are as follows:

  • Early bird admission deadline: October 15, 2016
  • For most serious consideration, apply by: December 1, 2016


Q: What is the advantage of early bird admission?
A: You will save $2,500 off the price of tuition!

Q: Should I submit a theatrical résumé? Can I include any non-theater experience?
A: You must include a résumé listing all theater work with your application materials. This can include acting classes, voice lessons, seminars, school productions, community productions, and/or professional productions.

Q: Do I need to request official transcripts from my most recent school or can I send unofficial copies?
A: All transcripts must be official—requested and issued directly from each school. Don't wait until the last minute! Some universities take several weeks to process transcript requests. Consult your institution for more information about its policies.

Q: Can I send recommendations and transcripts separately, or do I need to submit all of my application materials together?
A: We prefer to receive one envelope containing your complete application and all supporting materials; however, we do accept application materials that are submitted separately. Transcripts may be emailed directly from the school to sfs@act-sf.org. Letters of recommendation may be emailed directly from recommenders to sfs@act-sf.org

Q: I have obtained more than two letters of recommendation. Should I send all of them?
A: No. Please include only the two letters we have requested. In the event that we receive more than two letters for any applicant, we will review only the first two letters we receive.

Q: Can I send the recommendation letters with my application packet?
A: If you decide to send your recommendations with your application packet, each recommendation letter should be sealed in a signed envelope by the recommender.

Q: Is the deadline date a received-by deadline or a postmarked-by deadline?
A: We must receive your application on or before the deadline date.

Q: May I visit the school for a tour?
A: If you are in the area, the director of academic affairs or a conservatory associate will be happy to speak with you about our actor training programs. However, please read about the program and familiarize yourself with the application materials before your visit. You can make an appointment by emailing sfs@act-sf.org.

Q: I sent in my application but haven't heard anything. Should I call the office?
A: Please wait at least one week after your application's estimated arrival date to call the office. When we process your application, we will send you an email to tell you which documents, if any, we are still missing and to schedule a telephone interview. If you apply early, you can expect to hear from us within a few days of receiving your application. If you apply closer to the deadline date, expect to wait a little longer to hear from us.

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The Program

Q: What are the dates of the program?
A: The 2017 Winter/Spring Session dates are:

  • Jan 20, 2017 Registration and Orientation
  • Jan 23, 2017 Classes begin
  • May 12, 2017 Classes end

The 2016 Fall Session dates are:

  • Aug 26, 2016 Registration and Orientation
  • Aug 29, 2016 Classes begin
  • Dec 9, 2016 Classes end

Q: Where do classes meet?
A: Classes take place at A.C.T.'s studios in the heart of San Francisco's theater district. Students will attend cultural outings across the city.

Q: What is the curriculum, and what is the daily class schedule? Are classes held on the weekend or just during the week?
A: Please visit our curriculum page for a complete listing and description of courses, as well as a sample weekly schedule.

Q: Who teaches the classes?
A: The faculty is comprised of working theater professionals, from directors and dramaturgs to actors and casting directors. Visiting artists will also teach master classes throughout the semester.

Q: Will we attend plays or other events?
A: Yes! As part of the Cultural Landscapes course, students will attend the plays scheduled as part of A.C.T.'s professional season, selected A.C.T. conservatory performances, as well as outings to other Bay Area theaters, concerts, dance performances, and museums each week.

Q: How do I receive college credit? How many college credits will I receive?
A: You must ask your home school advisor or another official at your school who approves study away programs to complete the San Francisco Semester Approval Form. Return this form with your application, and we will confirm receipt with your advisor. Upon completion of the San Francisco Semester, you may request a transcript from A.C.T.

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Housing/Life in San Francisco

Q: Where do students live?
A: A.C.T. does not find housing for students and has no housing available. Apartments, rooms, and residence clubs are located within walking distance of the A.C.T. studios in downtown San Francisco. Other housing is available a short bus ride away, and San Francisco has an excellent public transportation system. We recommend that applicants use various online options to explore these possibilities. Residence clubs within walking distance include the Kenmore Residence Club, the Columbus Residence Club and the Monroe Residence Club.
If you have any questions about housing, please contact sfs@act-sf.org.

Q: What forms of transportation are available to students?
A: Students may purchase monthly passes for BART (Bay Area Rapid Transit) trains and MUNI trains and buses, which offer access to San Francisco and much of the Bay Area.

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Fees/Financial Aid/Health Insurance

Q: How much does the program cost?
A: Students are responsible for an application fee of $50; tuition of $15,000; housing fees of approximately $3,600–4,100 (A.C.T. will suggest housing options in downtown San Francisco); a Cultural Landscapes course fee of $400; and a library fee of $25. Tuition for those applying for early bird admission is $12,500—a savings of $2,500!

Q: Is financial aid available?
A: Yes. A.C.T. offers a limited number of scholarships to students enrolled in the San Francisco Semester. While no federal or state aid—such as a Pell Grant or a Stafford Loan—is available, A.C.T. can work with your current/home college to develop a consortium agreement if you are eligible. Students applying for an A.C.T. scholarship must complete their enrollment application package and submit an online 2015–16 Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) (available at www.fafsa.ed.gov) by May 1, 2017 for the Fall 2017 Semester. Private educational loans are also available if you qualify. If you have any questions, please contact A.C.T.'s financial aid office at 415.439.2411 or email jlopez@act-sf.org.

Q: Are fee waivers available to cover my application fee?
A: Unfortunately, we do not offer fee waivers. Each applicant must pay the application fee. There are no exceptions.

Q: Is there a separate application for financial aid?
A: Students interested in financial aid must complete the FAFSA (fafsa.gov) and the regular San Francisco Semester application by the financial aid deadline. There are no other required forms. If you are accepted into the program, you will then be considered for financial aid.

Q: I am completing the FAFSA. What is A.C.T.'s school code?
A: Our school code is 014545. Please see the application information page for more information.

Q: How do I apply for a private (educational) loan?
A: Contact the financial aid office for information on researching private (educational) loans.

Q: What if I am currently receiving financial aid at my school?
A: If you are currently enrolled (including being on a summer break) at another college while attending A.C.T., you should contact that school's financial aid office and ask if you can arrange a financial aid consortium agreement.

Q: What is a financial aid consortium agreement?
A: A financial aid consortium agreement means that you can use financial aid (like a Stafford loan) from your home college to attend the San Francisco Semester. Again, please contact your school's financial aid office to make these arrangements.

Q: I'm an international student. What are my financial aid options?
A: As an international student, your financial aid options are restricted to non-federal awards. We do offer a small number of scholarships each year, but international students should consult their country of citizenship for government-provided financial aid.

Q: What if I have other financial aid questions?
A: Please email Jerry Lopez at jlopez@act-sf.org or call 415.439.2411.

Q: Does A.C.T. provide health insurance?
A: All students entering the program are required to carry their own health insurance or be covered under their parents' plan while in San Francisco. Proof of coverage must be submitted in writing prior to registration. 

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