» Film Production, Emphasis in Directing Graduate Application

How to Apply

In order to apply to the MFA in Film Production with an emphasis in directing, you must submit all required application materials, including a Creative Supplement. You can click here to create an account and begin the application.

Application Requirements:

  • Statement of Intent
  • Resume
  • 2 Letters of Recommendation
  • Creative Supplement

Other Required Materials:

  • Official copy of your undergraduate transcript from your degree granting institution
  • International Students: Please see "International Applicants" tab below for additional requirements

No additional information should be sent to Dodge College or the Office of Admissions outside of what is required on the application. Any outside work sent to either office will not be reviewed as part of the admission process.

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+ - Creative Supplement Requirements

Please note that you may only submit Creative Supplement materials for your 1st choice major selected on the application. No other materials will be reviewed as part of the application process.

The requirements below are for students applying for Fall 2020

Creative Portfolio List

Upload a one (1) to two (2) page list of activities that demonstrates your potential in your area of chosen specialization focusing on creative accomplishments. Include in this list specific items that you could submit, if requested, to Dodge College of Film and Media Arts. Each listing should include a brief description of the work and your role in its creation.

Example of Portfolio listing (use this format):

Title: Roger's Car
Position: Writer/Director
16 minutes, Video 2005. Valley College
Log line: Unusual circumstance allows a sixteen-year-old to get his first car. I wrote this story for a creative writing class and produced the film with the help of my friends.

Transformational Moment Essay

Submit a two (2) page essay describing a transformational moment in your life that fundamentally changed you as a person. Explain how you gained wisdom and greater understanding of the human condition as a result of this experience. Essays should be typed, single-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, one-inch margins on all sides.

Thesis Film Essay

In your final year at Dodge as an MFA directing candidate you will make a 20-25 minute long thesis film. If you had to write the script of this thesis film today, what story would you tell? In no more than one (1) page, please write a treatment for the thesis film you would like to make.  It should have a beginning, middle and end and should be your original story and not adapted from material authored by someone else. Take care to limit your story to what can be shot in eight days for $ 15,000 – $20,000. Essays should be typed, single-spaced, 12 pt. Times New Roman font, one-inch margins on all sides.

Narrative Scene

Pick one (1) of the scenarios below and write a compelling dramatic scene. This may be written in no more than two (2) pages as a short story, single spaced, or in no more than five (5) pages as a screenplay. We are looking for the strength in your storytelling ability.

  1. Two siblings who have not spoken to each other in ten years await the start of their father or mother’s funeral and there is a monumental shift in their relationship.
  2. A couple whose marriage is on the verge of falling apart gets stuck in the snow bank together without a working mobile phone, and the best and the worst of their relationship comes out.
  3. Three strangers waiting outside a hospital emergency room, meet by chance, and it changes their lives.

Visual Sample:

Self-introductory Video Essay

Create a self-introductory video essay between two (2) and five (5) minutes in length. Your video should visually highlight something about yourself, your personality, your interests, etc. The only rule is that you may NOT appear in the video in any way (including any photographs of yourself), so be creative. We are primarily looking for your strengths at conveying a story visually and for evidence of your creativity rather than your technical abilities.

Narrative Work-Complete one (1) of the following:

*We prefer candidates to submit original Narrative work, unless they have not directed a narrative film, in which case they should submit the Photo Narrative.*

1.) Original Narrative Film:

You may submit as many of your complete narrative movies (not short reel clips) as you wish. If you have mentioned narrative work in an essay or on the creative resume, please provide those samples by uploading them or providing a link.

2.) Photo Narrative:

In no more than twenty (20) still photographs, tell a story based on this prompt: A character is wandering in a city and encounters a situation that drastically changes his/her life. The photos should be uploaded in the order you wish to convey your story. The submission should be photographs only, and cannot have any writing or descriptions included. We are looking for your ability to tell a visual story without the use of dialogue or description.

+ - Deadline

All application and supplemental materials must submitted electronically by the deadline below. Late applicants will be reviewed on a space available basis.

Graduate Deadline:

December 1, 2019

Please note: We do not accept applicants for the spring semester.

+ - Notification

Decisions will be released by the end of April.

+ - Tuition, Fellowships & Financial Aid


The cost of tuition for MFA Film Production in the 2019-2020 Academic Year is $42,540. For MFA Film Production students, tuition is a flat rate charge for all classes taken during the year or over the summer. There is also an additional lab fee of $885 per semester for the first two years. You can visit the Business Office for more specific details on tuition.

Dodge College provides funding for student projects. First year projects do not have budgets as they are not large projects that require outside costs. Second year projects are given $1,500. In the third year, each thesis project receives $15,000 towards the budget. If students want to spend more than the allotted amounts, they will need to provide funding on their own, outside of Dodge College.


Dodge College offers fellowships to a select number of students each year. These fellowships are awarded based on the talent shown in the application materials submitted; there is no separate application process for fellowship consideration. Preference for fellowships is given to students who apply by the December 1st deadline. If you are awarded a fellowship, you will likely be notified at the time of admit. Some fellowships are awarded after the time of admit, and notification will come directly from Dodge College.

Financial Aid

All other financial aid is awarded through the Financial Aid Office. This funding usually contains mainly student loans. You will receive your “financial aid package” from the Graduate Financial Aid Office after you have been admitted. Please contact their office directly with any questions at gradfinaid@chapman.edu.

+ - Official Copy of Degree Granting Undergraduate Transcript

You also need to send in an official copy of your degree granting undergraduate transcript. This should be mailed to:

Office of Graduate Admission
1 University Drive
Orange, CA 92866

+ - International Applicants

International Application Requirements:

  • Language Test – Since our program is taught completely in English and the experience working on film sets will require a strong understanding of the English language, we require all our students to have strong English language skills. Chapman does not have an ESL program for international students on campus – international students who are non-native English speakers need to demonstrate English proficiency at the time of admission.
    • Applicants who have completed their undergraduate degree at an institution where English was not the sole language of instruction must submit minimum scores from one of the following English language exams:
      • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL): 600 (PBT) or 100 (iBT)
      • International English Language Testing System (IELTS): 7.0
      • Pearson Test of English (PTE Academic): 68
      • Cambridge English Advanced Exam (CAE): Level C1
  • Official Transcripts
    • While unofficial copies can be used to evaluate and review an application, official copies of all documents will be required upon acceptance.
    • Your application requires official transcripts in both the native language, and in English. If your university does not provide translations of your transcript, you will need to have your transcript translated, line-by-line and word-for-word exactly. You will need to submit bot the official transcript and the official translation.
    • If your university only provides one official transcript, we will accept an official photocopy for evaluation purposes only. You will need to take your official transcript and have several certified copies made, and translated into English if needed. These documents should be stamped by the legal notary who made the copy and or translation. We do not accept uncertified copies directly from students.
  • GPA
    • Once your transcripts are received, Chapman University will conduct an in-house evaluation of your credentials to determine your U.S. equivalent GPA.
    • While we do accept WES confirmations of your transcript’s validity, we do not accept WES grade conversions and evaluations to determine your U.S. GPA.
  • Supplemental Application
    • The International Supplemental Application is the financial certification form that provides comprehensive information about your passport, I-20 requirements, and financial support for your studies. This form is required for F-1 student visa applicants.
    • Should you be admitted into our program, you will be sent information on how to access the Supplemental Application.
    • If you hold a U.S. passport, or are a permanent resident, you do not need to submit this document. You will apply as a domestic student.