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University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) - Screenwriting MFA

Film School details

Degrees Offered
  1. 2 Year M.F.A.
  1. Screenwriting
Yearly Tuition
$10k to $20k
Application Deadlines
November 2, 2020
January 18, 2021
Graduates from the UNCSA Screenwriting program will start their careers in the field with a confidence that can only come from this intensive, hands-on, and also nurturing program. Our two-year program will not only immerse you in challenging progression of fundamental and advanced screenwriting topics, but also walk you through the processes of launching your career in the exciting and challenging industry of filmmaking.

First Year

In your first year of the graduate screenwriting program, you will be required to take a variety of courses to improve your skills as a screenwriter and also develop your understanding of the filmmaking business in preparation for a successful career in the industry. You will learn about the broad spectrum of the story-development process, from initial concept to your final draft, in Fundamentals of Cinematic Storytelling. The logistic side of filmmaking is also emphasized in The Business of Production class, covering topics such as distribution, budgeting and scheduling. An Entrepreneurs in the Industry course will include a series of screenings, workshops and seminars with prominent guest artists. Two Cinema Studies courses will be offered to teach the styles and evolution of both international and American films. You will also work one-on-one with a screenwriting mentor to write a feature script for your final thesis project.

Second Year Portfolio

Your final year of the program will include an Advanced Cinematic Storytelling course, covering the techniques of writing screenplays for television series, documentaries and adapting original material into compelling screenplays. You will be expected to take two cinema studies electives, with topics such as visual nonfiction, ethics and film noir. Your transition to the screenwriting profession will be the focus of a Career Strategies course while the program will culminate with the completion of your thesis project which includes at least one more feature film or TV script under the supervision of your mentor to ensure that you graduate with a portfolio that is specifically targeted to the aspect of the industry you want to pursue.


Graduates of UNCSA’s Screenwriting Program hold titles such as screenwriter, producer, and writer’s assistant on major motion pictures, television series, and animated films at companies like Pixar Animation and DreamWorks Animation while others are writing and producing their own independent features. Some of their more well-known recent credits include “Your Highness,” “Pacific Rim,” “Land Ho”, “I’ll See you In My Dreams”, “Mud”, “Loving”, “Clash of the Titans” and “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea.”
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Minimum GPA (according to school)
GRE Required?
Portfolio Required?

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