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USC School of Cinematic Arts MFA Screenwriting Fall 2020

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
Who's applying this year?

Fall Admission Deadline: November 15th

Required supplemental application materials per USC:

The following supplemental materials must be submitted via the SlideRoom application for admission consideration:

  1. Autobiographical Character Sketch (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section):
    Write a creative essay or short story that evokes an understanding of how you became who you are. This should reflect your individuality. It's not a resume. (1-2 pages in length)
  2. Creative Challenges (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section):
    1. Write a scene between two very different kinds of people who get stuck in an elevator on New Year's Eve. 2-5 pages. Please use screenplay format.
    2. Write a scene between two people (e.g., a parent and child, roommates, spouses, etc.) who live together. The first character strongly desires to go out; the second desperately wants the first to stay home. Emphasize visual elements as well as dialogue. 2-5 pages. Please use screenplay format.
  3. Most Challenging Moment (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section):
    Convey in writing the greatest challenge you have faced and how you responded to it. The challenge may be of any kind you care to write about -physical, emotional, moral, creative, personal, professional or some other sort. (1-2 pages in length).
  4. Writing Sample (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section):
    One sample of your creative writing. This may be an excerpt with a note explaining the context. Writing in script form is not required. Please only include original material-do not submit a television spec episode of an existing television show. Maximum of 10 pages. If you send more than 10, only the first 10 will be read.
  5. Curriculum Vitae (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section):
    A record of the applicant's background and experience, listing education, employment, etc.
  6. Creative Portfolio List (please upload in PDF format under the "Forms" section):
    A list of all significant creative projects in which the applicant has participated, noting the role the applicant has played. Formal recognition such as awards, publications, and exhibitions should also be noted. An example of the portfolio list is below:
    • July 2008, A Day in the Life, digital video, 12 minutes. Position: writer/director. A documentary on a homeless Iraq vet who has lived on the streets since his return from the military. Created for senior-year multimedia term project, San Raphael High School, Miami, Florida.
    • March 2008, Doorways, a series of 5 black-and-white photographs. Position: photographer. "Second Prize Winner" in the Des Moines Sunday Journal photo contest.
    • February 2007, Cellomorphosis, short story. Position: writer. A variation on the novella by Franz Kafka; published in Writing, vol. IV, 2007, at Amherst College, Amherst, Massachusetts.
  7. Letters of Recommendation (One letter from an academic reference.)
    Three letters of recommendation are required. All letters of recommendation must be submitted via the SlideRoom reference system. Applicants are responsible for requesting letters of recommendation as well as confirming that they have been received.
Good luck everyone!



I am applying for this program (as well as UCLA and LMU's film writing programs). This is my second time applying. Last time was in 2012 when I first graduated undergrad. Definitely was not ready then so I'm not surprised!


Hi! This is also my second time applying. Last year I was denied from USC and UCLA. I got through the second round at NYU and then was denied. This year I'm only applying to USC. I just graduated from undergrad. So, let's hope the second time's a charm.
Hi All,

I just started my application for USC/ Writing MFA and if you plan on applying to some scholarships for the school, you have to answer some questions and a writing prompt. See below for the writing prompt, so you can get a head start. :)

Also, if anyone wants to share and review each other’s samples, I’m available!


1. Please write a fictional scene, in the format of your choosing, with authentic characters in conflict over generational or ethnic differences within the setting of a family dinner. Please limit your response to 1-3 pages


Active Member
hey guys! second time applying...last year i applied to usc only whilst in undergrad but now that i’m done i’m going to apply to usc again, ucla, lmu, st. mary’s, chapman, nyu, emerson, boston uni, and afi...i mean i gotta get in somewhere right? haha damn i’m petrified

Chris W

Willem was robbed
Staff member
First time applying! Also applying to AFI, Columbia, BU, and Feirstein ( and possibly one or two more).
Awesome! Be sure to reply to those other application threads or create new ones if they don't exist. :) Good luck everyone!


Active Member
Has everyone applied yet or still messing with your applications?
oop ? i have yet to touch mine i was gonna start tomorrow i’ve been focusing on my ucla app for way too long that i didn’t think twice about here lolol but it’s fine even if i submit my best work (like i did last year) i’ll still get rejected because this system is ??rigged??

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