Best Affordable MFA Film School

University of California Los Angeles School of Theater, Film, and Television

UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT)

UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (TFT)

UCLA School of Theater, Film & Television teaches film from a theoretical and technical perspective. In 2021, TheWrap ranked UCLA TFT no. 8 in its annual list of the top 50 film schools. And in 2022, U.S. News & World Report named UCLA the no. 1 public university for the sixth consecutive year...

Out of all film schools on the west coast, UCLA TFT offers the best in-state tuition and supplemental fee rates. In-state MFA students pay $17,836.30 for the academic year, while out-of-state students are charged $32,938.30 for the entire academic year. Tuition also covers student program fees, health insurance (UC SHIP), and a BruinGo Universal Access Transit Pass.

UCLA TFT’s graduate film programs are two years long (though students may request one additional quarter of study). In many cases, the total annual in-state fees equate to the cost of only 18 credits at more expensive private film schools. For example, University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts graduate students pay $39,900 to attend full-time (14-18 credits). Learn more about Keenan Kunst’s experience as an MFA candidate in UCLA’s Producers Program.'s Application Database found that 27% of our members are admitted annually to the MFA Producers Program, while the Screenwriting MFA program has a slightly higher acceptance rate of 33%.

Additional admissions statistics such as accepted applicant's GPAs, film experience, and much more can be found on the page linked below.

Runner-up: California State University, Northridge

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In 2020, CSUN was ranked the 25th best film school in America by The Hollywood Reporter. Film school students enjoy a hands-on filmmaking experience funded by major organizations like The Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Many students report having success with securing internships in Burbank and Studio City, which are about a 20 to 40-minute drive from campus. But a larger student body means students may wait to use the equipment. Read about why Andrea chose CSUN Northridge for her MFA in film.

These small drawbacks are worthwhile for MFA students with a strong background in film theory and need to save on costs to improve their craft. In-state film school students pay only $3,588.00 for 6.1+ units per semester (taking 8 units is required for full-time attendance). Out-of-state students pay roughly $6003.60 for 6.1+ units per semester. Discover why Andrea picked CSUN for an affordable MFA Screenwriting program.

Currently, there aren’t enough applications in's Application Database to provide an accurate estimated acceptance rate. If you’ve applied, click here to add your data.