USC Screenwriting MFA Fall 2017 (Acceptance, Rejection, Etc.)

Septopus7

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Staff member
Supporting Member
Noticed there wasn't a USC-focused MFA writing thread, so figured I would kick things off with this observation.

I was obsessively scanning the various spreadsheets of year's past today (as you do), and noticed that today (Feb. 20) was when acceptance letters started to trickle in for Screenwriting applicants back in 2015. Now granted the wait in 2016 was a tad bit longer (the first one wasn't reported until March 4), but still, the point remains: I think we've actually reached the point where acceptance and/or rejection letters could float our way any day now.

So...yay...question mark?
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
Thanks for making a USC specific thread! I am glad that I am not the only one that analyzed the document so thoroughly. Hopefully we will be hearing good things this week or next week :)
 

WizardsBrew

Member
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say... yay... exclamation point! I'm ready to hear from USC. I don't really share the anxiety that many of our cohorts on this site do; perhaps because I came into myself as a screenwriter from the acting world and so now my neurons won't let me fixate on unchangeable things, maybe it's my Brooklyn pragmatism... either way, I'm just ready to know the results so I can start preparing my next angle of attack should I require one. I don't know if you've experienced this, but whenever I tell a non-artistic type that I even applied to a grad program for screenwriting they usually like fall over in awe that we are able to do what we do at all. I've been trying to remember that in the days leading up to the results- that just applying to a program as prestigious as USC was something of a baby feat in itself. I so love the prospect of being enveloped by the USC community and having access to their resources but a rejection letter is not stopping this train... or yours. Good luck USC hopefuls. GO TROJANS!
 
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Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say... yay... exclamation point! I'm ready to hear from USC. I don't really share the anxiety that many of our cohorts on this site do; perhaps because I came into myself as a screenwriter from the acting world and so now my neurons won't let me fixate on unchangeable things, maybe it's my Brooklyn pragmatism... either way, I'm just ready to know the results so I can start preparing my next angle of attack should I require one. I don't know if you've experienced this, but whenever I tell a non-artistic type that I even applied to a grad program for screenwriting they usually like fall over in awe that we are able to do what we do at all. I've been trying to remember that in the days leading up to the results- that just applying to a program as prestigious as USC was something of a baby feat in itself. I so love the prospect of being enveloped by the USC community and having access to their resources but a rejection letter is not stopping this train... or yours. Good luck USC hopefuls. GO TRAVELERS!
I feel the same way. Of course I would like to be accepted, but I am more interested in just knowing so I can figure out my next move (both literally and figuratively!). There is a lot of self selection that goes on when applying to a top program like USC, so just applying is a feat, as you said. :)

This may be stupid to ask, but what do you mean by "Go Travelers"? Us as in, traveling through life? Or perhaps it was an autocorrect fail and you meant "Go Trojans"? Just wondering :p
 

WizardsBrew

Member
I feel the same way. Of course I would like to be accepted, but I am more interested in just knowing so I can figure out my next move (both literally and figuratively!). There is a lot of self selection that goes on when applying to a top program like USC, so just applying is a feat, as you said. :)

This may be stupid to ask, but what do you mean by "Go Travelers"? Us as in, traveling through life? Or perhaps it was an autocorrect fail and you meant "Go Trojans"? Just wondering :p
Hahahaha! No I didn't even know what the mascot was. I just googled it and "Traveler" came up. That's the name of the horse the Trojan rides on apparently. It sounded weird but I committed. I don't really know anything about that. lol.
 

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say... yay... exclamation point! I'm ready to hear from USC. I don't really share the anxiety that many of our cohorts on this site do; perhaps because I came into myself as a screenwriter from the acting world and so now my neurons won't let me fixate on unchangeable things, maybe it's my Brooklyn pragmatism... either way, I'm just ready to know the results so I can start preparing my next angle of attack should I require one. I don't know if you've experienced this, but whenever I tell a non-artistic type that I even applied to a grad program for screenwriting they usually like fall over in awe that we are able to do what we do at all. I've been trying to remember that in the days leading up to the results- that just applying to a program as prestigious as USC was something of a baby feat in itself. I so love the prospect of being enveloped by the USC community and having access to their resources but a rejection letter is not stopping this train... or yours. Good luck USC hopefuls. GO TRAVELERS!
I agree with you in a lot of regards. I don't really have anxiety over this, because it's something I can't really control (anymore, at least), and which is no longer in my hands. If I get in, I get in. I'll be disappointed if I don't, but it won't be the end of the world.

That said, I think my ambivalence comes from this: as strange as this whole waiting period is, there's also something...exciting about the whole thing? Like, let's be honest here: anyone applying for this program (and, hell, trying to be a screenwriter) is a massive, massive dreamer. And, as a dreamer, I personally think it's important to have a big "thing" to look forward too. Something to get you through the day, through the humdrum, through all the boring little things that you could care less about. For the past few months, it's been applying for this school, and in the past few weeks, it's been the wait and anticipation of hearing back. Not knowing whether or not I'm getting in has allowed me to fantasize about it, and that's a powerful thing IMHO.

The idea that, any day now, an email could come into my inbox that radically changes the course of my life (fingers crossed) is an extremely powerful one, and it's nice to have that in the back of my head when I do homework or work on spreadsheets or do a number of other mind-numbing things. Once that email comes in, all that dreaming is gone, for better or for worse. It's nice to have something to anticipate, is all I'm saying.

That being said...UGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGH HURRY UP AND JUST TELL ME ALREADY, USC, SO I CAN MOVE ON WITH MY LIFE.

So, once again...I'm definitely at a "yay" with a question mark. I want to know, but I'm going to miss this feeling of excitement and anticipation just a little bit.
 

icygee

#JusticeForKatya #JusticeForBeyoncé
Seeing that this thread existed scared the shit out of me, I thought letters started going out.
 

WizardsBrew

Member
Well put and painfully accurate, Septopus7. I am definitely the same way; hopping from goal to goal and dream to dream as if they were lily pads. I think- and I want to be careful to put this in a way that doesn't condescend, because again I do agree with you- but I've been trying to rehabilitate myself somewhat away from those tendencies because I find that, for me, when I enlist in emotional rollercoasters, especially those in which I am not at the helm, it tends to really distract from my tangible production. Which is to say, for example, if I had really allowed myself to get swept away in the hopes and mysteries of this application cycle, and I really let myself subscribe to visions of me at school this fall, I wouldn't have had the focus or wherewithal to finish my most recent script that I just completed for this current competition season... which is even more toward my actual professional goals than getting my MFA, if that resonates. That may be totally unique to me because I really used to let myself get wrapped up in the dream, and you're probably capable of more balance in that way, but yeah... I too am ready to cement some plans. Done dreaming. Ready to get woke.
 

turburr

Member
Does anyone know if its on a rolling basis? From what I've seen it looks like rejections go out first but I could be wrong.
 

WizardsBrew

Member
Actually, unless I'm reading it incorrectly, judging by the 2016 results, it looks like those admitted and who accepted the offer were either notified or confirmed their decision about a week before people were notified about their rejection- which I think would make more sense if you make your first offers, see which ones accept and then resort to the applicants you've put on your waitlist. Although I suppose there are a good amount of applicants who are just flat out rejected regardless of their first choices. I dunno. I was on Northwesterns waitlist last year and trying to decipher their timeline/matrix was something of a challenge. :/
 

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Yeah, from what I can tell, it seems acceptances go out first. But that's not to say that, if you don't get notified after a bunch of people already got accepted, you have no chance at all at still getting in. From he looks of the spreadsheet/earlier threads, there's a weird mix of people getting accepted earlier and people getting accepted late (likely due to previous acceptees turning down the offer.)
 

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Seeing that this thread existed scared the shit out of me, I thought letters started going out.
Yeah, sorry, still not quite time yet! But as I stated, past history shows that they will be going out within the next week or two, so figured we might as well have a thread ready in the meantime!
 

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
So everyone still hanging out in relative states of unrest, huh?

With nothing better to do, I went through the forums/spreadsheet in order to figure out when exactly the first acceptance letters are sent out. Not exactly the calendar date (those are easy to find), but the day of the week. And, oddly, the day of the week that letters are sent out (for the past five years at least) have always been a weekend. Last year it was Friday, the year before that it was Sunday, and I think the year before that it was Saturday. Anyone have any idea on why they would choose weekends to do it? Seems pretty weird to me.

But in any case, if this year is like the last few years, the letters should start rolling out either this weekend or next weekend. Last year they started to come out on March 4 (which was a Saturday), and in 2015 they were released on February 21. So barring some out of the ordinary delays, we should start to hear back really, really soon.

(On a side note, if there was an MFA on Obsessive Forum Searching, I would totally forego this whole "screenwriting" thing and just do that. I'm pretty good at it!)
 

WizardsBrew

Member
Thanks for that matrix analysis. My wish for you is that your work on that somehow manifests energetically towards your acceptance. ha!

At the risk of sounding less than bright, and assuming a few of you partook of the option to submit the writing requirements for the scholarships, does anyone know how that works exactly? Are the scholarship essays totally moot unless/until you've been selected for the program or does it all factor into your overall application soup perhaps even before a decisions been made?
 

Iuli Dia

Member
Well put and painfully accurate, Septopus7. I am definitely the same way; hopping from goal to goal and dream to dream as if they were lily pads. I think- and I want to be careful to put this in a way that doesn't condescend, because again I do agree with you- but I've been trying to rehabilitate myself somewhat away from those tendencies because I find that, for me, when I enlist in emotional rollercoasters, especially those in which I am not at the helm, it tends to really distract from my tangible production. Which is to say, for example, if I had really allowed myself to get swept away in the hopes and mysteries of this application cycle, and I really let myself subscribe to visions of me at school this fall, I wouldn't have had the focus or wherewithal to finish my most recent script that I just completed for this current competition season... which is even more toward my actual professional goals than getting my MFA, if that resonates. That may be totally unique to me because I really used to let myself get wrapped up in the dream, and you're probably capable of more balance in that way, but yeah... I too am ready to cement some plans. Done dreaming. Ready to get woke.
Could not agree more with this. It's tough when you've done your part and now it's out of your control. All you can do is wait. I'm also working on a script for the competition season. Finished the first draft but it still needs work. Which screenwriting competitions are you looking at?
 

Kira

MFA TV Writer @UCLA

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