The Stephens MFA in Screenwriting is a incredible option for people who want a reputable MFA and still be able to hold a full-time job. I chose the MFA program because I wasn't in a position to leave work or move near a school I'd want to attend, but I still wanted to put in the work to get the degree. Through this program I was able to take only 10 days out of each semester to travel to LA for intensive classes, and then the rest of the year I could do my work on weekends and evenings.
The best part of Stephens (in any program) is the alumni network. Stephens alums are known for helping each other, and as a graduate of the undergrad film program I have been in many situations where alums I don't know have helped me out, from finding housing to getting job interviews. As the network continues to expand, this becomes more and more valuable. Not only will you be connected to alums, but your own class is an amazing resource. The people that are selected into the program are top notch, excellent people. You'll meet people you just enjoy being around, and that is so valuable for future working relationships. We all rise together.
The intensive takes place mostly at the Jim Henson studios in Hollywood. First of all, that alone is something to brag to your friends about. The lot contains so much history: from being built by Charlie Chaplin (you'll have lunch where Modern Times was filmed!) to Henson characters around every corner to the still-active Henson Recording Studios. It's the perfect place for classes, screenings, and meeting with mentors.
I only gave the program a few slightly-less-than-perfect scores, and I imagine they are flaws in any school: the professors and coursework can be a little inconsistent. As with any school, you get hard mentors and you get easy mentors. This can make it a little unfair when it comes to GPAs because they grade with different rigor. But, as someone who had one of the more difficult mentors, I can tell you that in the end you benefit from it and become a better writer. As for financial aid, it's pretty average. One great scholarship they do is for women over 55, which goes to show how much they care about their mission of getting under-heard voices into the industry.
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Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting
A low-residency MFA in TV and Screenwriting with the mission of getting more women writing for TV and film.