MFA or BFA?

Shmorca

New Member
Hello! I'm Maia, a sixteen year old sophomore in high school and am interested in the film industry.

I am for sure very new to all of this, but I was wondering-- is it more valuable or beneficial to get an MFA, or focus on BFA, since I still have that as an opportunity? I'm not sure what exactly how I want to do what I want to do, but there are many roads to Rome. I know it's sort of a vague question haha, with many variables. But does anyone have advice or something? Sorry for the sort of...spacey? question. I just have not got very much advice or support from college counselors, parents, or any of the sort. I would appreciate any help or advice :)

Thank you
 

Cody Young

Tattoo/Film Enthusiast
Supporting Member
Hello! I'm Maia, a sixteen year old sophomore in high school and am interested in the film industry.

I am for sure very new to all of this, but I was wondering-- is it more valuable or beneficial to get an MFA, or focus on BFA, since I still have that as an opportunity? I'm not sure what exactly how I want to do what I want to do, but there are many roads to Rome. I know it's sort of a vague question haha, with many variables. But does anyone have advice or something? Sorry for the sort of...spacey? question. I just have not got very much advice or support from college counselors, parents, or any of the sort. I would appreciate any help or advice :)

Thank you
Hey Maia,

I will say that in order to get an MFA, you will first need a four year undergrad degree to begin with. You can’t become a graduate student without first becoming an undergraduate student and achieving that degree. I will say that parents and teachers of all sorts will consistently refute dreams of working in the film industry, but if it is truly your desire to work in films, by hook or by crook you will find a way to do so. Conventional educational means, such as an MFA or BFA is only one way to do this, you could always try to start work in the film industry without any of the debt and could possibly be better off for it. Personally, I have friends who took both routes with myself going the scholastic route.

In my experience, I would have never rediscovered my love of film and specifically Screenwriting without attending college and I know for a fact I wouldn’t have won certain awards for scripts that then led to those scripts being produced without college.

If you’re set on pursuing film and going to school for it, pursue your BFA. If somewhere down the line, after you complete your BFA, you discover you want to pursue your Master’s, whether it be to teach in a university setting or just to further your career in film, do so.
 

Kira

MFA Screenwriter @UCLA
When I was in high school I also had the same thoughts. I decided to attend a university that allowed dual majors / major-minor with Film. That way, I could take a lot of different classes and gain a lot of different life experiences.
 

Tugger

Member
Supporting Member
When I was in high school I also had the same thoughts. I decided to attend a university that allowed dual majors / major-minor with Film. That way, I could take a lot of different classes and gain a lot of different life experiences.
I personally like this approach. If there is even a second thought on a different major, look into that. I almost finished a minor in psychology and if I want to get a graduate degree in psych, I already have the classes required.

A few things to look at:
  • See if the school you are interested in allows you to shoot and check out equipment in the first two years. Otherwise you could just go to a community college and transfer. I sometimes wish I did this and just made films while I was there and saved $20,000 of tuition.
  • If you want to work your way up the film ladder, maybe just get your Bachelor's and try to make the move to LA.
  • If you think you'd like to teach down the road of college classes, then really consider MFA.
 

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