So here’s my story- I applied as a freshman undergrad to UCLA TFT for screenwriting/production. I did some research on UCLA’s film program during the summer, but couldn’t find anything specific. I also found some negative articles that warned me against the program. However, TFT is still at #2 on every “best film schools in the nation, ranked” articles I’ve clicked on. Does anyone here have more specific information on the school that makes it a stellar program? or any negative information we should know about?
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
There have been mixed reviews recently but I think it's mainly been complaints about the MFA program but I could be wrong.


@BuddernScotch @JLWilco @Abbey Normal ?
 

JLWilco

Active Member
Actually about half of this article outlines some problems the Undergrads have at TFT:


It seems that the undergrad program hasn't been updated in a long time and at least one very senior faculty member doesn't think the program should exist at all.

I can't necessarily explain UCLA's high ranking, but as one of the journalists who worked on that article I have a few ideas.

TFT has its own robust publicity arm, and like all PR people I've met they tend to stick to their talking points. I've interviewed folks over there for articles I wrote at Daily Bruin in the past, and if the publications ranking film programs only ever talk to the reps from the school, that's going to result in UCLA ranking high.

On paper, TFT appears to have a long history of excellent cinema education, but the truth is that in the last several years many of the programs have fallen in quality.

FWIW, when I was interning at The Hollywood Reporter last year, one of their Executive Editors told me that even he thought UCLA's film program had begun a downward slide--and he was the guy who wrote the ranking articles.

If you have any questions re: graduate Screenwriting I can answer those more specifically, but if you'd really like to talk to a current undergrad in film I can probably make that happen too.
 
Hel
Actually about half of this article outlines some problems the Undergrads have at TFT:


It seems that the undergrad program hasn't been updated in a long time and at least one very senior faculty member doesn't think the program should exist at all.

I can't necessarily explain UCLA's high ranking, but as one of the journalists who worked on that article I have a few ideas.

TFT has its own robust publicity arm, and like all PR people I've met they tend to stick to their talking points. I've interviewed folks over there for articles I wrote at Daily Bruin in the past, and if the publications ranking film programs only ever talk to the reps from the school, that's going to result in UCLA ranking high.

On paper, TFT appears to have a long history of excellent cinema education, but the truth is that in the last several years many of the programs have fallen in quality.

FWIW, when I was interning at The Hollywood Reporter last year, one of their Executive Editors told me that even he thought UCLA's film program had begun a downward slide--and he was the guy who wrote the ranking articles.

If you have any questions re: graduate Screenwriting I can answer those more specifically, but if you'd really like to talk to a current undergrad in film I can probably make that happen too.

Hello! thank you so much for this message- it helps a lot. It would be amazing if you could offer your own take on which undergrad programs are in the lead right now. I recently got into Chapman’s Dodge, and even though it was ranked lower than UCLA in those articles, I’m starting to wonder if Dodge’s program is better than TFT’s. What are your thoughts?
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member

q64

Active Member
During a virtual information session, I asked how many movies the students would get to make. The admission officer said I can make as many movies as I would like. She was vague about the one-sentence answer she gave. She didn’t elaborate on what resources the program would provide, what filmmaking aspects we would learn in specific courses, etc. She also went onto spin her answers on direct questions like how many students are admitted to TFT (we on this forum know 15 are admitted for freshman...). Plus, the department held barely one virtual information session per month. During other schools’ (very frequent) virtual information sessions and open houses, I learned so much about the school’s resources, philosophy, culture, application process, benefits, etc. I could feel they all wanted the students to submit successful applications. But I didn’t feel that with TFT.

Communication from TFT and UCLA left a lot to be desired. I know 100,000+ students apply to UCLA and it is difficult to respond to all the emails. But, for the few emails they replied to, they could have at least ensured correct information is given; one email was sent without the link I requested.

I still applied to TFT because I wanted to finish what I set out to do initially.

My father’s friend’s daughter is an alumni, and she said that she enjoyed the experience at TFT. She has never worked in the industry after graduation though
 

q64

Active Member
Only 15 are admitted?

“... the film and television major selects about only 15 freshman out of thousands of applicants and a handful of transfer students”


The number is somewhat misleading as there is yield rate to consider. Maybe approximately 30 are admitted and approximately 15 decide to enroll. And in the upper years, they add another 15 transfers.
 

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Woah. Didn't realize class was that small. My BU class was probably 100? but that was for all of communication and we weren't admitted into an only film program.

I wonder how many applicants each film school gets.
 

q64

Active Member
Woah. Didn't realize class was that small. My BU class was probably 100? but that was for all of communication and we weren't admitted into an only film program.

I wonder how many applicants each film school gets.

During SCA virtual information sessions, we were told 4% admit rate for production. From what I know SCA has yield rate of 50%, and approximately 54 students enroll in production as freshman. Doing the math, approximately 2700 apply to SCA’s production major.

From what I heard, CAMS and MAP have admit rate of 10%ish. And writing and game design are at 2%.
 
Last edited:
During SCA virtual information sessions, we were told 4% admit rate for production. From what I know SCA has yield rate of 50%, and approximately 54 students enroll in production as freshman. Doing the math, approximately 2700 apply to SCA’s production major.

From what I heard, CAMS and MAP have admit rate of 10%ish. And writing and game design are at 2%.
The screenwriting admit rate is 2%??? 😨
 
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