The Screenwriting program, a two-year master of fine arts degree in film and television, seeks to identify and nurture the most exciting, innovative, diverse and distinct screenwriting voices in a supportive, safe environment that enables students to explore and experiment with form and subject matter. We challenge our students to succeed through risking failure, to engage with other art forms in order to better understand the art of screenwriting, to cultivate a curiosity in global art, to develop critical thinking skills to aid in the analysis of their scripts, and to provide an ethical foundation in building a career path.

Students build their thesis portfolio by concentrating either on feature film or television writing, though students are encouraged to, and often do take, workshops in both concentrations. Our faculty work across the film, television and digital media landscapes and offer guidance and wisdom informed by their many years as working professionals.

Established in 1965, the UCLA TFT Screenwriting program has provided a strong foundation for hundreds of alumni, including Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), Dustin Lance Black (Milk), Steven Canals (Pose), Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather), Laeta Kalogridis (Shutter Island, Altered Carbon) David Koepp (Spider Man), Josefina Lopez (Real Women Have Curves), Alexander Payne (Nebraska), David S. Ward (The Sting), Eric Roth (Forrest Gump) and Caroline Williams (Miss/Guided).

MFA: Film and Television, Area: Screenwriting


The Screenwriting program has the following time-to-degree requirement: A minimum of six quarters; maximum of seven quarters. The minimum total units required to graduate is 72 units (18 courses). Maintenance of a B average GPA.


430: Introduction to Film & Television Writing is required for all MFA screenwriting students and must be taken in the Fall Quarter of the student’s first year. Students must take a minimum of two graduate-level Cinema and Media Studies courses.

Students must also take FT 210 Viewing and Reading Media in the Fall Quarter of their first year, which fulfils the first of two graduate-level Cinema and Media Studies (CMS) courses requirements.

Please see list below for approved course numbers and titles, and please note that not all courses are offered every quarter. Students should consult the Registrar's schedule for available courses and class times. For courses in the 298 series, students should consult the graduate advisor first to check whether a course fulfills the CMS requirement.

  • 203: Film and Other Arts
  • 204: Visual Analysis
  • 206A: European Film History
  • 206B: Selected Topics In American Film History
  • 206C: American Film History**
  • 207: Experimental Film
  • 209A: Documentary Film
  • 208B: Classical Film Theory **
  • 208C: Contemporary Film Theory
  • 209B: Fictional Film
  • 209D: Animated Film
  • 217: Selected Topics in Television History **
  • 217A: American Television History**
  • 218: Culture, Media and Society
  • 219: Film and Society
  • 220: Television and Society
  • 221: Film Authors
  • 222: Film Genres
  • 223: Visual Perception
  • 224: Computer Applications for Film Study
  • 225: Videogame Theory
  • 246: Electronic Culture
  • 270: Film Criticism
  • 271: Television Criticism
  • 276: Non-Western Film
  • 277: Narrative Studies
  • 298AB: Special Studies (topics vary and must be selected in consultation with the graduate counselor)

**Courses are sometimes taught as a core course for MA students and may not be available that particular quarter to MFA students.

Students must take a minimum of one graduate-level FTVDM course outside of screenwriting. These may include classes offered by the Producers Program, Production Program or Animation Program.

Students fulfilling their thesis requirements in the feature film track must take:

  • One 434: Advanced Screenwriting Workshop
  • One 437: Adaptation for Screen
  • One 434B/438: Advanced Screenwriting Workshop — Rewrite
  • EITHER an additional 434 or an additional 437

Students fulfilling their thesis requirements in the TV track must take:

  • One 434: Advanced Screenwriting Workshop
  • Two 284B: One-Hour Drama Pilot Workshops


  • One 283B: Half-Hour Comedy Pilot Workshop


  • Two 283B: Half-Hour Comedy Pilot Workshops


  • One 284B: One-Hour Drama Pilot Workshop

The program is designed so that students may fulfill their thesis requirements within their tracks in four quarters, leaving the student space within which to pursue screenwriting workshops outside of their tracks if they wish to do so.

All MFA programs in Film, Television and Digital Media are full-time programs. The department admits new students only once each year for the Fall Quarter.

We do not accept films, DVDs or CDs.

Applicants must submit all required application materials to be considered for admission.

Online and Mailed Application Deadline: November 1, 2022

By the time of entrance, MFA applicants must:

  • Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
  • Satisfy the University of California’s Graduate Admission Requirements.
  • Complete equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree.


Please complete all of the following steps:

Step 1: Online

  • Complete the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
    • MUST be paid and completed online by November 1, 2022.
    • Indicate MFA, Film and Television, Screenwriting as the program.
  • Upload the Statement of Purpose.
    • Submit a 1-2 page document.
  • Upload a Personal Statement.
    • Submit ONE of the following options in Script:
      • TWO completed FEATURE-LENGTH SCREENPLAYS (80-130 page max).
      • TWO ORIGINAL hour-long DRAMA PILOTS (each 50-65 page max).
      • TWO ORIGINAL half-hour COMEDY/DRAMEDY PILOTS (each 40 page max.
      • ONE ORIGINAL hour-long DRAMA PILOT (50-65 page max) & ONE ORIGINAL half-hour COMEDY/DRAMEDY PILOT (40 page max).
      • DO NOT submit adaptations, spec episode scripts or co-written materials, these will NOT be reviewed.
      • DO NOT submit any other form of writing, including poems, novels, short fiction, essays; these will NOT be reviewed.
  • Upload Unofficial copies of all Transcripts.
  • Submit Three Letters of Recommendation
    • Enter the Names and Emails of all recommenders into the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.

Step 2: Mail

  • Mail an Official copy of all Transcripts from each Undergraduate and Graduate institutions attended.
    • Note: Community College transcripts are not necessary.
  • Request that all Test Scores be sent directly to UCLA.
    • Only test scores taken by December 31, 2022 will be accepted.
    • The GRE UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409.
    • Note: The GRE is not Required for MFA Applicants.

Mailing Address

Please send all applicable materials to:

Graduate Film Admissions: Screenwriting
UCLA Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media
103 East Melnitz Hall, Box 951622
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622

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Online and Mailed Application Deadline: November 1, 2022.

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For more information on requirements and applying to UCLA as an international student, visit

English Proficiency: Any international applicant whose first language is not English must certify proficiency in English when applying to UCLA, and, if admitted, upon arrival. Such applicants must submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as part of their application. The UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409. Only test scores taken by December 31, 2022 will be accepted For more information about this requirement, visit International applicants who have received a bachelor’s degree from an American institution are not required to take the TOEFL.

Academic Records: Although the Application for Graduate Admission enables applicants to upload an unofficial copy of their academic records, all applicants are required to submit official records from each academic institution attended. For more information about this requirement, visit

Undergrad Degree Requirement: Applicants must complete equivalent to a 4 year US Bachelor’s Degree. International students who hold three-year ordinary pass degrees, or who hold professional diplomas in accounting, business, librarianship, social work, physical education, health education and so on, or four-year degrees, diplomas or higher certificates from technical, vocational or post-secondary specialized schools are NOT eligible for graduate admission. For Academic Requirements by Country or Educational System, visit:

Proof of Funding for Visa: U.S. immigration law requires that international applicants, if admitted, show documented evidence that sufficient funds to cover all tuition, fees, transportation, and living expenses are available for the first year of their studies at UCLA. This must be proven before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. For more information about this requirement, visit


For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid in the 2023-2024 year, note that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2023. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by this date if they want to be eligible for all awards, work-study, and scholarships that UCLA offers. If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities.


For non-US Citizens or non-Permanent Residents who are approved to pay in-state tuition because they graduated from a high school in California; they will need to complete the California DREAM application by the March 2, 2023 deadline. The DREAM application can be accessed at If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities.

Please visit the FAQ page for additional information, call 310-206-8441, or email

** Please do not contact the department to check on your application, as we cannot update you on your application status or materials.

For Prospective Students:

For Current Students:

Film, Television and Digital Media Counselor: Laura Campbell

Film, Television and Digital Media Staff

Film, Television and Digital Media Faculty