Graduate Bulletin

Spring 2018

Admission to the MFA Program in Film

This MFA program in Film is intensive and admission to it is highly selective. Upon review, finalists are invited for an interview. For admission, the following, in addition to the minimum Graduate School requirements, are normally required:

  1. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university.
  1. Undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.0.
  1. Three letters of recommendation.
  1. A current résumé
  1. A statement of purpose. Describe in a page or two why you are interested in this opportunity, how you would benefit, and what makes you a particularly deserving candidate.

6.Your specialization: Screenwriter/TV Writer/Director/Producer/Documentarian

  1. Videos.(Urls for all video links may be uploaded in the Qualifications sections)
  2. All candidates:The Video Pitch. This is one of the more important elements to your application. You have probably seen people pitching for donations on a crowdsourcing site. In this case, you can pitch to us anything you want:  yourself as a candidate, a project you want to work on, or something else that is exciting to you. The video pitch should be creative, polished, inventive. We want you to win us over here! SUGGESTED LENGTH: 3 MINUTES
  3. Directing candidates only (not required for Screenwriting, TV Writing, or Producing candidates):Please include a link (or links) to up to 4 video samples of work to which you made a significant contribution. Be clear about what role you played: producer, writer, director, editor, production designer, cinematographer, etc. You may submit links for more than one piece but the total running time should not exceed 15 minutes. If you submit an excerpt, please describe the full work. Unless you are applying as a cinematographer or production designer, the entirety of your video sample should not be in the format of a professional reel but should also show us the substance of your work. (A reel might accompany another sample). In lieu of video, you may submit up to ten photographs, design samples, or photographs of your artwork.
  4. Written materials: (All written materials may be uploaded in the Additional Supplemental Materials section)

Your written material should include:

  1. All Candidates:The Scene.Write a short, 2-3-page scene inspired by and using one of these words that have no English language translation. We prefer a scene with two characters where one character wants something from the other.
    • Glas wen (Welsh) 
      A smile that is insincere or mocking. Literally, a blue smile.
    • Yuputka (Ulwa)
      The phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.
    • Iktsuarpok (Inuit)
      You know that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet? This is the word for it.
  2. All Candidates:The Logline. Write an extended log line or a paragraph describing a project you’d like to realize with us.
  3. Screenwriting, TV Writing, and Directing Candidates: The Writing Sample. Please include a writing sample of up to 10 pages. This can be a complete short film, web episode, play, short story, or an excerpt of a feature screenplay, a TV Script, a webisode, a sketch or series of sketches.  If you choose to submit an excerpt, please include a few lines describing the full work. 
  4. Producing Candidates: The Writing Sample.Please include a writing sample of up to 10 pages, including, critiques, production program notes, and/or literary criticism of a chosen screenplay, excerpts of a film or screenplay you have written, acquired or produced; or a brief statement describing your view of the role of Producing in today’s platform agnostic film industry.

9.Proficiencies. Directing Candidates Only

Please include a list of technical proficiencies in:  camera, lighting, editing, and any related skills.

  1. Acceptance by both the MFA in Film program and the Graduate School.

Any deficiencies in these or the Graduate School admission requirements shall not automatically bar admission, but it is understood that inadequacies in undergraduate preparation normally will require the student to take additional work, the amount to be determined by the appropriate graduate advisory committee. Additional work may not be used to fulfill MFA degree requirements.


Applicants to the Master of Fine Arts program must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university and, except in special circumstances, have earned a cumulative grade point average of at least 3.0 on a 4-point scale. It’s fine to have an undergraduate degree in an area outside of the arts and humanities. A candidate with outstanding promise in film but a less-than-stellar academic transcript may be admitted on a conditional basis.

Transfer Credit

The program permits the transfer of up to 12 hours of credit in suitable graduate work done elsewhere that resulted in a grade of B or better. To obtain transfer credit, the student must make special application to the program, submit official transcripts and provide course descriptions or syllabi. Transfer credits are only approved at the discretion of the academic department and the Graduate School. Courses older than five years will be accepted only in rare circumstances. No courses that have been credited toward another degree, such as an MA or an MFA in a different field, can be transferred. Transfer credit request forms are available on the Graduate School website.