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Application Process for the School of Film

Graduate Applicants

Deadline for application is February 15 for entry into the program in the following Fall Semester.

Because certain core courses must be taken in sequence, admission to all graduate programs in the the School of Film is restricted to Fall enrollment.

To apply, you must have achieved a minimum Grade Point Average of 3.0 as an undergraduate. You must have a bachelor's degree or its equivalent from an accredited institution. Your undergraduate degree may be in any discipline.

Proficiency in reading, writing, speaking, and understanding English is essential to your success at Ohio University. Non-native speakers of English must submit official results of one of two standardized tests: the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), as part of the application packet.

Please note that we do NOT require a GRE score. 

Documents Required for Graduate Applicants

  • Formal application with fee. You must apply on-line:
  • Transcripts of all undergraduate and graduate work must be sent directly to Graduate College from your degree granting institution.

Graduate College
1 Ohio University
Grosvenor Hall, 102
Athens, OH 45701

  • Three letters of recommendation. You should opt to have these submitted online. Once your application is submitted and payment has cleared, the system will contact the persons you have listed and give them instructions for uploading their letters.
  • A sample of your written work consisting of a paper or papers on any subject such as a research paper, article, critical analysis, or screenplay.
  • Personal Statement - 500 words maximum
  • Résumé or CV

MFA Applicants must include

  • Statement of Goals for graduate study - 500 word maximum.
  • Creative Portfolio - examples of creative work (film, video, screenplay, or work from another medium). If you are submitting a film or video, the complete version with credits is preferred.

How to submit visual materials

  • Include URL link on your résumé or CV


  • Email Vimeo, YouTube, or personal website URL link or files (Google Drive, etc.) to:

How to submit screenplay(s)

  • Combine in a single pdf and upload in one of the Other Supplemental Materials sections of the application.


  • Combine in a single pdf and upload in one of the Written Samples sections of the application.

For International students only

  • English language proficiency test - A minimum TOEFL score of 580 (paper) or 92 (iBT); or an IELTS score of 6.5 across all bands. Official scores must be reported directly from the testing agency to the Graduate College at Ohio University. The Ohio University institution code is 1593. English language proficiency scores older than two years are not accepted.

Undergraduate Applicants

BFA/HTC students are required to submit at least one of the following items

  • Short essay
  • Original screenplay
  • Personal statement - should include the following:
    • Personal story - Describe an event in your life and how it changed you or someone close to you. This event can be dramatic and/or comedic and can be major or minor. Ultimately, we are looking for evidence of your potential as a storyteller. Please do not write about why or what led you to pursue a degree in film and television production.
    • Creative influences - How has a film, play, book, television series, painting, music, or other significant work of art inspired or influenced your own work or the way you look at the world?
    • Artistic statement - Describe your artistic goals and aspirations.
  • Link to your relevant work(s) - should include one or more of the following items:
    • Short film(s) or clips of your work shot on film or video
    • Still photos
    • Written work (fiction, screenplay, essay)
    • Hand-drawn sketches, paintings, or computer-aided drawings
    • Photos of models, sculpture, or other 3-D work
    • Elements of theatrical production
  • Creative resume
    • Should highlight your creative work, activities, and/or relevant employment.
    • This resume is distinct from your academic resume and should focus on your artistic and creative endeavors.
    • We also welcome information about any community service you've done or part-time jobs you've held. These do not have to be strictly creative if they illustrate and engagement with your community and/or a significant time commitment from you.

Graduate Funding in the School of Film

The vast majority of graduate students in the School of Film receive some level of funding. Funding comes in two forms - tuition waivers and graduate stipends. Compared with the cost of graduate schools elsewhere, we most definitely are a very good financial value. In return for funding, students are asked to complete a service assignment in the school.

On top of the generous funding packages offered by the School of Film, the cost of living in Athens is quite reasonable. Many of our students find apartments or shared housing arrangements that cost $350-500/mo. per person. And with most of our students living within a mile of campus, transportation by bike or walking can cut down your expenses even more.

Other Sources of Graduate Support

Betty Thomas Filmmaking Award
Through a generous gift from actor/director Betty Thomas (Class of 1969), this annual award is granted in support of the thesis project of a female filmmaker (or filmmakers) in the Film Division.

I. Hollis Parry/Ann Billman Fine Arts Award
Offered in the spirit of new creation to stimulate thoughts, insights, and ideas, this grant is awarded to a talented graduate student allowing the students to realize a project that may not have been possible due to financial restrictions. The award may be used for, but not limited to: international travel and research, collaborative performance, travel to an “on-location” film shoot, or to build, purchase or rent equipment, etc. Film students have won this award in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017.

Graduate Creative & Scholarly Activity Travel Support
The College of Fine Arts has established a fund to help support graduate students’ professional activity. Awards of $100.00 (minimum) to $250.00 (maximum) to help defray travel costs will be made to College of Fine Arts graduate students whose creative and/or scholarly work has been accepted for presentation. Students are limited to one award per academic year.

GSS Original Work & Travel Grants
Every semester, the Graduate Student Senate awards grants for graduate-level projects and research and to further graduate education through participation in seminars and conferences and foster professional development to further students’ careers.

Student Enhancement Awards
Competitive awards to support undergraduate, graduate, and medical student research, scholarship, and creative activities. Awards of up to $6,000. Film students have won this award each of the last four years.

CRSCA Discretionary Fund
Small awards of up to $500 to fund unique opportunities or emergencies for undergraduate, graduate and medical student research, scholarship, and creative activity are available upon application and approval by the current CRSCA Chair.

If you have questions or need more information, feel free to contact Melissa Ervin at: (740) 593-1323 or

Commitment to non-discrimination

Ohio University operates on a holistic, selective review and looks for evidence of academic preparation when reviewing applications for admission. Additionally, because the School of Film considers artistic talent in the review process, students pursuing certain academic programs must interview and/or submit additional materials for admission and scholarship consideration. Ohio University and the School of Film do not discriminate against any applicants because of race, color, religion, age, national origin, ethnicity, national ancestry, sex, pregnancy, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, military service or veteran status, mental or physical disability, or genetic information.