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.

Daniel Friedland

Daniel Friedland (MFA '24)

If the potter’s medium is clay and the painter’s is paint, then Daniel Friedland’s medium is weird shit. After graduating DePaul’s undergraduate English program with an award in Outstanding Academic Achievement, Daniel took a year off from academia and became incredibly, soul-crushingly bored, resulting in their return to DePaul where they currently study screenwriting. As a feature writer, Daniel is interested in existentialist themes centered around gender, death, and purpose through a satirical, tongue-in-cheek lens. Daniel keeps their finger on the pulse of the ever-changing landscape of America and all its glorious absurdity, something that finds its way into their other creative endeavors as a composer, songwriter, and habitual ranter. Inspired by the likes of greats such as Wong Kar-Wai, John Schlesinger, and Gregg Araki, Daniel’s sarcastic, over-the-top hyperrealities are always counterbalanced with soft-spoken, poetic truths, seeking to blend the emotional world with the rational and physical.

Class of ’24
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

CDM boasts a one-of-a-kind, nearly 60,000-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

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Colleen Ochab
MFA in Screenwriting