FAQs: Writing for Film & Television (MFA) Applications

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The Fall 2019 application is now open! 


Start off by watching the Writing for Film & Television webinar hosted by Graduate Program Director Jean Stawarz and graduate admission. You’ll learn why this unique, rigorous bi-coastal low-residency program is perfect for students who want a top-notch master’s level education without committing to an on-site degree program.

The Application Process

What is the application deadline?

For Fall 2019, the priority deadline is February 1.

If you miss this deadline, that’s okay! We will accept applications on a rolling basis until May 1.

What materials will I need to apply?

All Emerson applications require a few basic materials:

  • Transcripts from all past degree(s)
    • Transcripts should be send to: Emerson College Graduate Admission Processing Center, PO Box 870, Randolph, MA 02368-0870
    • Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded directly for application review. Official, signed transcripts must be mailed prior to matriculation.
    • We don’t need to see transcripts for less than 8 credits
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • We require three letters of recommendation from persons best able to assess your academic qualifications, including motivations and goals.
    • We prefer submission directly through the application.
    • Recommendations must be uploaded by the recommender; electronic submissions coming directly from the applicant will not be accepted.
  • Essay
    • Submitted online with your application.
    • Prompt can be viewed on the Graduate Admission page.
    • Essay should be a maximum of 3 double-spaced pages (750 words).
  • Professional Resume
    • Detail your professional and educational history
  • Writing Sample
    • Choose from one of the following options:
      • Screenwriting: 20 pages maximum of screenwriting. This can include short screenplays or an excerpt from a longer film or television script. Script samples must be accompanied by loglines.
      • Prose: 15 double-spaced pages maximum of novel excerpts, short stories, or chapters of fiction or creative nonfiction writing
      • Combination of Screenwriting and Prose: A minimum of 12 pages of screenwriting and 8 pages of fiction or creative nonfiction.
      • Poetry: Poetry may be submitted as an optional supplementary sample (3 poems maximum). If submitting poetry, you must also submit another sample from the list above.


Applicants for the MFA in Writing for Film & Television are not required to submit GRE scores.


Where should I upload my materials?

You will complete the application entirely online through our Application Portal. Create an account and then follow the prompts to upload your materials.

You may save and return to your application at any time; just return to the portal and log in as a returning user.


What happens after I apply?

Your program liaison, Haley, is responsible for seeing the application through the entire admissions review process. She’s also the best person to contact if you have any questions.

After you press “submit,” your application goes through a rigorous, holistic review. We’ll use everything you have submitted to assess whether you’re a good fit for the program.

Once a decision is made and confirmed, you will receive an email and a letter in your admission portal letting you know if you have been accepted, waitlisted, or denied. If you have been awarded scholarship money, you’ll receive a separate letter in your portal at the same time you receive your admissions letter.


How long will I have to wait?

We aim to return a decision to you within two weeks after you complete your application, but this can be a little slower during busy periods.


What if I make a mistake on my application?

If you haven’t yet submitted the application, you can correct any errors yourself through the portal.

If you’ve already submitted, contact Haley or gradadmission@emerson.edu, and we’ll see what we can do to rectify the error.


What if I’m an international student?

Unfortunately, the Writing for Film & Television MFA program is not available to students who are not United States citizens or legal residents.

Fees and Funding


How much does the program cost?

Emerson bills all tuition per credit. The current cost per credit is $1,251. Writing for Film & Television is a 40-credit program, so the total cost of tuition is $50,040.


Is tuition the same for in-state and out-of-state students?

Yes! Emerson is a private college, so tuition is the same for everyone.


What about financial aid and scholarships?

You should complete and submit a FAFSA form when you make your application, just like you did for your undergraduate degree. Emerson’s school code is 002146. See our website for more information.

When you apply, you will be automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. However, please note that applications submitted after the priority deadline (March 1) are less likely to receive these scholarships.

Other Questions

Can I study part time?

No. The Writing for Film & Television program is only offered full-time.  


When will classes start?

The WFTV Fall residency in Boston will take place from August 18-23.

Regular classes begin for the Fall 2019 semester on September 4.  See the 2019 Academic Calendar for more details.


What if I have more questions?

There’s lots more information available on the Graduate Admission website. Click “Apply” in the left-hand navigation menu for details specific to the program.


You can reach out to us at gradadmission@emerson.edu or 617-824-8610 at any time! We’re here to help.