Graduate Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I have to select a specialization?

In order to be admitted into the MFA Production program, you must declare an area of specialization. However, in your first semester, you and all the other specialists will be working in all of the different departments, and as you progress through the program you will work towards narrowing that specialization into the job area you are passionate about.

Q: Can I apply for more than one specialization?

Yes, you can, but you have to submit an application and pay the $30 fee for each one. You must also rank them by priority.

Q: I have not taken the TOEFL/IELTS or the GRE but I am asked to supply the score on the application. Should I wait until I have taken the test before I apply?

A: No, please do not wait. Be aware that tests should be taken by the deadline, but you can apply before having received your scores.  It is recommended that you take the test well before the deadline to ensure receipt of your scores. The scores are required before the University review process begins, and not having the scores can delay the review of your application.

Q: I don’t have an undergraduate degree in filmmaking or film studies. Can I still apply to the MFA in Production?

A: Yes! A bachelor’s degree and a 3.0 GPA are our only prerequisites for the MFA program, and many of our graduate students earned their bachelor’s degree in areas outside of film. We’ve had graduate students with degrees in creative writing, economics, forensic anthropology, neuroscience, engineering, English, studio art, and Japanese, among others. Many applicants do have experience or degrees in film, but it is not a requirement of our program.

Q: I’m interested in both the Production MFA program and the Screenwriting MFA program. Can I apply to both?

A: Yes. You can apply to be considered for both programs. To do so, you need to complete both applications in full including any applicable fees. We have two separate Admissions Committees with different application documents, so you will be considered for each program separately.

Q: I’ve been out of school for a number of years. OR I am applying to the MFA in Production while finishing my undergraduate degree.  Would I be a good candidate for the College?

A: The College cares less about how recently you earned your undergraduate degree and more about your life experiences, storytelling abilities, and passion for filmmaking. We have had successful candidates who have taken time off between applying to graduate programs or who applied straight from their undergraduate education, and both types of students have been successful in our program.

Q: Do I need to take the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)?

A: The GRE is not a requirement for the MFA in Production OR Screenwriting, and it will be removed from your checklist within 24-48 hours.

Q: I am an international applicant. Do I need to take an English proficiency examination?

A: In addition to all of the listed application requirements and required documentation, all applicants whose native language is not English are required to submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). We will accept IELTS scores as well, but the College prefers the TOEFL examination scores. The University requires an internet-based TOEFL score of 80 or an IELTS score 6.5. Florida State University’s institutional code is 5219. An English proficiency examination may be waived if the applicant has earned a bachelor’s degree at an institution where English is the primary language of instruction.

Q: I completed my undergraduate degree at Florida State University. Do I still need to submit my transcripts with my application?

A: If you have earned your degree at Florida State University or will earn a degree by your program’s start date, you do not need to submit your official transcript to the University. You do still need to upload an unofficial transcript in the application system for review. The unofficial transcript is available via

Q: I don’t have any film experience. Can I still apply to the College of Motion Picture Arts?

A: Film experience is not required for any of our applicants. While it is always good to see some film experience as part of the application, if you are accepted into the program, we can teach you the technology, theory, and software that you need to know to be successful.  We are looking for applicants who are passionate about film and storytelling regardless of previous experience.

Q: Do I have to submit a film for the Creative Portfolio requirement?

A: No. Feel free to submit something other than a film if you’ve never made a film before. We accept all types of creative submissions, including photography, drawing, animation, storyboarding, sculpture, set design, short stories, poems, graphic arts, or any combination thereof. Submit what showcases you as a storyteller.

Q: What file format should I be submitting my required documents in for the College of Motion Picture Arts supplemental application?

A: The application will accept Word or PDF documents for the Resume, Statement, and Writing Sample. The Creative Portfolio should be uploaded directly to the Check Status Page.

Q: Is it possible to volunteer on the sets of student films?

A: Yes. We love having the community involved with our student films.  You can register to volunteer by clicking here.