The Advanced Study program is an application-only set of classes designed for students who have completed the core curriculum and are ready to make a professional level of commitment to improv or sketch comedy, and are ready to perform at an advanced level.

Students must apply to Advanced Study Improv and Advanced Study Writing separately.

Applying to the Advanced Study Program

Students will receive an email after Improv 401 or Sketch 301, confirming that they've completed the core improv or sketch program. After receiving that email, the students can apply to the Advanced Study Program. 

To apply, send an email to [email protected] The subject line should be "Advanced Improv Application" or "Advanced Sketch Application." 

Subject: Advanced Improv Application (or "Advanced Sketch Application")
1. Why do you wish to take classes in the Advanced Study Program?
2. What experience do you have in improv or sketch outside of your UCBTC classes? Please be specific.
EX: If you are in a performance group: tell us its name, how often it rehearses, who coaches/directs it and how often / where you perform and how long you've been in that group. If you are in a practice group: say how often do you meet, who your regular coach is, and for how long have you been doing that.
It's okay if you DON'T have this experience but if you do we want to let it boost your chances.

Generally, a one or two paragraph long answer per question is sufficient, but whatever length you need to answer each question is fine. If we accept your application, you’re allowed to register for Advanced Study courses. Otherwise, you will be directed to re-take an Improv 401 or a Sketch 301. Once approved, you are in the Advanced program and don't need to re-apply in the future.

How Do You Decide Who Gets Into Advanced Study?

After you finish Improv 401 or Sketch 301, your teacher makes a recommendation of who is ready for Advanced classes. When you apply, the Academic Supervisor (Johnny Meeks in LA, or Kevin Hines in NYC) reads your essays, looks at what other classes you have taken, looks up the Improv 401/Sketch 301 teacher's recommendation and makes a decision. If the 401 you are completing was taught by Kevin Hines, then School Manager Erik Tanouye will read the essays and make a decision.
The biggest factor is the recommendation from the most recent teacher, though sometimes the Academic Supervisor will overturn that recommendation based on the past experience of the student or something cited in the essays. For example, perhaps you have done a lot of work in independent groups, or studied at other theaters; In that case, the Supervisor may contact the recent teacher and see if that information changes the recommendation. The Supervisor almost never argues to UN-recommend someone. This step almost exclusively happens in the student's favor.

We introduced the essays in 2010 because we wanted the advanced classes to be for people passionate about improv and sketch. We thought it was important that we wait to see which students would take the time to write an application. That said, we do not mean for this application to be difficult. The act of applying and answering a few questions is enough for us to know that you care about our program. Also, it gives you a chance to make a case if you feel there is something in your attitude or experience that was not appreciated in class.

We set a high standard for who gets into Advanced, which means even smart talented people will sometimes not be approved. It is not our intention to be disrespectful to anyone, especially students who have invested time, money and passion into our program. But we believe that a top comedy school should have an advanced program with demanding standards. If you have a suggestion of something we can do to improve this process while still keeping a high standard, please let the Associate Academic Supervisor know your thoughts: Kevin Hines ([email protected])

How to register for an Advanced Study Course

Once you have been approved for the Advanced Study program, you can register for Advanced Study Courses. Classes are labeled "Application Only" -- but this is just so the registrar can verify that you were approved to be in the Advanced Study Program. Students are either selected randomly or by the teacher. If you have any other questions contact the registrar at [email protected]