Master of Fine Arts Screenwriting

Learn your craft from award-winning screenwriting faculty who not only have decades of experience as professional film and TV writers in Hollywood, but are also as passionate about storytelling as you are.

Find your voice in a unique, multicultural university setting as you write short and feature-length screenplays, original TV pilots and episodes, and web series.

Make your mark producing your own content at the one of the largest studio facilities in North America, then open the door to a career in Hollywood through the School of Cinematic Arts' renowned L.A. Quarter program.



Writers train at The Second City and the School of Cinematic Arts to hone their comedic identity by creating a vetted writing portfolio and producing a web series or short film.


Writers develop professional screenwriting craft and a clear authorial voice, while generating a strong portfolio of television and feature scripts across the industry’s most successful genres.


Allison Gilbert (MFA '15)

After moving to LA and completing her MFA in Screenwriting, Allison Gilbert found work on several television series including Mike & Molly, The Great Indoors and FAM, where she received her first writer credit. Most recently, Allison served as the script coordinator for the network television shows Kenan and Carol’s Second Act.

"In addition to learning the craft of screenwriting, DePaul’s MFA Screenwriting program gifted me with an incredibly supportive group of friends and colleagues. The program also instilled in me the work ethic and determination necessary to keep moving up within the industry."

George Ghanem

George Ghanem (MFA '15)

After twice placing in the Academy Nicholl Fellowships, George Ghanem has earned work as a script rewriter with Brillstein Entertainment, written editorial pieces for Flaunt magazine, and has worked on multiple TV pilots and series, including Superior Donuts, The Great Indoors, 9JKL, and This Is Us. He is currently a staff writer for Netflix’s The Recruit. George is in development of a television series with Mike & Molly's Billy Gardell, who is attached to star.

"The notion that 'writing is rewriting' is a difficult one to embrace. But if it weren't for the supportive group of likeminded people in DePaul's MFA in Screenwriting program, I wouldn't have taken the creative risks necessary to be where I am today."

SCA Alumni
  • Anna Hozian

    Anna’s scripts have been chosen for Meryl Streep’s New York Women in Film and Television Writer’s Lab, placed in the semifinals and quarterfinals of the Academy’s Nicholl Fellowship, and won Gold in the Page International Screenwriting Awards.

  • Christopher Parrish

    Chris is a screenwriter whose television credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, The King of Queens, and American Dragon: Jake Long. His feature film, Thrill Ride, was released nationally in 2017.

  • Scott Myers

    Scott has written over thirty movie and TV projects, including K-9 (Universal), Alaska (Sony/Castle Rock), and Trojan War (Warner Brothers). He currently hosts, the official screenwriting blog of The Black List.

Inside Screenwriting

Courier 12  

Courier 12

The annual Courier 12 Screenwriting Conference, part of our Visiting Artists Series, is hosted at our downtown Chicago campus and features a series of panel discussions focused on writing for film and television with some of the top talent in the industry.

The Second City wall of fame alumni headshots 

Comedy Concentration

In collaboration with The Second City, we offer a concentration in Comedy as part of the MFA in Screenwriting. This is the first and only terminal degree of its kind in the country.


Premiere Film Festival

Our annual Premiere Film Festival showcases the best of student work in cinema and animation with awards covering all facets of filmmaking, from screenwriting to post production. Jury members include industry insiders, festival programmers, and filmmakers from around the country.


DePaul Cinespace Studios

We have a one-of-a-kind, 32,000 square foot professional production facility and cinematic learning environment formed in alliance with Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. Students learn filmmaking craft and technique steps away from high-profile network productions filming on the Cinespace lot.


LA Quarter

This ten-week immersion program allows students to experience the inner workings of Hollywood first hand as they live in Los Angeles, take classes on a historic studio lot, and intern at high profile companies aligning with their professional aspirations.

female student looking up from hera laptop smiling  

MFA Assistantships and Scholarships

Degree-seeking MFA students can apply for an assistantship or production grant. Assistantships include tuition for up to two courses per quarter and a small stipend. CDM also awards scholarships to continuing students each year.

Application Deadlines

Enrollment QuarterDomestic Student DeadlineInternational Student Deadline
Fall (Priority Deadline)December 15
December 15
Fall (Final Deadline)May 15May 15

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 your program specific requirements, visit our Graduate Admission page.

Admission Requirements - Comedy & Standard Concentration

Contact Graduate Admission

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Ask a Student Ambassador

Mario Valdivieso
MFA in Screenwriting