a warner bros building hosting the Azusa College of the Arts event

Screenwriting, MA

Study Screenwriting at Azusa Pacific University

You’ll graduate with a portfolio of original work, constructive review from produced screenwriters, and experience submitting pieces to agents, managers, or producers. Hone your literary talent and storytelling skills through collaborative relationships with faculty-mentors, as well as build connections with visiting professionals as you study just 25 miles from Hollywood—the entertainment capital of the world. You’ll benefit from a low-residency format, balancing work and life as you advance your screenwriting career.

Program at a Glance

The School of Visual and Performing Arts develops students’ talents through rich artistic experiences and comprehensive training in their chosen artistic discipline.

Application Deadline

  • Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for upcoming class start dates. There are five class start dates per year. The first step is to apply or submit an inquiry online.

Apply Now

Program Information

  • Program Units: 30
  • Cost per Unit: $684
  • Base Cost: $20,520*


  • Online: Low Residency at Azusa (Main Campus)
Yellow ribbon icon

Yellow Ribbon and Military Friendly School

Student smiling

Gain Hands-on Experience

  • Hone your craft through critique and individual instruction from professor-mentors.
  • Develop a screenwriting portfolio and submit for production. 
  • Explore the dialogue between faith and cinematic arts.
  • Tell substantive stories that point audiences toward truth and beauty.
  • Learn from faculty who have accumulated hundreds of industry credits on films and television series.

By the Numbers

1 of 126 Best Western Colleges according to Princeton Review's 2023 Best Colleges Guide
10 :1 Student-to-faculty ratio
100 % of incoming students receive financial aid

Get Started

Jollyfisher smiling

For students who dream of becoming filmmakers, Azusa Pacific University is the perfect place to be equipped with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the industry.

Program Details

The MA in Screenwriting program is offered in a low-residency format that supports working professionals. It is the only graduate screenwriting program offered among Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) member schools on the West Coast.

Browse the tabs below—if you have questions, visit the Student Services Center page, and we’ll make sure you get the info you need.

Application Deadline

Applications are accepted on an ongoing basis for upcoming class start dates. There are five class start dates per year. The first step is to apply or submit an inquiry online.

Admission Requirements

The university graduate and program admission requirements below must be met before an application is considered complete.

Applicants must possess:

  • Bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited college or university
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA on a 4-point scale. Students with a grade-point average of 2.50-2.99 will be considered for admission on a provisional basis.

Applicants must submit:

  • Graduate application for admission
  • $45 nonrefundable application fee
  • Official transcripts from all institutions leading to and awarding the applicant’s bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution and all postbaccalaureate study

    An official transcript is one that Azusa Pacific University receives unopened in an envelope sealed by the former institution and that bears the official seal of the college or university. A cumulative minimum 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) grade-point average on the posted degree is required for regular admission status. Provisional admittance may be granted to individuals with a lower GPA if competency can be shown through multiple measures.
  • Current résumé of work experience
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Personal statement in essay or short story form about why you became a writer. Feel free to be creative. This statement should reflect your personality and individual perspective on life and the world. (Less than 500 words.)
  • Writing samples
    • “A husband or wife finds a letter written by an old flame.”
    • “Your best friend since grade school is a Russian spy.”
    • “Flirting at the grocery store.”
  • Creative challenge: Write a scene between two people using one of the following ideas. Make sure to use proper screenplay formatting (2-5 pages maximum).
  • Writing sample: A feature-length screenplay, a teleplay (half-hour or one-hour; spec or pilot), a short story, or a one-act play.

Send official transcripts to:

Office of Graduate and Professional Admissions
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000
[email protected]

What to Expect

After all admission materials have been received by the Student Services Center, the faculty or department chair reviews the applicant’s file. The applicant is notified in writing of the admission decision.

Delivering high quality graduate programs takes a comprehensive support system. Your investment in an advanced degree includes those services and personnel that partner with you in pursuit of higher education. Below is a detailed breakdown of the fees associated with the benefits and services included in your degree program.

Department of Cinematic Arts Fees

MA in Screenwriting (per unit) $684
Audit (per unit) half-price tuition

View a complete list of university fees.

All stated financial information is subject to change. Contact the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020 for more information.

Financial Aid

Several types of financial aid are available to graduate students. The resources range from federal loans and state grants to, for some graduate programs, fellowships and scholarships. For details about financial aid available for your program, please contact the Student Services Center at (626) 815-2020.

Military Benefits

Military members—and in some cases their spouses and dependents—qualify for financial assistance covering tuition, housing, and books. Azusa Pacific is a Yellow Ribbon University and Military Friendly School, so you can be confident that you’ll receive the benefits and flexibility you need to complete your education.

To view specific requirements and coursework information, visit the current academic catalog:

If you have questions, we’re here to help! Connect with a representative who can walk you through the program details and application process.

Contact Your Admissions Representative

Additional Program Contact

Alisa Barsegyan, [email protected], (626) 387-5725

Department of Cinematic Arts


(626) 815-6000, Ext. 5297


Department of Cinematic Arts
Azusa Pacific University
PO Box 7000
Azusa, CA 91702-7000

Student Services Center

Contact (626) 812-3016 or [email protected], and visit apu.edu/ssc for details on the admissions process, financial aid, and class registration.

International Services

International students should contact +1-626-812-3055 or [email protected], and visit apu.edu/international/.

Azusa Pacific University is accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC).

Featured Faculty

Cheryl McKay Price

Cheryl McKay Price

Adjunct Professor, Department of Cinematic Arts

Greg Michael

Greg Michael

Assistant Professor, Department of Cinematic Arts

James W. Lincoln

James W. Lincoln

Adjunct Professor, Department of Cinematic Arts

Career Outlooks and Outcomes

Spotlight theater sign

College of the Arts Hosts Industry Spotlight at Warner Bros. Studios

The College of the Arts hosted the 2023 Industry Spotlight at the legendary Warner Bros. studios, giving students in cinematic arts, animation, screenwriting, theater, games, art, design, music, and journalism an opportunity to showcase their work.

Note: This information is current for the 2023-24 academic year; however, all stated academic information is subject to change. Refer to the current Academic Catalog for more information.

*Base Cost (cost per unit x program units) is provided to aid in program comparison only.
All stated financial information is subject to change. View Tuition tab above.

Related Programs

Commercial Music Major

  • Azusa

Available Concentrations:

Audio Recording Track, Composing/Arranging Track, Instrumental Performance Track, Music Business Track, Vocal Performance Track