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MFA Writing/Directing Program Recommendations

lillyloon

Member
Hi all,

I don't know about you, but I've been totally overwhelmed with all the MFA program options there are. I've been stuck in analysis paralysis researching programs intently for about two years, and now it's finally time to apply. I'm specifically looking for programs that highlight/ help develop the authentic voice of the storyteller, are collaborative, and are writing/directing focused. I'm west coast based (US), but lived in Europe for a little bit and am willing to go anywhere for the right program.

Programs I've decided to apply to:
-AFI Screenwriting
-Colombia MFA Screenwriting/ Directing

I'm also looking strongly at USC, SF State, and NYU. In Europe, I'm looking strongly at University of Edinburgh, Screen Academy Scotland, Dun Loaghaire Institute, and FAMU.

I know that these are a lot of options. If anybody has any strong recommendations for these or other programs, I'd love to hear them below!!
 

A248

Member
Thank you so much! Super helpful. I'm going to check out your AMA. Did you also end up applying to 9 schools total?

Yes, but I wouldn't recommend doing that. It was a TON of work but I was worried I wouldn't get into anywhere. I got into all 9 and then had a difficult time trying to make a decision.
 

lillyloon

Member
Yes, but I wouldn't recommend doing that. It was a TON of work but I was worried I wouldn't get into anywhere. I got into all 9 and then had a difficult time trying to make a decision.

wow, that seems like so much work. which schools did you apply to? Any of the ones I listed above? If you’re open to it, I have a few questions for you...such as your application process, and why you chose LMU out of the 9 schools? I’m in the midst of the application process right now (for 4-5) and am strongly considering LMU...but I don’t want to add another one to the list 😜
 

A248

Member
wow, that seems like so much work. which schools did you apply to? Any of the ones I listed above? If you’re open to it, I have a few questions for you...such as your application process, and why you chose LMU out of the 9 schools? I’m in the midst of the application process right now (for 4-5) and am strongly considering LMU...but I don’t want to add another one to the list 😜

Temple, American, Northwestern, City College New York, Stony Brook, University of Utah, LMU, Mount Saint Mary's, Chatham University.

It's worth noting that my motivations to go back to grad school were 1. to refine my documentary filmmaking skills and 2. to get a terminal degree so I can teach college. So I was looking for an environment that isn't as cutthroat or expensive as a place like USC, AFI, etc

I ultimately picked LMU for a number of reasons, but its location in LA was a big plus.
 

lillyloon

Member
Cool. Yeah I totally get not wanting something as cut throat as AFI or USC (two schools I may be applying for anyways 😜). I know both American and Northwestern are great for documentary. I’m looking to do more fictional storytelling, otherwise would have those on the list, too! Thanks again, always helpful to hear other people’s experiences.
 

A248

Member
Cool. Yeah I totally get not wanting something as cut throat as AFI or USC (two schools I may be applying for anyways 😜). I know both American and Northwestern are great for documentary. I’m looking to do more fictional storytelling, otherwise would have those on the list, too! Thanks again, always helpful to hear other people’s experiences.

Any time! Happy to help.
 

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