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Fine Arts - Screenwriting, M.A.

  • Application Deadline
  • 24 months


Only applicants who demonstrate an exceptional level of talent, creativity and commitment to personal intellectual development will be admitted into the Master of Fine Arts - Screenwriting at California State University Northridge. The highest academic and artistic standards, as well as professional decorum, will be expected throughout the course of study. Forty-two units of graduate work are required, including the writing of motion picture screenplays, narrative television scripts, directing for TV and a culminating experience writing a feature-film screenplay as the M.F.A. thesis for this terminal degree.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Demonstrate advanced writing proficiency appropriate for entry into competitive professional screenwriting and teleplay-writing careers.
  • Demonstrate critical thinking, research and analytical skills appropriate for accomplishing professional and personal goals.
  • Demonstrate the practical communication and technical skills required for entry into a competitive professional field.
  • Demonstrate insight into and objective understanding of screen story structures when analyzing scripts or outlines, and the ability to offer positive, ethical solutions for story problems.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Writing Screenplay Comedy
  • Theory and History of Cinema and Electronic Media
  • Contemporary Film Analysis
  • Screenplay Scene Writing
  • Seminar in Screenwriting
  • Writing Episodic Television
  • TV Production
  • Film Practicum: The Business of Film and TV

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Programme intensity Full-time
    • Full-time duration 24 months
  • Credits
    42 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 TOEFL®PBT is administered in a paper format and measures your ability to use and understand English in a classroom setting at the college or university level. It accurately measures how well you can listen, read and write in English while performing academic tasks. Read more about TOEFL®PBT.

    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
  • Minimum required score:


    PTE Academic (Pearson Test of English Academic) is a language test that enables students to demonstrate their writing, listening, speaking, and reading skills when applying to study in English. Delivered and marked by computer, it reports on a scale between 10 and 90.

Academic Requirements

You need the following GPA score:

Required score: 3

Applicants for graduate programs must have the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA equivalent to 3 on a US 4.0 grading scale. Admitted applicants typically have an undergraduate GPA of or better on a 4.0 scale. No exam grade should be lower than 4.5 (European grade scale) or D (American grade scale).

Your GPA (Grade Point Average) is calculated using the grades that you received in each course, and is determined by the points assigned to each grade (e.g. for the US grading scale from A-F).

  • A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university, and a proven record of success in courses focused on narrative or dramatic writing (with at least one or two such courses taken and a “B” average or better achieved in them).
  • Students lacking a sufficient academic or professional background in film or television may be expected to expand their knowledge of those fields through enrollment in courses assigned by the graduate advisor before admission into the program.
  • A 3.0 grade point average or higher in all undergraduate courses completed, including lower division and community college classes, and a 3.0 grade point average or higher in all cinema and/or television arts courses taken.
  • Tuition Fee

    • International

      8322 USD/year
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 8322 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.
    • National

      8322 USD/year
      Tuition Fee
      Based on the original amount of 8322 USD per year 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.


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