MFA Film Production & Creative Writing: How to Apply

Application Process and Materials:

Applicants must complete and submit an on-line application form through Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. This form can be found at:

There is an application fee of CDN $104 for Canadian applicants. International applicants must pay CDN $168.25. This fee is set by UBC Graduate Studies and is non-refundable. The fee is payable by credit card. If you do not have a credit card, another cardholder must pay on your behalf.

These fees are set by UBC Graduate Studies and is non-refundable. The fees are payable by credit card. If you do not have a credit card, another cardholder must pay on your behalf.

Before you start the application please be ready to submit the following documents in electronic format (PDF):

A resumé of film and related experience.
Copies of all official post-secondary academic records in original language and certified translation.
A portfolio of completed films on which you were a primary creator. These must be uploaded to the Internet and links supplied. If supplying links, they may be password protected, but please ensure that they are easily accessible on standard websites such as YouTube or Vimeo. Avoid sites that require registration or special players.
A description of the films you have submitted (title, length, production company) and your role on each of these projects.
A proposal for a thesis film. If your thesis is a feature-length film, you must also submit an alternate proposal for a shorter film. This proposal must include a description of the film, an outline, treatment or draft script and a proposed one-page budget.
A statement of intent describing your reasons for wanting to complete the MFA Program.
Applicants must also submit a portfolio of original screenwriting of at least 50 pages. This writing can be from a single screenplay or several different screenplays.
Three (3) references via UBC’s eReference system.

DO NOT SEND PAPER DOCUMENTS OR HARD COPY MEDIA to the Department of Theatre and Film. If you receive an offer of admission you will be instructed to send official transcripts directly to the UBC Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies.

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application. The MFA in Film Production requires a minimum TOEFL score of 100 (or equivalent). Your score should be sent to UBC electronically.

Please see details at:

Selection Process:

A selection committee first reviews all applications to the MFA in Film Production and Creative Writing.

The selection committee determines a short list of applicants and arranges interviews with these applicants. Short listed applicants will be asked to come to an interview. If you cannot attend in person, a telephone interview will be arranged.

The Selection Committee then recommends selected applicants to Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies. Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies reviews the application and if Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies approves the application, the student is then accepted into the Program.

This entire process normally takes 8-10 weeks.

Tuition and Other Fees:

The UBC on-line calendar gives details for tuition fees specifying rates for full-time, part-time and international students.

For more information please visit:

Tuition fees are calculated on an annual basis. They are paid in three installments in September, January and May.

While they are enrolled in the MFA Program, students pay these installments regardless of whether they are taking specific courses or not.

Student Funding:

Graduate Entrance Scholarships

In most years, the Film Production Program is able to offer small Graduate Entrance Scholarships to some students. These cover a portion of tuition; amounts vary from year to year. Graduate Entrance Scholarships are awarded on the basis of academic and professional achievement. Please note that all accepted incoming graduate students are automatically considered by Film Program faculty for these scholarships. Students are not required to apply and scholarships are not based on need.

Other Graduate Awards

Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies frequently sends notices of scholarships, fellowships and other competitions for graduate students and the Film Production Program will circulate these to our students. Information on these awards and the deadlines for application are also posted on Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies website at

Student Loans and Bursaries

Canadian student loans are government-funded repayable financial assistance. Eligibility is determined by a standard means test. Students are required to apply for student loans through their province of residence. See the UBC website for further information.

Non-Canadian students should inquire in their country of residence regarding student loans.

UBC also offers bursaries to students who have student loans. There are general bursaries available to all UBC students. See the UBC Student Services website:

Please note that students are also eligible for bursaries and loans to cover the summer term, since they are enrolled over the summer.

BC Arts Council Funding

Applicants who are Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents and have lived in British Columbia for one year or longer may be eligible to obtain Scholarship Awards from the BC Arts Council. Please see their website:

Employment Opportunities:

Teaching Assistantships

The Film Program normally has a number of partial Teaching Assistantship and Graduate Assistantship positions for MFA students. This number fluctuates from year to year and is not guaranteed. Students interested in working as Teaching Assistants or Graduate Assistants must formally apply to the Graduate Advisor for the positions once they are accepted into the Program. Students may also apply for other Teaching Assistantships within and outside of the Department of Theatre and Film.

Work Study

Canadian students may be eligible for UBC Work Study employment on campus in a variety of jobs to a maximum of 10 hours per week and earn up to $3,000 for the Winter Session (September to April). Work Learn is open to domestic and international graduate students paying full-time tuition. See the Student Services website:

International Students:

International students may be eligible for employment on or off campus via the UBC Work Learn program or other programs depending on their status. For detailed information on the regulations and the work permit application process, see the International Student Services website:

MFA Film Production & Creative Writing Admissions and General Information/Questions:

Graduate Secretary: Karen Tong –
Film Production Administrator: Sarah Crauder –
Academic Administrator: Ian Patton –