Master of Fine Arts



Film School for the Digital Age


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.

Faculty View All

  • Christopher ParrishChristopher Parrish

    Credits include: Curb your Enthusiasm, King of Queens, Disney Channel, Sony Television

  • Brad RiddellBrad Riddell

    Credits include: "Crooked Arrows", "American Pie: Band Camp"

  • Matt QuinnMatt Quinn

    Worked at DreamWorks, Red Hour Films, DreamWorks Animation

Admission Process

The graduate application process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts and submitting any supplemental material (e.g., letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.). To learn more about the process, visit our Graduate Admission page for more information.

Learn more about Admission Requirements

Contact Graduate Admission

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Cinespace Alliance Learn More

cinespace chicago

CDM’s 20,000 square foot production facility housed between network television shows and Hollywood motion picture stages. Watch ABC7 News: Cinespace got Hollywood's Attention

Visiting Artists Series learn more


Watch, listen and learn from from film, TV, animation and gaming in an intimate theatre or master class.

LA Quarter Learn More

LA Quarter

CDM’s 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.

Project Bluelight Learn More


Learn from industry professionals on the set of Project Bluelight.

Premiere Film Festival Learn More


SCA´s best student films screen annually at the historic Music Box Theatre.

Production Resources Learn More

The Production Office is the primary resource for all production needs related to producing a film.

PAGE ONE Writer's

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

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.

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!

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.

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