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Program FAQs

Yes! As of Fall 2022, we are now thrilled to offer full tuition remission as well as a generous stipend for each quarter of the two-year program. We are able to extend this opportunity to all of our admitted students, including international applicants. This means our program not only allows you to earn an MFA without having to worry about tuition, it also pays you so that you can focus more fully on your artistic growth.

Applications for the program will typically open in the Fall, sometime by mid-September. For the 2023 application cycle for Fall 2024 matriculation, the application will be open on September 13th, 2023. 

The deadline for applications for the program will typically be in Winter, sometime by mid-January. For the 2023 application cycle for Fall 2024 matriculation, the exact application deadline date has not yet been determined — please check back periodically for updates!

Your storytelling abilities. The ability to surprise. To engage. To enrage. To shock. We are looking for maturity of topic, understanding of character, playfulness with genre. Ambition, scope, passion. In short: Potential. You may submit a play, screenplay or teleplay. No journalism, prose or poetry please.

Most importantly, we are looking for a deeper understanding of your background and goals as a writer. You may also address what you hope to learn in this Program and/or what you will bring to your peer group. When pitching projects for tv/film executives and theater producers, writers are often asked to answer two questions: Why you and why now? As we build our cohort, we would love to hear why your writing matters right now and why you are the only person that can write it.

Yes. One of the reasons this MFA program is so unique is that it allows the student to focus on and/or discover other interests. As a graduate student, you will be able to (and are encouraged to) take advanced classes in departments such as Performance Studies, Radio-TV-Film, Theatre and more. Some examples of such classes are Studies in Film Noir & Neo Noir, Adaptation and Stage of Texts, a seminar on Media and Performance, Computer Animation, Dramatic Directing, Studies in American Theatre and Drama.

Yes, a variety of “topics” courses are usually offered once a year. Some examples of past courses are: Writing The Comedy, Writing Character, Writing Fantasy/Horror/Supernatural, Writing Video Games, Writing Complex Women, Writing Late Night, and Writing the LGBTQIA+ Pilot/Web Series.

Depending on the classes you elect to take, your instructors will most likely vary each quarter. Northwestern instructors are working writers with a wealth of experience and anecdotes (see faculty). They understand the Art of Writing, the Business of Writing, and the Life of a Writer.

We do not require the GRE — your writing sample and artistic voice are the primary considerations for admission.

No. It’s got to be ten. Due to the volume of applications we receive, we can only read ten pages from everyone. These can be any ten pages that you want to submit: an excerpt; a complete work; a few shorter works. Just keep it under ten teleplay, screenplay or play pages—no prose, poetry or short stories, please. Though if you are an applicant who is selected as a finalist, please note that you will be asked to submit a full-length play, film, or television pilot.

Please email We look forward to speaking to you!