American Film Institute (AFI) - Screenwriting

Screenwriting Fellows find their unique voices, while learning the essence of working as part of a creative team.
Degrees Offered
  1. 2 Year Conservatory
  1. Screenwriting
Yearly Tuition
$60k to $70k
Tuition Detail
$63,575 first year, $65,800 second year
Regular Decision Application Deadline
Dec 1, 2021

Film School details

School Website
What is the Application Fee? $ 90
Is a GRE required for admission? No
Is a portfolio required for admission? Yes
How many Letters of Reference are required? 2
The AFI Conservatory is a paradise for the serious filmmaker, particularly those interested in independent film. Screenwriting fellows at AFI create six full-length works over two years, including three features, an original TV pilot, and two specs for current series. Screenwriting fellows work closely with fellows from other disciplines to bring their visions to life during three cycle films which they will produce during their first year. In the second year, fellows begin to specialize in the area of their choice.

AFI’s program emphasizes a hands-on approach and exposes the writer to every aspect of creating a film or television show. AFI faculty is comprised of working professionals that provide one-on-one mentorship opportunities throughout the two-year program. AFI accepts 28 Fellows each year for their screenwriting MFA and offers an extensive network of support following graduation from the program.

The application process includes an AFI application, narrative statement, resume, two letters of recommendation, and transcripts as well as discipline supporting material. For screenwriting, that material includes 20 pages max of a screenplay in which the applicant is the only writer and a scene for AFI’s prompt. AFI’s admission process includes an interview with faculty.

Read more about AFI’s admission requirements here.

Application Requirements

Screenwriting applicants are required to submit the following:

  1. A PDF of a typed screenplay in professional format (20 pages maximum) of which you are the sole screenwriter. If the sample is from a longer script, select what you feel is the bestportion of your script. It could be the first 20 pages, or some other section. Give us (briefly) enough context to know where we are in the story if it is not the first 20 pages. Co-authored and adaptations will not be considered. Be sure to include a title page with your name, 2022-2023 SCR, and e-mail address.
  2. Write a scene in professional format on the topic of “the guilty party” (five pages maximum). Make sure the scene contains three characters. It should introduce a main character, contain a turn, and an ending that points to further story and makes us want to know more. Be sure to include a title page with your name, 2022-2023SCR, and e-mail address.

Class Size

Enrollment is limited to 140 Fellows — 28 Cinematographers, 28 Directors, 14 Editors, 28 Producers, 14 Production Designers and 28 Screenwriters.

Internship Opportunities


DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is correct to the best of our knowledge at the time it was last updated. PLEASE verify with the school ALL due dates and requirements as they may have changed since our last update. If any info on this page is incorrect please let us know and we will update it. We are not responsible for missed deadlines or rejected applications due to out of date information on this page. Please do your due diligence.

Latest questions

Hi! I've been following along some applications on the page and I've seen that USC and AFI have already started interviewing. I applied to those two and I haven't been reached out to for an interview yet, should I be worried?
I'm not sure if they notify everyone they want to interview at the same time or does this happen along a period of time in a more gradual form? Please let me know if you know about this! Thank you!!!

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