​​​​​​Master of Fine Arts




The Master of Fine Arts is a highly selective two-year program designed to cultivate the writer's voice through a demanding curriculum focused on the craft of screenwriting that culminates in a comprehensive film and television portfolio of original work. Additionally, writers are educated on the business side of the entertainment industry and are guided through the process of moving from student to professional writer.  

All of the MFA Screenwriting: Writing for Film and Television courses are offered in the evenings to allow working professionals to be able to attend graduate school full-time while still maintaining their current careers. The curriculum is designed to be completed in twenty-one months, but it can also be done at a slower pace for those who are interesting in participating part-time.  MFA students have opportunites to defray the cost of earning their degrees, through employment within the school itself, Graduate Assistantships that offer course credit and a stipend, and competative grants for producing thesis films.


In 2013, The Hollywood Reporter ranked DePaul's School of Cinema and Interactive Media one of the top 25 best film schools in the country.

In 2014, MovieMaker Magazine ranked Chicago as the #1 "Big City" to work in as a filmmaker.


PAGE ONE Writers's Conference

CDM's School of Cinema and Interactive Media hosts the Page One Writer's Conference, an annual event that brings in a panel of professional screenwriters from different backgrounds – live comedy, multimedia, television, film and others – to share their perspective, experience and advice. Students and alumni of the MFA Screenwriting Program receive VIP access to workshops, seating and the filmmakers' lounge where they have time to talk one-on-one with visiting guests.

First Look Screenwriting Contest

The First Look Screenwriting Contest is designed to advocate the distinct creative voices of the programs preeminent screenwriters.  Emphasis is placed on uncovering well-crafted stories that are unapologetic about their commercial and/or innovative leanings.  Contest honorees will work directly with screenwriting professors to prepare their scripts for submission to a select group of production companies, managers, and agents for potential acquisition or representation.  The annual contest accepts submissions during the Winter Quarter.

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Visiting Artists Series

Admission Process

The Graduate Admission process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts, and any additional information, e.g. letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.

Please visit our Graduate Admissions page for more information.

The Script List

Upon graduation, your contact information as well as the titles and loglines of all of your projects will be put into a book that will be sent to hundreds of agents and managers in order to help your work get into the hands of those who can buy it and get it made. Additionally, each spring after you graduate, we will check in to see what you have written so that we can include your most recent scripts in the alumni section of the book; we will continue to promote you and your work in this way for as long as you continue to write!

LA Quarter

LA Quarter Want to uncover the secret to breaking into the film and television industry? Find out by participating in DePaul's LA Quarter. This ten-week immersion program enables you to live in Los Angeles, take classes on a historic studio lot, and intern at high-profile companies that align with your professional goals.

script database

DePaul maintains a database of screenplays submitted by past and present students of the cinema program. Writers submit their short, feature length, TV pilot and web series scripts. Production students use this database to locate scripts as well as to find writers with whom they wish to collaborate.  Writers maintain rights to their projects at all times with training in contracting formal option and purchase agreements.

Faculty Perspectives

Screenwriting faculty

All of the faculty teaching in the Cinema program are working writers, directors, and producers with credits that include: ​Curb Your Enthusiasm, Saturday Night Live, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Wild Things, The Promotion, Buffalo '66, Spun, King of Queens, ​and the American Pie franchise--among their many other produced film and television projects and screenplay/pilot sales. Our production faculty continue to screen new films in prominent festivals throughout the world each year.

Production Resources


Project Bluelight

Premiere Film Festival

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Top student work featured at Premiere Film Festival Learn more and SUBMIT to Premiere 10

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