Columbia Screenwriting/Directing vs AFI Screenwriting MFA

So I ended up in a difficult position...

I was accepted for Fall 2022 into Columbia Screenwriting/Directing and AFI Screenwriting--but then got COVID and ended up deferred... at both...

Now I'm set to start Fall 2023, but am not sure where to go.

I believe LA is massively advantageous to be in, but Columbia is offering both screenwriting and directing. AFI has a great and storied reputation, but Columbia is producing a lot of great work and alumni... And I'm feeling quite lost...

I am just wondering if anyone has any experience with either of the schools or have any thoughts.

Anything helps!

Thanks!
 
First off congrats! Those are two great choices. I think that if you have any interest in Directing, Columbia is probably the better bet. You won't get any opportunity to do it at AFI. Secondly, I personally would choose largely based on which school was offering more money. Both New York and LA are extremely expensive cities to live in, and Columbia and AFI are also very expensive. I've lived in New York and LA. I personally liked New York more, because I like the public transport and there's more to do. You pretty much need a car in LA to go everywhere. Obviously, LA has advantages due to its connection to the industry. It's really a personal preference. If you don't really care about directing, you probably can't go wrong with either. I don't know if that helps or not!
 
First off congrats! Those are two great choices. I think that if you have any interest in Directing, Columbia is probably the better bet. You won't get any opportunity to do it at AFI. Secondly, I personally would choose largely based on which school was offering more money. Both New York and LA are extremely expensive cities to live in, and Columbia and AFI are also very expensive. I've lived in New York and LA. I personally liked New York more, because I like the public transport and there's more to do. You pretty much need a car in LA to go everywhere. Obviously, LA has advantages due to its connection to the industry. It's really a personal preference. If you don't really care about directing, you probably can't go wrong with either. I don't know if that helps or not!
If helps a lot actually! I’ve spent a decent amount of time in both cities and like both, but the sense of opportunity in the industry is really overwhelming in LA… that being said, Columbia is over a much larger scholarship. I just feel I should prioritize what opportunities will be afforded to me through and after the program. Thanks again!
 
FYI - We're interviewing Columbia admissions on Thursday! Get your questions in. :)


Also - I don't think a Screenwriting / Directing 2023 thread has been created yet if anyone wants to start one.
 
The interview with Columbia University admissions is now up:

How to Get Into Columbia University Film School: Exclusive Advice From the Admissions and Industry and Outreach Departments (Part 1)

How to Get Into Columbia University Film School: Exclusive Advice From the Admissions and Industry and Outreach Departments (Part 1)

The graduate film program at Columbia University School of the Arts is highly acclaimed for its star-studded alumni roster and teaching students how to tell stories that move the masses. In 2022, FilmSchool.org ranked Columbia SOA runner-up for Best Screenwriting Program in its list of top film...

How to Get Into Columbia University Film School: Exclusive Advice From the Admissions and Industry and Outreach Departments (Part 2)

How to Get Into Columbia University Film School: Exclusive Advice From the Admissions and Industry and Outreach Departments (Part 2)

Exclusively for our Supporting Members, this is the second part of our 2 hour interview with the Columbia SOA film school admissions team. FilmSchool.org is 100% advertisement free so without our Supporting Members, in-depth articles and interviews like this one would not be possible...

I hope everyone enjoys it and finds it useful! :)
 
Log your film school application with our Application Database so that we can improve our admissions statistics.




Latest Accepted Applications


Acceptance Data
For up to date Film School Acceptance Rates, including Minimum GPAs, Minimum Test Scores, After Interview and Off-Waitlist Acceptance Rates, Film Experience and Undergraduate degrees of accepted applicants, Age data, and other acceptance statistics for your film program of choice simply navigate to the Acceptance Rates tab on each film school's page in our Film School Database.

For example:
Log your own Application with our application database to help improve the site's acceptance data.

Latest Film School Reviews

  • USC School of Cinematic Arts
    1.00 star(s)
    Reviewed by: Current Student
    Degree: MA/MFA
    Concentration: Screenwriting
    Do not be seduced by the high ranking
    Here's some things I wish I'd known before signing up for this program. To be clear, these specifically apply to the MFA Writing for Screen and...
    • Anonymous
  • NYFA - New York Film Academy (Los Angeles Campus)
    3.00 star(s)
    Reviewed by: Alumni
    Degree: MA/MFA
    Concentration: Filmmaking
    Quality Teaching However...
    The best thing I can say is that for the filmmaking master's program I have truly learned. I am so grateful and gracious for the level of...
    • Anonymous
  • UC Berkeley
    4.00 star(s)
    Reviewed by: Alumni
    Degree: BA/BS/BFA
    Concentration: Film and Media Studies
    UC Berkeley Film Packs a Punch!
    I absolutely loved my time at UC Berkeley and I would not have traded doing my undergrad there even for a top spot at UCLA for a BFA in Film...
    • 8ballqueen
  • Rome International Film School
    5.00 star(s)
    Reviewed by: Alumni
    Degree: Certificate
    thank you R.I.F.S!
    I recently participated in their 10 - Week Program and I could not recommend it enough! This was the first time that I found a comprehensive film...
    • olivia.altiok
  • University of Colorado at Boulder (BFA)
    4.00 star(s)
    Reviewed by: Alumni
    Degree: BA/BS/BFA
    BFA University of Colorado at Boulder BFA Film Production
    Honest review. CU Boulder is an interesting place to learn filmmaking. The University boasts some excellent professors who are actively making...
    • Anonymous

Latest Applications

Latest questions

Latest Articles

Latest Accepted Applications

Applications
Articles
Forums
Film Schools
Scholarships
Back
Top