To apply to compete in the Miss Universe competition, applicants should fill out the applications through their state's Miss USA pageants. In order to compete in the Miss Universe pageant, contestants must first win a state pageant and then win the Miss USA pageant.
Applicants for state Miss USA pageants are not considered if they do not fulfill certain criteria. They must be between 18 and 27 years old in the year they wish to compete, they may not be married and they may not have children. There are no height or weight requirements, but judges usually award higher points to contestants who are physically fit. Applicants can enter state pageants if they have already competed in a previous year; however, they may not compete twice in the same year.
If they are chosen to compete in a state pageant, contestants must complete interview, swimsuit and evening gown components of the competition. There is no talent competition. Judges will base their decisions on each of the three categories. They tend to favor competitors that show off their personality, poise and confidence.
Winners of state pageants go on to compete in the Miss USA pageant. Like the state pageants, Miss USA contestants are judged in swimsuit, evening gown and interview categories. Only the winner of the Miss USA pageant may compete in the Miss Universe pageant.