1. Why should I study screenwriting at Cal State Northridge instead of one of those other cool grad programs I hear about?
ANSWER: Three reasons.
First, excellence. Ask around, check out the current reputation of our award winning Cinema and Television Arts Department. We have a stunning new building and a prestigious Cinematheque in our 130 seat state-of-the-art Armer Screening Room. For our graduate degree we have built a faculty of professional screenwriters who are also master teachers, and we have created a program recognized as one of the strongest anywhere.
Second, we’re connected. Our campus is located in the sunny San Fernando Valley, at the very heart of the motion picture and television industries. Many major creative people in screenwriting, directing, and producing involve themselves with our program. We offer some of the most dynamic and connected professional internship opportunities in the nation, and have placement relationships with almost every major Hollywood studio and production company.
Third, we’re affordable. Our Masters in Screenwriting Program costs a fraction of those other big name schools.
2. My Bachelor of Arts degree is in a discipline other than Film. Can I still apply to the M.A. in Screenwriting Program?
ANSWER: Yes. The B.A. or B.S. degree is required, but not necessarily in a field related to film. Students with no script writing background may be required to take an undergraduate course in screenwriting to prepare them for studying screenwriting at the professional level.
3. How long does it take to get the Masters in Screenwriting degree?
ANSWER: Our M.A. in Screenwriting degree is 30 units. It is designed to be completed in two years, with many of the graduate classes held in the evening so they are accessible for working adults.
4. Are financing and financial aid available?
ANSWER: Yes. Check with the Cal State Northridge Financial Aid Office, (818) 677-2374, or call the Cinema and Television Arts Graduate Program Advisor, (818) 677-7486, for more information.
5. What are your application deadlines?
ANSWER: The department admits graduate students annually in the fall semester. Applications are accepted from November 1 to February 11 for the following fall semester entering graduate class. We no longer offer spring admissions. This deadline is intended to ensure the university has time to process application materials, and students have time to pursue financial aid and register for classes. Special late application circumstances will be considered on a case by case basis.
6. How do I apply?
ANSWER: You will need to apply to BOTH the Cinema and Television Arts Department and the university.
For university on-line applications go to: www.csumentor.edu
For the Cinema Department on-line applications go to:
www.ctva.csun.edu. Go to the “Student Resources” link, then go to the “forms” page in the graduate section.
Application forms are also available for the CTVA Graduate Screenwriting Program from the Cal State University Northridge office of Admissions and Records, or the CTVA Department office, Manzanita Hall, MZ 195.
7. I heard that your Cinema Department also offers graduate degrees in other film areas besides screenwriting. Is this true?
ANSWER: At the present time, no. In the last few years we have shaped our grad program and added new faculty members to focus on professional screenwriting only and thereby become superior in that one area. Our graduate screenwriting faculty is among the very best you will find anywhere.
8. What sort of writing sample do I need to submit with my application?
ANSWER: We require two writing samples. First, you’ll need to submit a Statement Essay/Letter of Intent of no more than 500 words providing information about yourself and stating your general purposes and goals in pursuing a masters degree with us. And second, you’ll need to submit a sample original screenplay (completed or partial) or, if you haven’t done much screenwriting yet, a stage play, short story, chapter from a novel, or in some specialized cases, collected works of poetry.
9. Will I need letters of recommendation, too?
ANSWER: Yes. You need to submit three letters of recommendation from people in positions of authority who have worked with you and who can objectively assess your potential as a graduate student and screenwriter.
10. Do students in the Graduate Screenwriting Program get to work on short films and in film or television production?
ANSWER: No. There is currently no graduate level film or television production element to our M.A. program curriculum. There are certain elective courses available that do involve graduate students in some forms of production, but they are not required.
11. Where should I send my transcripts?
ANSWER: Official transcripts need to be posted to the admissions and records department of CSUN. The address is:
CSUN - Admissions and Records
18111 Nordhoff St
Northridge, CA 91330-8207