Affordable 2-year MFA Program

Fall 2020 Admissions Now CLOSED  – please revisit when this window opens again in December 2020 for Fall 2021 Admissions




The MFA program admits 25 students every Fall.

Admission is highly competitive and portfolio-based.

Applicants must have a BA or BFA degree with a minimum 3.0 (B) GPA in their major.

Undergraduate training in film & video or equivalent work/industry experience in film production. (Undergraduate training should include courses in the following subjects: film history and aesthetics; screenwriting; digital motion picture production, digital editing, directing for fiction and/or documentary.)

Our program does not accept transfer credits for courses taken at other colleges, universities or institutions, nor do we admit on a non-matriculated, exchange, CUNY-BA or audit basis.

For applicants who do not have a film/video undergraduate degree (or comparable film/video experience) we recommend taking foundation courses prior to application. Such workshops are offered through colleges and media arts organizations around the country, and will count as pre-requisite “experience”. In NYC, the following media arts organizations offer such courses:  DCTVNYU – SUMMER INTENSIVES,  BRIC, TWN.

The application requires submission of the following:

  • CUNY Application for The Humanities & Arts (includes a personal statement – 1 page)
  • Film Program Supplemental Application (includes 2 additional statements – 1 page each)
  • Online Video Portfolio (direct link to entire website, or up to 4 URLs to video samples) – no dvds.
  • 2 letters of recommendation – must be from Academia (unless separated from school for over 10 years)
  • For international students: TOEFL (recommended score of 575 written; 90-91 IBT) or IELTS (recommended score of 6.5).
  • Official transcripts (and translations, if applicable for international students) from all previous schools.
    • Please send to:
      • The City College of New York
        Office of Graduate Admissions
        Administration Building
        Room A-101
        Attn: Jasmin/ Pauline
  • Optional written sample/script (.pdf upload)
  • Resume (.pdf upload)
  • Unofficial transcripts (.pdf upload) – for review only.
International Students


We are proud to be one of the most international film programs in the world. Recent and current students come from Vietnam, Nigeria, China, Germany, Japan, Israel, Spain, Turkey, Palestine, Haiti, Belarus, France, India, Tibet, Pakistan, Iran, Kenya, Ukraine, Italy, Bhutan, Uruguay, Venezuela, Thailand and Taiwan…

For information on obtaining a student visa and required TOEFL scores, please visit



This program runs for two years (four full-time semesters, plus 1 summer session in the first year). We aim to try to keep classes to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to allow for film shoots and part-time employment.

For the most up-to-date tuition & fee information, please refer to the website of the CCNY Bursar’s Office via: The Bursar’s Office is located in the Administration Building (Room A-103), and their telephone number is 212-650-8700.

Tuition is set by the University Board of Trustees and is subject to change without notice. Students should arrange to pay their total tuition, fees and charges to complete their registration if they wish to be admitted to classes. Students who may be eligible for financial assistance or grants should consult with the Financial Aid Office as early as possible.

New York State Residency Requirements: Students are assigned residency status when admitted to the College. Since residency determines tuition rates, students should know their classifications. If there is a question of status it is the responsibility of the student to prove residency. An “Application for Proof of Bona Fide Residency” is available at the Office of the Registrar. New students must apply through the Office of Admissions.

The Financial Aid Office administers federal and state funds, as well as those provided by special programs and the College itself. Federal funds may be disbursed only to those students who maintain their academic standing and are not in default on a student loan or owe a refund on a federal grant. For the most recent information on application filing procedures, deadline dates, and eligibility criteria for the various programs, students are urged to contact the Financial Aid Office.

It is the responsibility of each individual student to plan and apply for financial aid/loans/payment plans/out-of-pocket expeses according to the number of semesters/sessions required for this program (this includes 1 part-time summer session in the first year of study, in addition to 4 full-time semesters over the course of 2 years).


While the MFA Program in Film offers several scholarships for our students, you must be already enrolled in the film program to be eligible for them. These awards are based on work produced while in the program.

We are very grateful to our scholarship sponsors for supporting our students with the following awards:

The  Chantal Akerman Award, sponsored by the Ostrovsky Family Fund

The BAFTA/New York Awards (including The John F. Grist Documentary Scholarship; The Taffner Trust Scholarship; The Jeff Hunter Memorial Scholarship; and The DLT Entertainment Scholarship).

The Alan Boss Scholarship (open to BFA students at City College entering the MFA program)

The Bert Saperstein Communication Scholarship

National Board of Review Student Grant Award

The Princess Grace Foundation Award for Emerging Artists in Film

The Dr. David M. Milch Foundation Short Film Competition at the City College of New York (open to Black, Indigenous, LatinX, Muslim, Asian and Pacific film students)


QWhen is the application deadline for next Fall?

AThe application deadline is MARCH 1st.  We will begin to accept online applications after December 1st.


QWhere do I send my official transcripts, letters of recommendation, TOEFL/IELTS scores, translations to?

AAll official hardcopy documentation to support your online application should be mailed to the following address:
For questions regarding any of the official documentation, please inquire directly with the Graduate Admissions Office via phone: 212-650-6898 or via email: Rosalia Rodriguez


QCan I apply for acceptance in the Spring semester, if I miss the Fall application deadline?

AAcceptance is for FALL ONLY– Each entering class begins together in the fall semester and moves forward in sequence to build and nurture their productions in collaboration. Therefore, we cannot admit new students into the program during Spring semesters.


QCan I attend as a part-time student?

Ahe Program is designed as FULL-TIME, therefore most students work part-time, freelance or are employed on a contract basis. The Program does NOT offer its courses on a non-matriculated, exchange program, CUNY-BA, or audit basis. The Program also does not accept or transfer credits between institutions. Our courses are only offered once a year and primarily during daytime hours (no weekend option available at this time).


QHow long does it take to complete the Program?

AThis Program is full-time, 5 semesters (two years, including 1 summer semester in between); total of 54 credits.


QWhat are the academic requirements for entrance?

AApplicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the major. International applicants MUST have an equivalency of a U.S. 4-year BA or BFA degree (this is determined by the UAPC). Applicants must also have prerequisite courses related to the following (or the equivalent of in work experience):


QDo I need to take entrance exams?

AStandardized entrance exams such as GRE’s are not required. However, international students from non-English speaking countries must take the TOEFL (target score: 575 or 91-IBT) or IELTS (target score: 6).


QWhat is the cost of tuition?

ANYS residents are charged a full-time/flat-rate for up to 18 credits per semester, while out-of-state and international students are charged per credit hour. The most up-to-date fees can be found online via:


QAre there any other fees?

AYou can anticipate about $1,000 per year in materials fees, in addition to books.


QAre there any scholarships offered?

AThe department grants several scholarships based on merit to students (mostly in their second year of study) in the program. There are also awards of cash and services given at our annual Cityvisions Film & Video Showcase.


QAre there any Fellowship or Assistantship opportunities?

AWe do not offer any assistantships or paid teaching assistant positions. However. Students also have an opportunity in their final (Spring) semester of study in the program, to work as a TA in Film/Video classes that require assistants, in conjunction with Graduate Independent Study.


QWhat about Financial Aid?

AStudents are also strongly encouraged to file a FAFSA application for federal and state financial aid, via: which can also determine their eligibility for Federal Work Study (paid student hourly positions) within our department (placement varies per semester and based on the needs of department faculty).


QDoes the program subsidize thesis projects or offer production insurance?

ANot directly. We do, however, create an environment that is conducive to keeping costs to an absolute minimum. We also offer production insurance (certificates of liability for locations and rental equipment) exclusively for 2nd year MFA thesis projects only.


QDoes the program subsidize thesis projects or offer production insurance?

ANot directly.  We do, however, create an environment that is conducive to keeping costs to an absolute minimum.  We also offer production insurance (certificates of liability) exclusively for 2nd year MFA thesis projects only.


QWhat type of cameras does the program currently offer to enrolled City-Film students?

AAs of Fall 2020, we offer the Panasonic UX90s and HMC160s, the Steadicam Jr. (only loaned out after class instruction), a large studio jib and a small Ikan mini jib, the standard small audio recorder and the Tascam DR40. We also have some Zoom F4s and SD Mixpre 3s for audio, and Sony FS5s and Sony A7IIIs cameras (for advanced/2nd year thesis classes).


QAre there internships or Independent Study opportunities?

AYes, although most are “unpaid” internships. The program offers academic credit (1-3 credits) for internships and Independent Study projects (TA positions) assigned within the program, and at times may place students with outside agencies.


QIf I am accepted but cannot attend in the fall, can I defer my attendance to the next fall?

ANo, you must re-apply for the following year, however some of your initial application can be recycled forward.


QDoes CCNY offer campus housing/dorms?

AYes, for more information on campus housing at The City College of NY, visit: . For assistance with “off campus” student housing, please contact the Student Services Office at: 212-650-5370 to inquire about a student housing assistance application, if available.


QWho do I contact with International Student inquiries?

A For ALL other International Student inquiries such as immigration, employment, medical insurance, social security numbers, housing) please contact the International Students & Scholar Services at: (212) 650-8106 or via email at: or visit their website via:


QWhat are the academic standards/requirements to stay matriculated in the program?

AAs a graduate program, we institute very high standards. Students must maintain a cumulative “B” (3.0) grade point average. If the GPA drops below 3.0, the student is automatically placed on probation for the next semester. If the cumulative GPA does not rise above 3.0 by the end of the next semester, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Questions? Please contact:

April Gatling-Joffee
Assistant Director of MFA Film Program
The City College of New York
Department of Media & Communication Arts
160 Convent Avenue (@ 138th Street)
Shepard Hall – Room 286
New York, NY 10031
v. 212-650-7235
f.  212-650-5734

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