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Columbia University

School of the Arts

New York, NY


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Columbia University School of the Arts

Columbia University School of the Arts awards the Master of Fine Arts degree in Film, Theatre, Visual Arts, and Writing and the Master of Arts degree in Film and Media Studies; it also offers an interdisciplinary program in Sound Art. 

The School is a thriving, diverse community of talented, visionary, and committed artists from around the world and a faculty comprised of acclaimed and internationally renowned artists, film and theatre directors, writers of poetry, fiction, and nonfiction, playwrights, producers, critics, and scholars. The study and practice of art-making at the School is an immersive, constantly evolving process. Aspiring, emerging, or established, our filmmakers, writers, theatre practitioners, and visual artists grow individually through intensive engagement with their craft and lively, profound exchanges of ideas and work. The School is an innovative graduate professional school with a tradition of risk-taking, grounded in a deeply intellectual Ivy League university and energized by our location in New York City—one of the great cultural capitals of the world.

Programs of Study


The Film MFA Program is among the world's premiere training grounds for emerging filmmakers, renowned for the global success of its alumni in film and television, including top prizes at Sundance, Cannes, Venice, Berlin, and the Academy Awards. Our degree programs in Screenwriting/Directing and Creative Producing are populated by top students from around the world, and our curriculum fosters cutting-edge creativity, intellectual rigor, and hands-on practicality.


The MA in Film and Media Studies Program gives students a unique opportunity to study film history and theory in the midst of an active filmmaking community and a world capital of film culture. Students have a choice of specialization between cinema/media and emergent media.


The Theatre MFA Programs in Acting, Directing, Playwriting, Dramaturgy, Stage Management, and Theatre Management & Producing seek students who have the talent, vision, and commitment to become exceptional artists. Our students interact with the leading creators, practitioners, producers, and analysts of today’s theatre, acquiring rigorous training rooted deeply in the classics, while exploring new forms and the cutting edge of theatrical art.


The Visual Arts Program is interdisciplinary and offers an MFA degree in Visual Arts rather than in one specific medium. The two-year studio program, taught by internationally celebrated artists, allows students to pursue moving image, new genres, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture at a world-renowned research institution in New York City.


The MFA Sound Art Program, offered in association with the Visual Arts MFA Program, the Department of Music, and the Computer Music Center, allows students the opportunity to pursue creative work in a variety of genres and focus on the integration of sound with other media. As such, it gives the students the freedom to explore work in composition, improvisation, music theory, musicology, installation, sculpture, instrument building, acoustics, music cognition, and software development.


The MFA Writing Program is highly regarded for its rigorous approach to literary instruction and for its faculty of acclaimed writers and editors who are devoted and dedicated teachers. Students concentrate in Fiction, Poetry, or Creative Nonfiction, and also have the option of pursuing a joint course of study in Literary Translation. Every semester, students take a workshop and, on average, three craft-oriented seminars and/or lectures designed to illuminate, inform, clarify, augment and inspire each student’s experience and practice as a writer.

Degrees & Awards

Degrees Offered

Degree Concentration Sub-concentration
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) Arts Film Screenwriting/Directing

Creative Producing

Television Writing

Theatre Acting




Theatre Mgmt & Producing

Stage Management
                                                                                        Visual Arts
                                                                                           Sound Arts
                                                                                           Writing                              Fiction
Master of Arts (MA)                                                     Film and Media Studies
Film and Media Studies

Degrees Awarded

Degree Number Awarded
Master's Degrees 249

Earning Your Degree

Part-time study available? Yes
Evening/weekend programs available? No
Distance learning programs available? No

Degree Requirements

Degree Requirement
Master's Degrees Thesis Required


Acceptance Rate



Application Fee - Domestic
applications accepted?

Entrance Requirements

Exam Details
Master's Degree Requirements Undergraduate transcript, 3 letters of recommendation, other requirements vary by field and concentration

International Students

Exam Details
TOEFL: Required TOEFL Paper score: 600
TOEFL IBT score: 100
IELTS: Required IELTS Paper score: 7.5

Tuition & Fees

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Financial Support

Financial award applicants must submit: FAFSA
Application deadlines for financial awards February 2
Types of financial support available Fellowships
Teaching Assistantships
Scholarship and/or loans

Student Body

Total Graduate Students
International Breakout (representing other countries)


Hispanic/Latino 10.61%
Black or African American 8.96%
White or Caucasian 61.03%
American Indian or Alaska Native 0.33%
Asian 5.97%
Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander 0%
Two or more races 5.97%
Unknown 3.32%


Male (38%)
Female (62%)


Total faculty
Full-time - 83
Part-time - 293
Male (183)
Female (193)

Location & Contact

Address 2960 Broadway, MC 1808, Dodge Hall 305
New York, NY  10027
United States
ContactOffice of Admissions and Financial Aid
Phone: 212-854-2134

Columbia University