Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting

Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Screenwriting is a terminal degree in writing for film and television. The program provides aspiring writers with a demanding curriculum designed to cultivate their talents and provide them with the skills necessary to become successful members of the film and television industry.

  • Feature Writers will graduate with a minimum of three feature length screenplays, one television spec episode, and one television pilot for their portfolios.
  • Television Writers will graduate with a minimum of two feature length screenplays, one television spec episode, one television pilot, plus one additional television pilot with a show bible and additional episode.
  • Upon graduation, titles and loglines for the student's entire portfolio (as well as the student's contact information) will be included in our annual Script List, a booklet that is sent to hundreds of Hollywood agents and managers, in an effort to help writers gain representation. After graduation, students will continue to be able to include their new projects in this booklet so that their new projects are introduced to the marketplace.
  • Students also have the opportunity to participate in the "LA Quarter" where they can do an industry internship in Los Angeles for twelve weeks.
  • Students also get to attend the School of Cinematic Art's annual Courier 12 screenwriting conference. (For more information visit the conference Facebook page.)

MFA Application Process for Fall 2019

Priority Deadline: December 15
Applications and all supporting materials must be received by December 15 for the Priority Application Deadline and scholarship consideration.

Applicants will be notified of their admission status no later than February 1.

Final Deadline: June 15
Applicants will be admitted as space is available. Students will be notified of their admission status one month of their completed application being received.

The steps in applying for the MFA are as follows:

  • Complete an online application.
  • Submit official transcripts from all colleges or universities attended that show the successful completion of a regionally accredited bachelor's degree with at least a 2.5 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale).
    • U.S. college and university transcripts should be mailed to the address below
    • DePaul alumni/undergraduate students applying for graduate admission must also submit a DePaul transcript. Request a free electronic transcript.
    • Individuals with international transcripts need to have a course by course transcript evaluated by one of the three evaluation companies that DePaul University accepts. Please visit the Transcript Evaluation page for more information.
  • Submit a statement of creative intent that will give the committee a sense of how your unique experiences, characteristics, background, values and/or view of the world have shaped who you are and what you want to say as a creative filmmaker. Be specific, vivid and focused. There is no standard format.
  • Submit a minimum of 2 letters of recommendation; student may submit more if they wish.
  • Submit a writing sample.
    • any combination of plays, screenplays, poetry, prose, or other creative writings
    • maximum of 30 pages.
  • Submit a sample scene.
    • use the scenario of two strangers trapped in a car together on the 4th of July
    • maximum of 3 pages

Statement of creative intent and portfolio must be submitted within the online application.

Letters of recommendation should be sent via mail or email to:

CDM Office of Graduate Admission
243 S. Wabash Avenue
Chicago, IL 60604

All submitted application materials (including portfolio) will become part of your application file and cannot be returned. Please retain your own copy.

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CDM Graduate Admission Office
14 E. Jackson (Daley)
Suite 100
Chicago, IL 60604

Monday - Thursday
9:00am - 6:00pm
9:00am - 5:00pm

(312) 362-8714