MFA in Screenwriting



More than 54% of all SDSU undergraduates are students of color who come from many different backgrounds. In fact, Forbes ranked SDSU in the top 30 universities nationwide for ethnic diversity.

You have a story to tell. You want to excite, enthrall, move, and perhaps transform the audience with your captivating characters, vivid dialogue, and riveting twists and reversals of plot. 

But where do you start? 

Learn how to tell your story by earning a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Screenwriting from San Diego State University. Through a combination of interactive virtual courses and immersive face-to-face learning experiences led by expert instructors from San Diego State University, you’ll enhance your screenwriting skills and optimize them for today’s competitive media marketplace. 

You’ll also learn the basics of production, which will help you produce screenplays and written materials that are more readily adaptable to a variety of digital media formats, including film, television, and the web. With this creative writing graduate program, you’ll get invaluable hands-on experience with production and post-production equipment in an immersive six-week summer residency held in sunny San Diego.

Start Telling Your Story
Start Your Application for Fall 2021 Today


2 Years

Online Workshops

Why SDSU’s Screenwriting Graduate Program?

Practical Experience

You’ll visit San Diego State University’s beautiful campus during a six-week summer residency, where you’ll get hands-on experience working with equipment in a studio and on a soundstage.

MFA Screenwriting

San Diego State University Rankings

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Program Format

Earn your master’s degree in 2 years

6-week immersive learning experience held during summer semester

2 years of online courses

#30 in Best Value Colleges

#9 in National Graduation Rate Performance

Six-Week Summer Residency in San Diego

Want to Start Your Degree Early?

#65 Public University in the Nation

With SDSU’s screenwriting master’s program, you’ll learn how to become more creatively involved in your words on page and vision on screen.

This spring, we’re opening two of our online screenwriting courses early. These interactive classes are the same courses that are part of the master's degree curriculum. They’re fully online and open to anyone interested — no admission to the program required.

The Writers’ Room: Creating a TV Series
Dates: Jan. 17-March 13, 2021
Instructor: J. Michael Straczynski (Creator — Babylon 5, Jeremiah, Sense8)

Starting from zero, students in this eight-week intensive course will take part in the creation of a theoretical TV series from concept to the development of characters, situations and stories, culminating in teams being selected to write the first three scripts of the series.

Course Topics


The rest of the program is 100% online, making it ideal for busy working students who want to earn a master’s degree without putting their professional commitments on hold.

Expert Faculty

Develop your skills under the guidance of our expert instructors – including professional screenwriters, playwrights, directors, editors, and script consultants.

In this class, you’ll study four one-location scripts, each of a different genre, to help prepare you for writing your own original script. You’ll explore different genre conventions and expectations, and learn how to connect with your audience on a deeper level.

Big Bucks: The One-Location Script — Horror — Drama — Thriller
Dates: March 14-May 8
Instructor: Jennifer van Sijll (Scriptwriter — Ballerina: A One Woman Show)

"What makes the program unique is writers are not only honing their craft as writers, but they’ll also come away with some production skills and some familiarity with editing, working the camera, framing.

Getting them on set and developing these skills will make them stronger writers on the page."

- Stuart Voytilla, Program Sponsor from the School of Theater, Television and Film

  • Writing for Film and Television
  • Writing for Short Narratives and Documentaries
  • Playwriting
  • Directing
  • Editing and Post-Production
  • Basics of Film and Television Production
  • Genre Studies and Film Theory
  • Business of Media

42 Units

graduate coursework


Production experience

GRE Waived

for fall 2021 admission