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Writing for Screen & Television, Master

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months


  • In addition to receiving an unparalleled master's education in the craft of writing, MFA candidates also benefit from the University's ties to the industry's top writers, directors, production companies, and studios in Los Angeles, yielding an array of internship and mentorship opportunities.
  • The Master of Fine Arts degree in Writing for Screen and Television, is an intensive two-year degree program that concentrates on writing for narrative film and television. During the course of their studies, students benefit from a wide array of internship and mentorship opportunities available as a result of the university's close links to the Los Angeles film industry's top screenwriters, directors, production companies and studios.
  • Course work includes practical instruction in everything a working writer needs to learn about the filmmaker's art and craft. Writing is taught in small workshop-style classes. The approach focuses on the visual tools of storytelling, developing stories from characters and then on an Aristotelian three act structure. Fractured narratives, ensemble stories, experiments with time and points of view, as well as other idiosyncratic styles of storytelling, are also addressed. The curriculum covers other professional concerns, including legal issues, agents and the Writer's Guild, as well as the history and analysis of cinema and television. Classes are taught by working writers with a wide variety of skills, experience and approaches.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Writing the Short Script
  • Basic Dramatic Screenwriting
  • Advanced Hour-Long Television Drama
  • Advanced Half-Hour Television Comedy
  • Practicum in Directing Actors for Film
  • Graduate Writing Symposium
  • Basic Dramatic Screenwriting
  • Advanced Motion Picture Script Analysis
  • Advanced Half-Hour Comedy Series Pilot
  • Advanced Hour-Long Drama Series Pilot
  • Practicum in Screenwriting
  • Thesis in Half-Hour Television Comedy
  • Thesis in Television Drama
  • Practicum in Screenwriting
  • Thesis in Half-Hour Television Comedy
  • Thesis in Television Drama
  • The Business of Writing for Screen and Television.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    44 units alternative credits
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode
    On Campus

English Language Requirements

You only need to take one of these language tests:

  • Minimum required score:


    The TOEFL iBT ® measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The test has four sections (reading, listening, speaking, and writing), each with a score range of 0-30, for a total score range of 0-120. Read more about TOEFL iBT ®.

    Schedule TOEFL®
  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

    Schedule IELTS

Academic Requirements

Cinematic Arts Supplemental Materials:
  • Autobiographical Character Sketch
  • Creative Challenges (A & B)
  • Most Challenging Moment
  • Writing Sample (Maximum of 10 pages)
  • Curriculum Vitae
  • Creative Portfolio List
  • Letters of Recommendation (3).
Admission Requirements:
  • Submit the General USC Graduate Application for Admission
  • Submit Supplemental Materials via the SlideRoom Application
  • Send Official Academic Transcripts
  • Submit Official English Proficiency Test Scores (International Applicants Only)
  • Apply for SCA Scholarships (Optional).

Tuition Fee

  • International

    53448 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 26724 USD per semester and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    53448 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 26724 USD per semester and a duration of 24 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.

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.

The Global Study Awards: get funded with up to £10,000 to study abroad

Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS, Studyportals offers you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.

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