Stephens College MFA in TV and Screenwriting

Degrees Offered
2 Year M.F.A.
Concentrations
Writing for Screen & Television, Screenwriting
Tuition
$16,705 estimated total yearly cost, including room and board in LA.
Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
5.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
4.50 star(s)
Professors
4.75 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
4.50 star(s)
Pros
  • alumni network
  • location
  • low residency
  • female-centric
  • LGBTQ friendly
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.
Reviewer
Current Student
Alumni
5.00 star(s)
Campus
5.00 star(s)
Career Assistance
4.00 star(s)
Equipment
5.00 star(s)
Coursework
5.00 star(s)
Professors
5.00 star(s)
Financial Aid & Scholarships
4.00 star(s)
As a member of the inaugural cohort, I was blown away by how incredible and influential this program is. It was phenomenal to spend two years of my life among such brilliant, hardworking, dedicated people - from instructors to mentors to fellow classmates. These are lifelong connections and friendships, providing support and encouragement long after graduation. You'd be hard pressed to find a more devoted group of people, chief among them the program's creator, Ken LaZebnik, aka The Nicest Man In Hollywood.

I can honestly say that I am not only a better writer because of the Stephens MFA program, I'm a better person. If you want to be a professional screenwriter, do yourself a favor and apply, Apply, APPLY!

Note: In the Ratings section, Career Assistance is listed as a 4 because of two things:

1. As a relatively new program, they are still working out official opportunities for things like internships, which can be found in a lot of more established writing programs. HOWEVER, the personal support and attention you receive from Stephens is Unparalleled. You will not be lost in a sea of alumni and current students. You will know with all your heart that you and your work Matter, and that your professors and mentors are there to bolster and promote you in every way possible.

2. A lot of this work is up to you. You will have to hustle. And write. And rewrite. And hustle some more. And write until you think your hands will fall off, and then go out and hustle, again. Yes, access and opportunity are essential, but you cannot rely on anyone other than yourself to build a successful career. Fortune favors the prepared, and that preparedness is yours and yours alone.
Reviewer
Alumni
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