USC Screenwriting MFA - Fall 2019

BuddernScotch

Active Member
Hello fellow USC screenwriting hopefuls!

So the time is upon us again. I've just spoken to the Cinematic Arts dept. today and apparently applications were sent out for review yesterday - so... yeah. It's begun.

This is my third time applying, USC is the dream school for screenwriting, but I've also applied to several other screenwriting MFA programs in California this year, including Chapman, AFI, and LMU. I'm from Canada so getting to go to a school in California would be... woooweee. Amazing.

Anyways, I'm hoping this can be a thread to share news and information about applications and accept/reject statuses. And maybe calm each other down while we all embark on this excruciating journey of waiting. If anyone would like to post anything that could soothe the nerves that would be great too :) - I actually watch sci-fi horror movies to quell my nerves, and I'm about to see Overlord pretty soon - interestingly, it's part of the Cloverfield universe (??!>!>!?!?! I'm freaking out help no actually I'm fine wait I'm definitely not).

Good luck everyone :)
 

WriterK90

Active Member
Supporting Member
To destress, I'm going to nerd out over the winter break and play D&D for the first time. (My bf converted me lol) Ironically all of my friends who love that game, love some form of writing. It looks really fun. Good luck on your applications!!!

For some reason, hearing that it's begun made me nervous. I'm just glad it's all out of my hands now and crossing my fingers that I'll get in somewhere.
 

Septopus7

Moderator
Staff member
Supporting Member
Hello fellow USC screenwriting hopefuls!

So the time is upon us again. I've just spoken to the Cinematic Arts dept. today and apparently applications were sent out for review yesterday - so... yeah. It's begun.

This is my third time applying, USC is the dream school for screenwriting, but I've also applied to several other screenwriting MFA programs in California this year, including Chapman, AFI, and LMU. I'm from Canada so getting to go to a school in California would be... woooweee. Amazing.

Anyways, I'm hoping this can be a thread to share news and information about applications and accept/reject statuses. And maybe calm each other down while we all embark on this excruciating journey of waiting. If anyone would like to post anything that could soothe the nerves that would be great too :) - I actually watch sci-fi horror movies to quell my nerves, and I'm about to see Overlord pretty soon - interestingly, it's part of the Cloverfield universe (??!>!>!?!?! I'm freaking out help no actually I'm fine wait I'm definitely not).

Good luck everyone :)
Hey, another third time applicant, look at that! Glad to see more foolish optimists around here!

dozens_of_us_arrested_development.gif
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
To destress, I'm going to nerd out over the winter break and play D&D for the first time. (My bf converted me lol) Ironically all of my friends who love that game, love some form of writing. It looks really fun. Good luck on your applications!!!

For some reason, hearing that it's begun made me nervous. I'm just glad it's all out of my hands now and crossing my fingers that I'll get in somewhere.
Interesting! I play a lot of games, video games though, but I've also noticed that a lot of my online friends are writers and/or artists. Something about games is very connected to storytelling. Especially D & D, there's so much creative energy that goes into it!

Hey, another third time applicant, look at that! Glad to see more foolish optimists around here!

I DEFINITELY feel like a foolish optimist :D

I also applied! My second time!!
Good luck vibes for everyone!!!
 

Chris W

As You Wish
Staff member
Anybody care to share what they wrote for the portfolio part of the application?
If people people post what they wrote into the "Application Materials" section of their Applications then only site members can view it and not The Google if people are worried about that.

Untitled.jpg

See the sample application for the example here:

Interview Scheduled - SAMPLE MFA Application 2019
 

Apeach

Member
Hello fellow USC screenwriting hopefuls!

So the time is upon us again. I've just spoken to the Cinematic Arts dept. today and apparently applications were sent out for review yesterday - so... yeah. It's begun.

This is my third time applying, USC is the dream school for screenwriting, but I've also applied to several other screenwriting MFA programs in California this year, including Chapman, AFI, and LMU. I'm from Canada so getting to go to a school in California would be... woooweee. Amazing.

Anyways, I'm hoping this can be a thread to share news and information about applications and accept/reject statuses. And maybe calm each other down while we all embark on this excruciating journey of waiting. If anyone would like to post anything that could soothe the nerves that would be great too :) - I actually watch sci-fi horror movies to quell my nerves, and I'm about to see Overlord pretty soon - interestingly, it's part of the Cloverfield universe (??!>!>!?!?! I'm freaking out help no actually I'm fine wait I'm definitely not).

Good luck everyone :)
Hey! I'm actually in a similar boat, first time applying, but I'm also from Canada. I started taking an improv class, which is kind of like therapy for me. So fun, and so welcoming. Also lots of D&D fans there (@WriterK90 ) .

I was wondering if you were comfortable sharing why USC is your top choice? The biggest thing I hear about it is the alumni network (which I've also seen disputed on forums).

Anyway, good luck! I'm sure you've learned tons through applying and have a killer application this time around!
 

amlena

Storyteller
Hey all! Here to commiserate as we play the waiting game.

So I'm lucky in that I'm a SoCal native. I do a little acting, so I've been spending my free time auditioning for student films. It's actually been an amazing way to keep myself busy (and therefore spend less time freaking out) as well as helped me meet current film students, tour the campuses, see the facilities, etc. Prior to this, UCLA was my top choice, but after going to auditions and working on a few short films, I'm starting to really favor USC. Which is a double-edged sword because I feel like it was my weakest application. :oops: Welp. At least I'm having fun while I wait.
 

Apeach

Member
Hey all! Here to commiserate as we play the waiting game.

So I'm lucky in that I'm a SoCal native. I do a little acting, so I've been spending my free time auditioning for student films. It's actually been an amazing way to keep myself busy (and therefore spend less time freaking out) as well as helped me meet current film students, tour the campuses, see the facilities, etc. Prior to this, UCLA was my top choice, but after going to auditions and working on a few short films, I'm starting to really favor USC. Which is a double-edged sword because I feel like it was my weakest application. :oops: Welp. At least I'm having fun while I wait.
Wow, that sounds like an amazing experience, plus a good way to scope out the schools. What made you change your mind? Have you been working with both schools or just USC?

Oof, same here. I looked over mine earlier today and it's easily my weakest one.
 

amlena

Storyteller
Wow, that sounds like an amazing experience, plus a good way to scope out the schools. What made you change your mind? Have you been working with both schools or just USC?

Oof, same here. I looked over mine earlier today and it's easily my weakest one.
I've auditioned with both schools and seen both campuses, but I've only been cast in a USC film so far. And, well, money talks - USC clearly has more money. The Steven Spielberg/George Lucas building is gorgeous. USC seems to have more in terms of equipment. Melnitz Hall at UCLA is pretty drab in comparison. They do have great studio spaces, though.

From conversations with students, I get the feeling that USC has a lot more collaboration across departments. So, even if you're on the screenwriting track, you're more likely to be able to dabble in directing or producing at USC than UCLA. Of course, everything has to be taken with a grain of salt because students from both schools will say that their school is the best. From my understanding, though, UCLA is focused more on indie and art house films, while USC is more open to genre. In the words of the producer of the USC film I just wrapped on: "UCLA is going to focus on teaching you how to make art. USC is going to focus on teaching you how to make money."

[Insert me screaming in the background: WHY CAN'T I DO BOTH?!]
 

Apeach

Member
Ha, exactly, both would be nice (and, I'd like to think, are possible). But if anything, hearing about how they talk about themselves is really helpful in terms of understanding the culture there.

Thanks for sharing!
 
Thanks Michel. How are you liking school so far? Can you give us insight into what the day to day looks like? Anything you wish you knew going in? (Getting waaaayyy ahead of myself but I like to dream).
It's been going great. The only thing I wish I knew before I got in was that there are multiple job opportunities spread all over campus, not just Writing Division assistantships.
 

BuddernScotch

Active Member
It's been going great. The only thing I wish I knew before I got in was that there are multiple job opportunities spread all over campus, not just Writing Division assistantships.
If - wait -when (as my lovely roommates tell me to tell myself) I get in I would love to start a new thread/and updated thread for alumns/current students to share more amazing info like this.

I've auditioned with both schools and seen both campuses, but I've only been cast in a USC film so far. And, well, money talks - USC clearly has more money. The Steven Spielberg/George Lucas building is gorgeous. USC seems to have more in terms of equipment. Melnitz Hall at UCLA is pretty drab in comparison. They do have great studio spaces, though.

From conversations with students, I get the feeling that USC has a lot more collaboration across departments. So, even if you're on the screenwriting track, you're more likely to be able to dabble in directing or producing at USC than UCLA. Of course, everything has to be taken with a grain of salt because students from both schools will say that their school is the best. From my understanding, though, UCLA is focused more on indie and art house films, while USC is more open to genre. In the words of the producer of the USC film I just wrapped on: "UCLA is going to focus on teaching you how to make art. USC is going to focus on teaching you how to make money."

[Insert me screaming in the background: WHY CAN'T I DO BOTH?!]
And I completely agree, but based off what I'm hearing now from this and other forums it's also the case that UCLA has transitioned more into writing for television.

In response to peachy, USC is my dream school because I would ideally want to write features. But UCLA is such a close second because tv writing is becoming more and more influential, story-driven, and lucrative :)

Just biting my lip hoping to get into either!
 
so....based on the info from the spreadsheet all programs hear back around the same time i’m assuming? and that includes both international and US students as well...well two people who applied to the film/TV production program (both international students) just heard back a few hours ago! (((and got accepted 🎉))) now i’m curious if the time has begun and the emails and acceptances start rolling in or not omg
 

Latest Applications

Latest reviews

  • Cal State Northridge (CSUN) - MFA in Screenwriting Program
    3.00 star(s)
    I was accepted to the CSUN MFA program in 2018 and took part in in for a full year; however, I recently decided not to go back and complete the...
    • Anonymous
  • Savannah College of Art and Design (MFA)
    1.00 star(s)
    The school is a complete honeypot, department head Donald.W Moffett has limited film production experience and has not idea how to properly guide...
    • Anonymous
  • Emerson College
    3.00 star(s)
    Emerson opened a lot of doors for me, so I can't dismiss that fact. However, I don't think it was necessary for me to go to Emerson as opposed to...
    • Anonymous
  • NYU - Tisch Kanbar Institute of Film and Television (M.F.A.)
    5.00 star(s)
    Currently in my third year of my MFA at NYU Tisch Grad Film (writing/directing). I cannot praise this program enough! It exceeded any expectation...
    • Anonymous
  • National Film and Television School (NFTS)
    5.00 star(s)
    I'm currently in my first year of a 2 year MA at the NFTS. I saw these relatively negative reviews about the NFTS before I applied, but I can now...
    • VDW
Top