Has anyone else applied? Production or Screenwriting? Thoughts/concerns about the application process?

Any current students with advice or thoughts on the program and/or the city?

Good luck to everyone!
Hmm... yes, I wonder how many people the GRE will dissuade since it's the only major Film/Screenwriting MFA program that requires it. The main reason I decided to bite the bullet is because the cost is so much lower.

I'd be interested to hear other folks' experience but I didn't find it too difficult, only about 5-6 weeks of studying to exceed current UT MFA students' average.


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Based on these forums, it's turned off quite a few quality applicants, unfortunately for the school. Their tuition is really fantastic and the quality of their program and it's ranking should be a bigger draw than it seems to be from what I've seen.

I likely would have gone ahead and taken it however I didn't have time to register for a test date prior to the UT-A application deadline. Long ago in the days of regular standardized testing (I think my last one was the PSAT or ACT circa 2002, never did SAT), I scored really well and generally did on that type of testing while growing up. I was definitely disappointed I wasn't able to apply because of the time frame I had - I have a cousin who went to UT for his undergrad (no idea what major) and loved it and has stayed in town. He loves the area so much, he convinced his parents to move there this winter too. Could have a been a really fun graduate experience to be with family.


Well-Known Member
I really wanted to apply to UT, but the GRE was definitely a detractor. It was the only school that required it, and since I'm a horrible test-taker I knew it wouldn't be worth it. It's too bad because Austin is a fantastic city! Good luck!!
Yes, and I don't think the GRE is that large a factor in their decision -- it's a university requirement, not departmental.

But I think it has had a factor on the number of applicants. I believe last year they only received 73 applications and accepted 8. You'd think that number would be a lot higher considering their tuition is ~$4,700 compared to comparable programs that are $40,000 and up.

Two years ago I applied to Columbia's Screenwriting MFA program (and decided not to go because of the insane cost) and their acceptance letter stated they'd received around 1,000 applicants (for 72 slots).


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Well-Known Member
I just got the call that I was accepted to UT's Screenwriting program! Way earlier than I was expecting.. Just thought I'd let any interested parties know the process has begun.

That is awesome! Congratulations - I sincerely hope you love the program.


New Member
Has anyone else applied? Production or Screenwriting? Thoughts/concerns about the application process?

Any current students with advice or thoughts on the program and/or the city?

Good luck to everyone!

Hey guys, I'm a currently a first year MFA (2015) on the production track and so far it's been an awesome decision. It's a very intense program so bring your A game. It is however strategically designed and your access to faculty is great. Lot of talent in these halls. Anyway, loving it so far, as are the other 11 cohorts. We're a very diverse group of filmmakers too so it really helps being able to bounce ideas off of each other for new insights.

Just trying to help you shed some light on this because I know it's a major decision and I remember where I was this time a year ago. Definitely a contender with programs like USC, UCLA, AFI, and NYU.
@CBurfict thanks for your response!

Is there a lot of collaboration/interaction between the production cohort and the screenwriting cohort? What sort of advice do you have regarding moving to Austin/finding an apartment, etc?

I am super pumped about the program and excited to hear about your positive experience with it thus far


New Member
There is definitely plenty of opportunity for you to work closely with the screenwriters and while it's encouraged, it's not required. I believe screenwriters have an opportunity to direct their work that first semester, and are known to reach out to production MFAs for help. Similarly, MFA production students will take a screenwriting course their first semester and often choose to direct the short screenplays they develop in that course. It's really a supportive environment. Screenwriters and MFA production also share a film History course second semester with Dr. Charles Ramirez-Berg (he's great).

Austin is great but traffic is horrible. To that point, I do not recommend living farther than you can bike to campus (and I definitely recommend a bike, it's quite common here). You'll be on campus a LOT your first year, so the closer you live the easier it will be for you. Hyde Park is a nice and common area students live, but anything in the area near campus will do. No need to worry about crime etc. Apartments are older, but you'll get over it. You won't be home enough for it to matter. Lol.


Nice man, congratulations!!

Is UT your first choice?

Thank you! I'm not sure yet. I did apply to a few other schools and still want to hear back from at least AFI. UT is looking really good at the moment due to cost, location and the small size of the program. I'm planning on visiting Austin now since I've never been. Hopefully that will give me insight(I'm bi-coastal between LA and NYC so a change would be nice).

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