Master of Fine Arts 2015-2016


Course Legend

Curriculum Requirements

No course labeled as Introductory in any other program may be substituted for any other course at any level.

Students who wish to complete this degree on a part-time basis should contact the program coordinator or advisor to create a customized three or four year course plan.

First Year
Fall Quarter
DC 429
DC 501
DC 502
Winter Quarter
DC 400
DC 402
DC 503
Spring Quarter
DC 403
DC 406
OR DC 407
Second Year
Fall Quarter
DC 404
OR DC 432
DC 506
OR DC 508
Choose 1 of the following courses:
DC 402
DC 405
DC 428
DC 441
DC 442
DC 483
Winter Quarter
DC 507
​OR DC 509
Choose 2​ of the following courses:
DC 403
DC 405
DC 406
DC 407
DC 408
DC 443
DC 444
Spring Quarter
DC 505*
1 ​400-level or above ​ ​ DC​ course​*
*See information about Optional Los Angeles quarter below.
Optional Los Angeles Quarter
Students may apply to participate in the Los Angeles Quarter Program for the spring of their second year; they will spend twelve weeks in Hollywood doing industry internships, living with their fellow DePaul classmates, and having twice-weekly classes on an industry lot where they will have intimate question and answer sessions with industry professionals in all aspects of the film, TV, and videogame world. If selected to participate in the LA program, MFA Screenwriting students would take DC 505 and DC 499 in Los Angeles​​.
MFA Thesis
Students in the MFA in Screenwriting program must complete a MFA Thesis project which consists of either a feature length screenplay or an original television pilot plus a "show bible" and outlines for six future episodes. We expect the thesis projects to be at a level of quality that would warrant representation by literary agents and managers. Satisfactory completion of the MFA Thesis project is determined by the MFA Advisor Committee (see below).

Student's MFA Advisor Committee
Prior to beginning their second year, all MFA candidates will be assigned two thesis committee members plus their thesis instructor; these three faculty members will be the MFA Advisor Committee. This committee will conduct a portfolio review prior to the beginning of the second year to ensure the student is making proper progress towards his or her degree. The MFA Advisor Committee will offer suggestions and feedback on the student's work and help guide the student during the thesis phase of the program. They will ultimately judge the final thesis project as pass or fail.

MFA Thesis Timeline: Year Two
MFA in Screenwriting students are required to pitch their thesis ideas and decide upon a project by the second week of the fall quarter. The first draft of the thesis must be completed by December 15. The writers will get notes from their committee on their draft by Monday of Week 2 of the winter quarter. The final draft of the thesis script will be turned into the committee on the last day of final exams for the winter quarter. The committees will meet on Friday of Week 2 of spring quarter to evaluate thesis projects as well as determine which projects will receive the designation of "distinction". The committee will notify each student as to whether they received a pass or fail decision. If a student passes, they just must then complete their coursework in order to graduate. If a student does not pass, the writer must resubmit his or her thesis by Friday of week 8 of spring quarter. (Students may re-submit earlier if they feel they are ready.) The re-defense will take place no later than Friday of week 10 of the spring quarter. If the student passes, they can move on to graduation assuming all courses are complete. If the student has a second non-pass, the student must enroll in DC 701 (a zero credit hour and zero cost class) to keep enrolled as a student for the summer session after their completion of year two coursework. Students will have the summer to perform a final rewrite on the project. The script will be due by the final day of Summer I. The defense must be scheduled to take place with the committee before the end of the Summer II session. If the student passes, he or she may apply for the next round of graduation. If the student does not pass, he or she can talk to advising about applying their course credit hours to an M.S. Cinema Production​ degree, if interested.

Degree Requirements

Students in this degree program must meet the following requirements:
  • Complete a minimum of 64 graduate credit hours in the designated degree program.
  • Complete all graduate courses and requirements listed in the designated degree program.
  • Earn a grade of C- or better in all graduate courses of the designated degree program.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Satisfactorily complete the MFA thesis as determined by the student's MFA Advisor Committee.
  • Students cannot count credit earned towards a previously awarded master's or MFA degree toward the completion of this MFA program.

For DePaul's policy on repeat graduate courses and a complete list of academic policies see the DePaul Graduate Handbook in the Course Catalog.