36 months
47880 USD/year
47880 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Dramatic Writing MFA program offered at University of Southern California is an intensive, intimate, mentor-based, practicing literary arts program for today’s dramatic writer.


Study Dramatic Writing at University of Southern California

The Dramatic Writing MFA program centrally housed in the School of Dramatic Arts at University of Southern California, an elite research university, is designed to mine the literary potential of the artist, and prepare the artist to engage meaningfully in global society and the profession. In association with the USC School of Cinematic Arts, specific cinematic writing courses are available in the MFADW.

The Dramatic Writing MFA program offered at University of Southern California approaches dramatic writing through its critical roots in playwriting; and then supports investigation beyond this foundation into adaptation, screenwriting, television writing, and new media. This includes curricular projects in dramatic arts, certain specified associative cinematic arts curricula, special workshops, and visiting artists, but with playwriting as the primary emphasis and a professionally promising play as the culminating thesis. 

The program aims to help students utilize their innate artistry to build excellence and to discover their authentic voice. Included are production opportunities in a three-tiered New Works Festival (staged readings, workshop productions, and a capstone concert readings festival utilizing professional directors, professional actors, and professional dramatists as dramaturges and taking place at a major regional theatre company). In addition, as they make their professional transitions, graduating students are provided with the opportunity to meet leaders of prominent theatres in the region one-on-one.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Poetry and Prose into Drama 
  • Advanced Creating Characters 
  • Textual Studies for Performance 
  • Dramatic Writing Studio 
  • Directed Research 
  • Dramaturgical Perspectives and Approaches 
  • Writing the Short Script
  • Dramatic Screenwriting

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 36 months

Start dates & application deadlines


72 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae (CV)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Original Play: Applicants will be asked to submit one (1) writing sample of no more than 90 pages. 
  • Play Synopsis: In addition to your play, please provide a one-page synopsis of your submission which includes your play’s plot without adding any editorial commentary. 
  • Three (3) letters of recommendation
  • Non-refundable fee of $20.

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    47880 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 47880 USD per year during 36 months.
  • National

    47880 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 47880 USD per year during 36 months.

Living costs for Los Angeles

1520 - 2570 USD /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Our partners

Dramatic Writing
University of Southern California


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