Graduate Admission FAQs

  • What’s the application deadline for the MFA program?

    The deadline for starting the MFA program in fall 2020 is December 4, 2019. Click here to be directed to our Graduate Admission site for more information.

  • What materials do I need to submit with my application?

    Each of the three MFA programs has slightly different requirements for the work portfolio to be submitted along with your application. Review the requirements for each program by clicking on the links below:

  • Do I need to submit GRE scores with my application?

    GRE scores are required only if your undergraduate GPA is below 3.0. If your GPA is 3.0 or higher, you need not submit GRE scores with your application.

  • Do you accept students for the spring semester?

    At this time, our program admits students for fall semester only.

  • Do you accept transfer students from other master’s programs in film and TV?

    At this time, we do not accept transfer students and we do not offer transfer credits.

  • Do you offer campus tours?

    Yes. We offer tours of LMU’s Playa Vista campus, where most graduate classes are held, on Wednesdays by request. Tours are led by current MFA students who can answer your questions about LMU SFTV and its programs. Click here to request a tour.

  • When are acceptance decisions made?

    We finalize acceptances and wait list offers by early April each year. You will be notified of our decision via email from LMU’s Graduate Admissions office.

  • Can I apply to more than one MFA program?

    No. You can apply to only one of our three programs each year.

  • How many students apply each year, and how many do you admit?

    While we don’t publish our admission rate, we aim for a diverse cohort of roughly 80 students each year to keep class sizes small. Each cohort consists of about 50 students in Film and Television Production, and about 30 total students combined in the Writing and Producing for Television and Writing for the Screen programs.

  • What if I don’t get into the program I applied to? Can I re-apply at another time?

    Each applicant can apply to one MFA program per year. If you don't get into the program of your choice, you can re-apply the following year or at a subsequent time with new portfolio materials to any of the three MFA programs. Click here to contact our director of graduate recruiting if you'd like to discuss how to strengthen your application the second time around.

  • Do you offer graduate student housing?

    LMU has a partnership with the apartment complex Playa Del Oro, located at the intersection of Manchester and Lincoln Boulevards in Westchester. You can apply for graduate housing once you've been admitted. MFA students who live there pay rent on a per-semester basis through LMU's billing department. For the 2019-2020 academic year, Playa Del Oro offers housing options at two price points:

    • A single bedroom in a two-bedroom apartment with shared common spaces for $1,825 per month including utilities (gas, electric, water). This figure is subject to change each year.
    • A shared bedroom in a two-bedroom apartment with shared common spaces for $1,250 per month including utilities (gas, electric, water) This figure is subject to change each year.

    Students who choose not to live at Playa Del Oro find housing on their own. Keep in mind that Los Angeles is a large city with a lot of traffic, so choose your neighborhood accordingly.

    This story has good advice on navigating the local housing market.

    Email us if you'd like more information on housing costs or the nearby community and other L.A. neighborhoods.

  • How much will it cost to make my graduate thesis project?

    The cost of student projects varies widely depending on length, location, and many other factors. Some students make films for as little as $1,000, while others have cost tens of thousands of dollars.

    The following items are included in your tuition and fees paid to LMU:

    • A wide assortment of cameras, lighting, and grip equipment
    • Post-production suites including editing bays, color-correction stations, sound mixing facilities, and ADR/Foley studios
    • Access to use LMU's Westchester and Playa Vista campuses as filming locations

    Students typically pay for the following items:

    • Meals for cast and crew during shoot days
    • A small fee for permits
    • Transportation needed during shoot days (e.g. truck rental)
    • Special props, set items, and costumes
    • Special cameras or production equipment that differs from LMU's existing equipment inventory

    Ultimately your project's budget is up to you as its creator. Determining how to make your project at the lowest possible cost is an excellent way to prepare to enter the industry. The following stories have useful information about budgeting for your projects:

  • How do I find out about job and internships? Does SFTV place students in internships?

    LMU's Career and Professional Development office uses a platform called Handshake that connects students with employment opportunities. You can also click here to contact LMU's Associate Director for Creative Professions and Strategic Initiatives to set up an appointment for career coaching. Please note that wait times for such appointments can be a month or longer, so plan accordingly.

    In addition to these resources, SFTV maintains ties to a number of highly desirable employers in the media, entertainment, and creative tech industries. We send out a weekly email newsletter that's packed with information about job and internship opportunities, on- and off-campus events, and application deadlines for competitions and film festivals. We also have a private, opt-in Facebook group for our students and alumni, where members post regularly about jobs and internships in Los Angeles and beyond.

    In other words, we offer our students ample resources for learning about potential employers and employment opportunities. Students themselves are responsible for networking, reaching out to potential employers, filling out applications, and going on interviews. Applying for internships is good practice for pursuing work in the industry. Often, word of mouth and informal networking among your peers, professors, and others you'll meet is the best way to find out about internship opportunities.

    Finally, please note that SFTV recommends that you not take an internship until after you've completed the first year of the MFA program. We make this recommendation because of the workload and time commitment needed to successfully navigate and complete the first year. There will be ample opportunities for internships during summer breaks and throughout your final two years of the MFA program.

  • How can I connect to SFTV alumni?

    We maintain a private, opt-in, moderated Facebook group for alumni and students where members regularly share information about events, programs, and internship and job opportunities. You’ll be invited to join this group if you become an MFA student at SFTV. 

  • What's the difference between the Writing for the Screen and the Writing and Producing for TV programs?

    Our Writing for the Screen program focuses on developing student’s artistry and craft for writing fictional (narrative) feature and non-fiction (documentary) films. Our Writing and Producing for Television program is designed to produce showrunners—the “hyphenate” creative leaders who work in TV as writer-directors and writer-producers. Examples of popular TV shows created by showrunners include Game of Thrones (David Benioff and D. B. Weiss), Grey’s Anatomy (Shonda Rhimes), and Mad Men (Matthew Weiner).

    If you're a writer, think carefully about which type of writing and career appeals to you most before choosing which program to apply to. If you’d like to learn more about these two programs, email us and we’ll connect you to our graduate director of screenwriting.

  • How do the areas of specialization work in the MFA Film and Television program?

    The first three semesters for all MFA candidates in the Film and Television Production program consist of common-core courses that provide foundational knowledge and experience. Prior to registering for the fourth semester, students declare one of five areas of specialization:

    1. Cinematography
    2. Creative producing
    3. Directing fiction (narrative)
    4. Directing non-fiction (documentary)
    5. Editing

    Courses taken during the final three semesters of the program, as well as thesis requirements, are tailored to the student’s specialization.