Film School MFA Acceptance Rates, Minimum GPAs, Decision Dates, and more... (UPDATED with 2020 stats)

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People often ask "What is the minimum GPA for USC film school?" Or "What is the acceptance rate of NYU film school?"

The problem is that Film Schools are often very tight lipped and secret about their acceptance rates and the minimum GPAs that they accept. However thanks to the over 2,600 applications (and counting) in the Application Tracker, we are able to get a pretty good idea of what these numbers might be. For example using this data we can see the lowest reported Minimum GPA for USC Directing is 2.4. The data also shows us that the USC acceptance rate for Writing for Screen and TV is 26% (39 out of 159 applications), that the NYU acceptance rate is 19% (43 out of 222 applications) and the Columbia Acceptance Rate for Directing and Screenwriting is 26% (58 out of 223 applications). What's the lowest reported Minimum GPA for AFI Screenwriting you ask? Well it's 1.37!

The Application Tracker additionally has portfolio information for applications and much much more. Check it out. Also, and this is important, if you have applied or are applying to a film school please add your own application data to the database to help your fellow and future applicants.

But without further ado, onto the a summary of the data...

Below is the information tabulated from the 2015-2020 application seasons. If a school had less than 5 applications added to the database it was not included.

AFI - Cinematography
  • FilmSchool.org AFI Acceptance Rate: 55% (16 out of 29 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.9
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 1
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 1
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 13
AFI - Directing
  • FilmSchool.org AFI Acceptance Rate: 26% (22 out of 83 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 18
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 31
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 3
AFI - Editing
  • FilmSchool.org AFI Acceptance Rate: 80% (8 out of 10 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.4
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 17
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 3
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 13
AFI - Producing
  • FilmSchool.org AFI Acceptance Rate: 68% (22 out of 32 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.31
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 17
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 27
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 15
AFI - Screenwriting
  • FilmSchool.org AFI Acceptance Rate: 53% (38 out of 71 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 1.37
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 15
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 28
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 13
Art Center - Graduate Film
  • FilmSchool.org Art Center Acceptance Rate: 82% (14 out of 17 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: March 20
  • Earliest Interview Date: March 23
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 16
BU - Cinema and Media Production
  • FilmSchool.org BU Acceptance Rate: 45% (5 out of 11 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: Not Reported
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Interview Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 29
BU - Screenwriting
  • FilmSchool.org BU Acceptance Rate: 66.66% (18 out of 27 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Interview Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 1
CalArts - Directing/Film Production
  • FilmSchool.org CalArts Acceptance Rate: 48% (24 out of 50 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.55
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 3
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 22
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 4
CalArts - Film/Video
  • FilmSchool.org CalArts Acceptance Rate: 18% (2 out of 11 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: Not Reported
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 3
  • Earliest Interview Date: March 6
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 4
Chapman - Cinematography
  • FilmSchool.org Chapman Acceptance Rate: 82% (18 out of 22 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: March 18
  • Earliest Interview Date: March 20
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 14
Chapman - Directing
  • FilmSchool.org Chapman Acceptance Rate: 44% (25 out of 47 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.05
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 15
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 8
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 27
Chapman - Editing
  • FilmSchool.org Chapman Acceptance Rate: 79% (15 out of 19 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: March 28
  • Earliest Interview Date: March 1
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 1
Chapman - Producing
  • FilmSchool.org Chapman Acceptance Rate: 71% (29 out of 41 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.9
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: December 14
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 3
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 11
Chapman - Screenwriting
  • FilmSchool.org Chapman Acceptance Rate: 85% (40 out of 47 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.4
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Interview Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 7
Chapman - TV Writing & Producing
  • FilmSchool.org Chapman Acceptance Rate: 50% (11 out of 22 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.4
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 28
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 4
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 26
Columbia - Creative Producing
  • FilmSchool.org Columbia Acceptance Rate: 65% (51 out of 79 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.13
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 16
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 1
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 9
Columbia - Directing/Screenwriting
  • FilmSchool.org Columbia Acceptance Rate: 26% (58 out of 223 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 5
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 20
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 21
Columbia College Chicago - Directing
  • FilmSchool.org Columbia College Chicago Acceptance Rate: 73% (16 out of 22 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.82
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 7
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 10
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 18
CUNY/Feirstein - Directing
  • FilmSchool.org CUNY/Feirstein Acceptance Rate: 40% (6 out of 15 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.5
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 13
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 16
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 16
Emerson - Film and Media Art
  • FilmSchool.org Emerson Acceptance Rate: 65% (20 out of 31 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.15
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: March 9
  • Earliest Interview Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 24
FSU - MFA Production
  • FilmSchool.org FSU Acceptance Rate: 51% (23 out of 45 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 26
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 18
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 24
LMU - Writing for the Screen M.F.A.
  • FilmSchool.org LMU Acceptance Rate: 59% (22 out of 37 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.1
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 6
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 4
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 1
LMU - Film and Television Production
  • FilmSchool.org LMU Acceptance Rate: 64% (54 out of 85 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.15
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 11
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 28
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 1
LMU - Writing and Producing for Television
  • FilmSchool.org LMU Acceptance Rate: 86% (21 out of 24 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.43
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 31
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 18
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 2
Northwestern - Writing for Screen and Stage
  • FilmSchool.org Northwestern Acceptance Rate: 36% (6 out of 19 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.9
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 13
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 24
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 9
NYU - Graduate Film
  • FilmSchool.org NYU Acceptance Rate: 19% (43 out of 222 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.2
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 8
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 22
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 24
NYU - Dramatic Writing
  • FilmSchool.org NYU Acceptance Rate: 35% (29 out of 82 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.1
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 22
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 23
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 4
NYU - Producing Program (Dual MBA/MFA)
  • FilmSchool.org NYU Acceptance Rate: 33% (5 out of 15 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.7
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 30
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 17
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 18
SAIC - Film Media Animation
  • FilmSchool.org SAIC Acceptance Rate: 55% (5 out of 9 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.54
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 25
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 17
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 21
SFSU - Graduate Film
  • FilmSchool.org SFSU Acceptance Rate: 66% (8 out of 12 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.5
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: March 12
  • Earliest Interview Date: March 15
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 21
Syracuse - Film
  • FilmSchool.org Syracuse Acceptance Rate: 39% (9 out of 23 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.33
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 9
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 13
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 18
UMiami - Graduate Film
  • FilmSchool.org UMiami Acceptance Rate: 88% (8 out of 9 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.3
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Interview Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 6
UCLA - Cinematography
  • FilmSchool.org UCLA Acceptance Rate: 36% (4 out of 11 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.15
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 11
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 14
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 18
UCLA - Directing/Film Production
  • FilmSchool.org UCLA Acceptance Rate: 24% (28 out of 116 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.27
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 30
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 20
  • Earliest Decision Date: March 5
UCLA - Producers Program
  • FilmSchool.org UCLA Acceptance Rate: 29% (13 out of 45 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.05
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 23
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 5
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 25
UCLA - Screenwriting
  • FilmSchool.org UCLA Acceptance Rate: 36% (48 out of 134 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.8
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 15
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 28
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 17
USC - Directing/Film Production
  • FilmSchool.org USC Acceptance Rate: 32% (73 out of 230 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.4
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 3
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 6
  • Earliest Decision Date: January 25
USC - Peter Stark Producing Program
  • FilmSchool.org USC Acceptance Rate: 26% (27 out of 103 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.39
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: January 11
  • Earliest Interview Date: January 19
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 16
USC - Writing for Screen and TV
  • FilmSchool.org USC Acceptance Rate: 26% (39 out of 159 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.9
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: February 23
  • Earliest Interview Date: February 25
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 20
UT Austin - Directing
  • FilmSchool.org UT Austin Acceptance Rate: 54% (20 out of 37 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 2.82
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Interview Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Decision Date: January 23
UT Austin - Screenwriting
  • FilmSchool.org UT Austin Acceptance Rate: 33% (8 out of 25 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.7
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Interview Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Decision Date: January 25
UT Austin - Michener - Screenwriting
  • FilmSchool.org UT Austin Acceptance Rate: 25% (2 out of 8 applications)
  • Lowest Reported Minimum GPA: 3.576
  • Earliest Interview Notification Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Interview Date: Not Reported
  • Earliest Decision Date: February 6
To see all 2,600+ applications worth of data, use the Application Tracker.

If you like this article please let me know and comment below and I'll continue to update it with more info.

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About author
Chris W
Owner of FilmSchool.org and working as a Film & TV editor and producer in Los Angeles since 2001. Boston University College of Communication Class of 1999 for film (BS).

Comments

As nice as this is to have, little of this has statistical relevance, because of bias (survival bias of those who report), the fact that lowest reported GPA doesn't indicate the pool size, inherent biases in the pool (those who are on filmschool.org vs. those who apply), and the small pool size.

It's a great idea though- what would be more useful to applicants would be school-reported averages for incoming classes like many other STEM and business programs.

Useful stats to gather, if the schools are amenable, or release the info already might be:
GPA
Average GRE
Average age
Breakdown of what undergrad programs (schools and degrees) grad school students come from
Gender
Region
 
Agreed... but since schools don't report this info this is as close as we can get so far. Hopefully as people use the Application Tracker more information can be gleamed from the data.
 
I have a question: is the minimum reported GPA coming from everyone who applied or just from those who were accepted?
 
I have a question: is the minimum reported GPA coming from everyone who applied or just from those who were accepted?
It's the minimum reported accepted GPA... So out of all who were accepted it is the lowest GPA that was reported.
 
I wonder if it might be useful to add percentages of acceptance to each program after an applicant has interviewed? I.e a rough estimation of how many people interview and how many of those make it past the interview stage to acceptance.
 
We broke the 2,000 application barrier so I updated the article to reflect that. :)
 
I wonder if there is value in having "Latest" categories like "Latest Interview Notification" and "Latest Decision Date?"
 
Thanks Chris! I'm new to the site, so thank you for pointing me there. I have seen a few interview notifications for AFI in February, but I haven't combed through all the years yet to see the variance. I'll give it a shot.
 
Thanks Chris! I'm new to the site, so thank you for pointing me there. I have seen a few interview notifications for AFI in February, but I haven't combed through all the years yet to see the variance. I'll give it a shot.
Welcome to the site! I'm glad you like it. Yeah the sorting feature is sightly hidden. We're actually working on a "how to" guide for the application database soon to help people out. :)
 
At an information session last fall the young woman from admissions said they get around 400-plus applications each year for the MFA screenwriting program and they admit 32 students. Use that info in any way that is helpful!
 
At an information session last fall the young woman from admissions said they get around 400-plus applications each year for the MFA screenwriting program and they admit 32 students. Use that info in any way that is helpful!
For which school? I can add it to the schools page.
 

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