How to Apply to LMU SFTV’s Writing for the Screen M.F.A. Program for 2024 Entry

New and seasoned screenwriters can flourish in LMU SFTV’s Writing for the Screen M.F.A. program. The University's highly acclaimed, three-year screenwriting program shows film students how to write for the silver screen, television, the web, mobile, and every format in between. The program emphasizes long-form storytelling, in contrast to other top 10 film schools that focus on short-form storytelling (including AFI).

Film students improve their skills in story development, character development, cinematic style, and storytelling structure. Film students learn how to tell vibrant stories that bridge the gaps between cultures and communities by touching on humanistic themes. The program provides helps screenwriters create diverse portfolios: By the end of the program, graduates complete three feature-length screenplays, one episodic teleplay, and a minimum of one original television pilot.

In addition to building upon their screenwriting skills, film students learn the business side of the industry by engaging with producers, managers, agents, and guest speakers from the Writers Guild of America. They also participate in mentorships, internships, and workshops that help generate screenplay ideas and networking opportunities. Take a look at the year-over-year program breakdown and creative portfolio requirements.

Year 1

  • SCWR 510 - Production Fundamentals for Screenwriters
  • SCWR 540 - Elements of Feature Screenwriting
  • SCWR 635 - Advanced Motion Picture Script Analysis
  • SCWR 541 - Writing the Feature Screenplay
  • SCWR 660 - Writing the Drama TV Spec Series or
    SCWR 670 - Writing the Comedy TV Spec Series

  • Film, TV, and Media Studies (FTVS) Elective

Year 2​

  • SCWR 640 - Rewriting the Feature Screenplay
  • SCWR 650 - Advanced Feature Screenwriting
  • SCWR 685 - The Business of Entertainment

  • SCWR 641 - Feature Film and Television Adaptation
  • SCWR 651 - Rewriting the Advanced Screenplay
  • SCWR 598 / 698 - Writing Elective or
    SCWR 661 - Writing an Original Drama Pilot or
    SCWR 671 - Writing an Original Comedy Pilot

Year 3​

  • SCWR 690 -Thesis Screenplay Project
  • SCRW 661 - Writing an Original Drama Pilot or 671 Writing an Original Comedy Pilot
  • SCWR 598 698 - Writing Elective

  • Spring
  • SCWR 691 - Rewriting Thesis Screenplay Project
  • SCWR 692 - Feature Film and Television Portfolio Workshop

How to apply​

1. Personal Statement: In 1000 words or fewer, write a creative essay or short story that expresses an understanding of how you became the writer you are today. This piece should reflect your unique perspective on life and the world.

2. Creative Samples: Applicants to the graduate program in Writing for the Screen and Writing and Producing for Television must complete the Creative Challenge. Please complete the following two components of the Creative Challenge (1) and the two writing samples (2):

Choose one of the following prompts and write a 3 page screenplay. Can be any genre. Please use proper script formatting.
  • At the beginning or end of the scene, a hand holds a knife.
  • One character has to break bad news to the other.
  • A confrontation scene in an extraordinary location.
  • A ride-sharing driver and their customer.
Two writing samples:
  • One feature length screenplay or teleplay (half-hour or one-hour; spec or pilot).
  • The second sample should be the first 30 pages of a feature length screenplay or a complete teleplay (half-hour or one-hour; spec or pilot.) Alternately, you may submit a short story or a one-act play.
3. Video Recording: Create up to a two-minute video telling us who you are and why you want to tell stories. Simply record yourself telling your story on-camera. Do not script it, nor do you need to 'perform' the event. The recording will not be viewed past the two-minute mark.

4. Two Letters of Recommendation: Select your recommenders carefully, as this is a critical portion of your application. Each recommender must have supervised your work. Do NOT send letters from colleagues or friends. We prefer that you provide one academic letter and one professional letter, or two academic letters. You must submit the recommenders' information through the online graduate application. Recommenders will be required to submit the letters electronically. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure the letters are received.

5. A One-Page Resume: List your professional and creative achievements, including film industry-related grants and awards.

Ready to apply?​

Click here to fill out the graduate online application.