Loyola Marymount University: How to Apply, Acceptance Rate, and What To Expect as an LMU SFTV Film Student

Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television (LMU SFTV) has solidified itself as one of the nation’s top film schools. In 2022, the Hollywood Reporter ranked LMU SFTV no. 8 in its annual list of the best American film schools; notably, the university has maintained its top 10 ranking for nearly a decade. FilmSchool.org named LMU SFTV runner-up for Best Producing Program in 2022 and one of the top 10 American undergraduate programs.

LMU SFTV emphasizes mentorship and teamwork, attracting aspirational filmmakers from all walks of life who prize artistry and growth over a cutthroat atmosphere. The university’s 12:1 student to faculty ratio and top-notch facilities help film students tell progressive stories that inspire, educate, and unite their audiences. 70% of undergraduate film students complete a film industry internship at LMU SFTV, and an average of 83% of each graduating class finds industry jobs within six months. Film students also own all rights to their work.

For an inside look at studying at LMU SFTV and life after graduation, read FilmSchool.org’s interviews with MFA graduate Ashley Seering (@A248) and MFA graduate Adriano Mirchou (@andy001).

What is life like at LMU SFTV?

Loyola Marymount University is located in West Los Angeles’ Silicon Beach, between Playa Vista and Westchester. Playa Del Rey Beach is a 45-minute walk and Santa Monica is a 35-minute bus ride. The on-campus facilities and dorms are surrounded by stunning views of the Pacific Ocean.

Filmmakers from all backgrounds focus on the program’s top five key learning outcomes:
  1. Film History and Context — Learn the historical and sociocultural foundations of American and global film, television, and new media.
  2. Storytelling — Become highly adept in all methods of visual storytelling, such as screenwriting, camera placement, lighting, blocking, performance, and post-production methodologies.
  3. Technical Proficiency — Develop expertise in the specialization of your choice.
  4. Voice and Creativity — Develop creative work that builds on the canon and reflects your unique voice as a filmmaker.
  5. Collaboration — Network and expand your skill set by engaging in group exercises and thesis projects.
LMU’s Westchester and Playa Vista campuses offer 24/7 access to excellent filmmaking facilities. Take advantage of editing and advanced color correction suites with iMac Pro, reference monitors, 4K TVs, and Tangent Element Coloring Surfaces, and other technologies. Tapeless workflow stores your work in LMU SFTV’s central server – projects are accessible in any location. Film students can also shoot on 35mm.

LMU SFTV’s Camera Department leases a range of modern filmmaking equipment, including:

Digital Motion Picture Cameras
  • Arri Alexa Mini
  • RED One MX
  • Canon C300 MKI
  • Canon C100 MKII
  • Canon XF100
Film Motion Picture Cameras
  • Arri BL4s Super35
  • Arri SR2 Super16
LED Lighting
  • Arri Skypanels
  • Arri Interview Kits
  • Kino Flo Celeb
  • Kino Flo Diva - RGB
  • Mole Richardson - 1x1
  • Mole Richardson - Tungsten Balanced Fresnel Tweenie, Baby, Junior and Studio
  • Mole Richardson - Tungsten Balanced Softlight
HMI Lighting
  • Joker Bug - 400W and 800W
  • 1.8 HMIs - Sunray
  • 1.2 HMIs - Arri and Mole Richardson
  • Digimole - 200W and 400W
  • Schoeps CMIT-5U
  • Sennheiser MKH 50
  • Sennheiser 416

LMU SFTV Industry Women+

LMU SFTV is at the forefront of creating a more feminist and inclusive film industry. Thanks to LMU SFTV Industry Women+, female and gender non-binary students from all walks of life and filmmaking backgrounds can safely explore and develop their talents.

In the program, students participate in round-table discussions, Q and A sessions with industry experts, and screenwriting mentorships. For more information, email ayamamo1@lion.lmu.edu.

LMU SFTV Alumni Network​

LMU SFTV is known for producing Hollywood heavy-hitters who create vibrant, action-packed box office hits and small screen phenomenon.

Christian Buenaventura (MFA ’05, Recording Arts) worked as a Dialogue Editor on HBO’s True Blood and FX’s American Horror Story. Buenaventura won Best Sound Editing for a Miniseries, Movie, or a Special for American Horror Story: Asylum (“Welcome to Briarcliff”). Buenaventura also received a nomination for Outstanding Sound Editing in a Movie or Special for American Horror Story: Double Feature (“Gaslight”) and True Blood (Season 3, “Hitting the Ground”).

Patricia Whitcher (MFA ’83, Directing and Producing for Film and Television) was the Executive Producer for Marvel films such as Thor, The Avengers, and Captain Marvel. Whitcher also was a Unit Production Manager on Thor, Avengers: Age of Ultron, and Spider-man: Homecoming.

Shay Hatten (BFA ’16, Screenwriting) is best known as a Screenwriter on John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, Army of the Dead, and Army of Thieves. At only 23 years old, Hatten scored a deal to write the fifth film in the John Wick franchise, Ballerina, starring Ana de Armas and featuring Keanu Reeves as Wick.

6 Commonly Asked Questions about LMU SFTV

1. Is LMU SFTV test optional?

Yes – in most cases. The GRE is required for graduate film school applicants who fail to meet the GPA minimum of 3.0. For undergraduate programs, the ACT/SAT requirement is waived for 2023-2024. LMU SFTV admits students using a holistic evaluation process. Not providing test scores does not affect your financial aid award.

FilmSchool.org’s Application Database allows FilmSchool.org members to see the test scores of admitted LMU SFTV applicants; Additionally, our Application Database allows you to sort applications by test scores or GPA.

2. Is it difficult to get accepted to LMU SFTV?

According to EducationScientists, the undergraduate film program has an acceptance rate of 19% — highly competitive, but slightly higher than the nation’s other top 10 film schools. The graduate film program’s acceptance rate hovers around 6%, on average.

FilmSchool.org members have enjoyed higher acceptance rates to LMU SFTV – as high as 56% for its popular Film and Television Production MFA program. Supporting Members have full access to all of our acceptance statistics and more.

3. Does the graduate film program require an interview?

No. Many FilmSchool.org graduate students are admitted to LMU SFTV without an interview. Take a look at applicants admitted without interviews in our Application Database. FilmSchool.org also has advanced Admissions Statistics for each program that show the number of members admitted without an interview:
4. What is the average GPA of an LMU student?

According to PrepScholar, the average LMU student has a highly competitive GPA of 3.81.

FilmSchool.org’s Application Database allows FilmSchool.org members to see the accepted GPAs of admitted LMU SFTV applicants; their GPAs are sometimes much lower. Additionally, our Admissions Statistics pages have more statistics of accepted applicants including lowest GPA.

5. What is the average size of LMU SFTV’s graduate film class?

15 students.

6. Does LMU SFTV offer study abroad programs?

Yes. Filmmakers learn how to tell more diverse, globally-informed stories. Here are examples of past study abroad programs:
  • Australia — Swinburne University of Technology – Production
  • Canada — Champlain College in Montreal – Animation; Game Design; internship
  • Germany — LMU Film Production in Bonn – with SFTV faculty
  • Germany — LMU International Documentary minor in Bonn – with SFTV faculty
  • Hungary — LMU Screenwriting in Budapest – with SFTV faculty
  • Ireland — University College Cork – Film Studies
Click here for an overview of LMU’s additional study abroad programs.

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Alexa P.
Alexa Pellegrini (she/her) is a freelance copywriter, editor, poet, and essayist. Keep up with her latest musings on Twitter.


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