Columbia University MFA Fall 2019

Hi all,

I'm applying this year as well to Columbia. I applied two years ago and got an interview but alas was not accepted. I did not apply last year to Columbia but am thinking of giving it a shot again this year. Like one other poster mentioned on this site, when I previously applied two years ago, I knew right after the interview that I bungled it. I have a lot of interview anxiety in general, which isn't a good trait to have and something I need to work on. Hoping for better luck this time.

A couple of questions, one of which is general and one of which is more specific.

1). As a repeat applicant who actually made it to the interview stage two years ago, do you think it would be a good or bad idea to reuse those portions of the application that I previously used (and "worked!" insofar as they did the trick of getting an interview)? I know the prompt part changes but aside from that, the writing sample and the film treatment and the autobiographical essay (as well as the visual submission) would at least in theory be able to be the ones previously used. Not trying to overthink it, but as the old adage goes, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it", right? or do people disagree? I'd be curious specifically to hear the outcomes of repeat applicants who received interviews their first time applying and who either did or didn't reuse prior parts of their initial application when they reapplied. I.e., did they tend to get invited for interviews on their second applications as well? I was told by the student liaison who helped guide me after I received my interview invite that each year's decision making is essentially a two-stage process. First, they make initial cuts as to whom to invite to interview and then, at the interview stage, everyone starts off in the same position (i.e., everyone equally ranked), i.e., kind of like a beauty pageant, where they throw out the results of the prior stage and treat everyone at the final round as initially equal, such that those who perform better on the interview are the ones who get the offers over those who don't interview as well. If this is the case, it would seem like the name of the game at least initially is to just get to the interview stage. If your initial materials are strong, as evidenced by them working when you first applied, why change them up? I was also told that even though the committee may know you've previously applied, they essentially view each year's application afresh, so, for better or for worse, they wouldn't really know what you previously submitted anyway (unless they dug it up for some reason, which would be unusual). At least that's what I was told, though I wonder if anyone could confirm.

2). My second question is more general. My first time applying (when I got the interview), I listed Screenwriting alone as my intended concentration. This time around, I was thinking of putting Screenwriting/Directing. I may have a generally stronger interest in Screenwriting still, but I've developed an additional interest in Directing that I didn't have the first time around. Overall, is there any benefit, or downside, to listing my intended concentration as Screenwriting/Directing as opposed to just Screenwriting, even if I ultimately may end up being Screenwriting focused at a later date? Also, what's changed this year is that I have a visual submission to provide, which I didn't when I previously applied as a Screenwriting applicant. Do you think an applicant with a strong visual submission would be better off listing their concentration as Screenwriting alone or Screenwriting/Directing? Any thoughts or suggestions regarding the above would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks everyone.

Last edited:

Latest reviews

Latest Applications