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What's the best and most cost efficient option of Grad school for film / screenwriting students?

I'm months away from graduating with a Bachelor's in Creative Writing and Film & Video Production. My career goal is to become a fiction author and Screenwriter. I'm currently considering several universities to get my Master's in Screenwriting including, Boston University, Loyola Marymount, and the University of Southern California. These schools and most others I've looked at cost a pretty penny in tuition, not to mention the difference in living expenses going to either of these schools will mean for me coming from a medium-sized university in the south and living at home all four years of my undergrad career. What I want to know is; are the price tags of these programs really worth it or are there cheaper options that are just as good? #college #graduate-school #screenwriting #graduating #choosing-a-college

UPDATE: 4/17/2020 | Hi all! It's been a few years since I posted this question and I took some time away from schooling to work after graduating. It's been quite the journey, to say the least. This website and post just came back to my remembrance and I thought I'd update this post since I see it's gotten quite a few views since I posted it. I ended up living and working outside my field of choice for a while and after going through some struggles and battling some personal demons, by the grace of God, I'm now in a much better space to continue my education. Some major life events have allowed me to learn a lot about myself and to grow tremendously. Due to the changes of the direction my life has taken by the leading and guiding of God over the last few years, I've decided to pursue my Master's degree in Film / Screenwriting at the University of Central Florida so I can be involved on campus and be near the church family God has connected me with there in Orlando, FL. So, I just wanted to come to this post and offer some advice to any young people who may have the same questions about schooling and career pursuits that I had back when I posted this question: the best advice I could give you would be to first pursue a close relationship with God. Get to know Him and let Him prepare and guide you where He wants to send you because He knows where He will be able to best use and bless you and those around you. Jesus Christ knows you and loves you and if you'll let Him, He'll show you the path He has for you and if you follow Him, you will end up exactly where you need to be at the right time to have the success and impact in society and the fields in which you've been gifted to work and serve. If you seek to know God's will for your life first, He'll work everything out for you to get where you need to be.

Many thanks for reading & best wishes to all students, filmmakers, and writers who'll come across this post. God bless & Much Love ❤🙏 Matthew 6:33

#jesussaves #student #job #college-major #career #filmmaker #producer #film-production #entertainment

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Daniela’s Answer

Hi Kim,

The ten most interesting programs, both degree and non-degree options, are listed below:


Also, you can have this ONLINE COURSE:

An Introduction to Screenwriting

This free online course explores the key concepts and fundamental principles involved in the process of screenwriting. Take a look:


I hope this information can help you!

Good luck and success!

Hi!, thanks for the info. I'll look into both of these options. Kim D.

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Mary’s Answer


I know how it feels to want to get into a good school but the money is tough to justify. I did the online course route. I still am. I'm half way through my MFA and it's with National University. They have a screenwriting major, and I took the basic screenwriting course. It was awesome. I don't intend to write screenplays, I want to write fiction and creative nonfiction. NU is good because all is online. The tuition is one of the cheapest compared to others. There is NO residency requirement. Financial aid will help here as well as with other places. But financial aid for grad students is max at $20,500. So if you want to go to a 'high profile' school, but it charges $30K a year, you will have to find a way to pay the difference. So go for an online school. NU is in San Diego. It's real close to LA and that alone should tell you they are way familiar with screenwriting.
Good luck.

Hi Mary! Thank you for your response. The more I look into this, the more I am considering going the online route as well just because it seems to be the most cost efficient option. A lot of really great screenwriters have developed their own online masterclasses and I will probably look into those as well. Kim D.

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Mark’s Answer

Hi Kim,
Even the state universities could charge expensive tuition, like UCLA. So I would suggest looking for a decent job, and then take the classes of Screenwriting U from Hal Croasmun which are free online. He has spent years and years talking with producers, agents and managers to provide on phone what these pros want from screenwriters. Good way to understand what genre you desire to write. More and more dramas, romances and even comedies could be optioned this year. I believe the time will come soon for many women to be expressing their thoughts, feelings and memories on mainstream theaters . Best wishes, Mark Wagner

Hi Mark! My apologies for this very late reply. I just wrapped up finals and will likely have graduated by the time you see this! Thank you for this info. I will definitely look into Screenwriting U. Much appreciation! Kim D.

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Olivia’s Answer

I would check out Syracuse University or NYU - both top rated in their communications dept. SU may be a little more cost affordable because also living in Syracuse is much cheaper than New York City as well.

Olivia recommends the following next steps:

Look up living costs in each place
Look up each school's grad programs