USC SDA – On Camera Acting Certificate


Non Degree Certificate Program.

This certificate program, offered through the University of Southern California’s School of Dramatic Arts, introduces actors to on-camera performance. During this 16-week program, students will gain insights into preparing for and delivering compelling on-screen performances, whether in film, on TV or as a presenter.






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Creating dynamic on-screen characters requires a range of skills, including voice, movement and characterization. In this program, students will receive a crash course in on-camera acting; participants will explore performance techniques, master on-camera auditions and learn how to improvise and work with scene partners.  

This program features four 4-week modules (16 live classes total):

Module 1:


Explore how on-camera performers can use their voice, body and movements to create compelling characters that jump off the screen.

Module 2:


Study specific audition techniques and develop your audition confidence to give you the best chance to book the art.

Module 3:


Dive into the intricacies of dramatic scenes from film and television, exploring relationships, dynamics, conflict and resolution in both drama and comedy.

Module 4:


Develop your ability to think on your feet as a performer and learn specific techniques for improvisation for film and video productions.


Module 1: Speaking the Text

Learn useful skills for performing on-camera, including using voice, body, emotion and intention to create compelling characters in drama and comedy.

  1. Week 1 Class (2 Hours)
  2. Week 2 Class (2 Hours)
  3. Week 3 Class (2 Hours)
  4. Week 4 Class (2 Hours)

Module 2: Public Speaking

This module explores the skills and techniques required to deliver impactful auditions that will help you to book the job.

  1. Week 5 Class (2 Hours) 
  2. Week 6 Class (2 Hours)
  3. Week 7 Class (2 Hours)
  4. Week 8 Class (2 Hours)

Module 3: Developing Your Speaking Voice

During this module, students work with scene partners to explore relationships, emotion and collaborate on a scene.

  1. Week 9 Class (2 Hours)
  2. Week 10 Class (2 Hours)
  3. Week 11 Class (2 Hours)
  4. Week 12 Class (2 Hours)

Module 4: Improvisation

Develop your ability to improv and perform without a script and learn how you can be a successful improviser as a presenter or on-set.

  1. Week 13 Class (2 Hours)
  2. Week 14 Class (2 Hours)
  3. Week 15 Class (2 Hours)
  4. Week 16 Class (2 Hours)


Rob Clare - Shakespeare Specialist


Shakespeare Specialist |

Rob Clare is an internationally recognized specialist, who has taught or directed Shakespeare in Ireland, India, Austria, Germany, Australia, China and the US. His freelance work includes coaching the core acting ensembles of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Britain’s leading repertory company, the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. In the US, he has been visiting faculty at UCLA, The Juilliard School, Yale, USC Los Angeles, CSU Long Beach, CSU Los Angeles, and NYC Tisch (both graduate and undergraduate acting).


Do I Earn A Certificate Through The USC School Of Dramatic Arts?

Yes, this course is taught by instructors from the USC School of Dramatic Arts. Your certificate will be sent through USC School of Dramatic Arts with your name and the name of the certificate completed. Fight On! (The Trojan Motto).

Who Will I Be Working With?

Your primary instructor is listed in the “Instructor section” above.

How Many Classes Does It Take To Complete The Certificate?

Great question! To earn this certificate, you must complete four 4-week courses. View the “Curriculum tab” to see details about weekly assignments and class topics.

How Long Does The Program Take To Complete?

This program takes 16 weeks to complete, so you can earn the certificate in one semester.

How Often Do The Class Sessions Meet?

Once A Week. Students Meet Once A Week For 4 Weeks. Each Class Session Is 2 Hours In Length. The Date And Time For Each Course Will Be Reflected On The Course Details Page.

Are Class Sessions Online? Are They Live Or Pre-Recorded?

This program includes weekly live class sessions. Students have access to recorded lectures after the class period, as well.

What If I Miss A Class, Or Want To Review The Class?

No problem. You will be able to access all recorded sessions at your convenience. You’ll see this recording once you login and access ‘My Dashboard’ after the class has ended for the day.

What If I Miss The Start Date Of A Class? How Often Are The Courses Offered?

Each course will be offered on a rolling four-week cycle. So you need only wait until the next month.

How Do I Pay? Can I Pay In Parts?

Payment is required prior to the start of the first day of class. To enroll and pay for a class, select the “Register” button on the course details page; then follow steps to complete payment.