Master Screenwriting Skills at NYFA
In the Master’s of Fine Arts (MFA) in Screenwriting degree program, students master cinematic storytelling concepts and techniques. Throughout this hands-on program, students work and study at the same pace as professional screenwriters, writing scripts and proposals for film, television, comic books, games, as well as web series.
Studying under the mentorship and guidance of our experienced faculty of active industry screenwriters, students grow individually as artists and write intensively, learning to adhere to project guidelines and take constructive criticism while retaining a unique artistic voice.
MFA students also learn to build strong, three-dimensional characters and develop compelling story worlds and franchises across multiple visual media. To round out their knowledge and experience in narrative storytelling, students also expand on their knowledge of filmmaking, acting, and editing. Due to the rigorous nature of this program, it’s a great opportunity for students with ambitious goals in film, media, and entertainment.
The curriculum for the MFA in Screenwriting program includes:
- Intensive classes that help students advance their writing skills across multiple media, including film, television, short films, and web series, with electives in other media such as comic books, games, podcasts, reality/unscripted projects, and plays
- Skill building classes and electives in story generation, rewriting, world building, scene study, genre studies
- Business classes that teach students the ins and outs of the entertainment industry
- Close mentoring and instruction by faculty and staff that actively work in screenwriting and can prepare students for the challenges of the current industry
- Opportunities to collaborate with students in other departments, such as directors, cinematographers and actors
- Access to and instruction on use of camera, sound, and lighting equipment, as well as a digital license to Final Draft screenwriting software
- Guest lectures from acclaimed industry leaders such as screenwriters, directors, producers, actors, and more
MFA students must complete an industry internship in each of their final two semesters to help them develop their skills and begin to build their network.
To learn more, refer to NYFA’s Course Catalog or request more information.
The Masters of Fine Arts degree (MFA) in Screenwriting is an accelerated, two-year, five-semester, full-time graduate program. NYFA makes the accelerated schedule possible by creating an extended academic year, allowing students to complete three full-length semesters each calendar year.
The goal of NYFA’s MFA program is for aspiring screenwriters to create, write, develop, rewrite, and pitch high-quality scripts. Students build a portfolio of writing that includes at least two feature length screenplays, two scripts for existing television shows, at least one original television series pilot and series proposal, a proposal for an original transmedia franchise, plus proposals for a web series, video game, podcast, and comic book, and mini treatments and proposals for additional film and television projects. Students also write and direct a short film.
Depending on elective choices, students either write and direct the pilot of their web series or the first episode of their podcast. They also have the elective choices that allow them to dive further into comic books or games, as well as generate a proposal for an unscripted/reality project, or write a one act play. This program concludes in a Pitch Fest, where students get to pitch their thesis script to agents, managers, executives, and/or producers. To learn more about the projects within the MFA program, visit our project page.
To complement their Screenwriting classes, MFA students also take History and Theory courses that align with the Screenwriting discipline. To learn more about these requirements, visit NYFA’s History and Theory program page.
Students pursuing their MFA in Screenwriting attend NYFA Los Angeles, known as the West Coast’s primary hub for film, television, media, and entertainment. As NYFA Los Angeles is centrally located next to Universal and Warner Brother studios, students may have the opportunity to shoot on the Warner Bros backlot.
3300 W Riverside Drive
Burbank, CA 91505
Please note: Equipment, curriculum, and projects are subject to change and may vary depending on location. Students should consult the most recently published campus catalog for the most up-to-date curriculum.