DC Shorts Film Festival Awards ceremony with The Pick Up and BINI


The Arts Living Learning Community (LLC) is a unique residential opportunity for freshmxn majoring or interested in the visual and performing arts.

Applying to the Film and Video Studies program is a two-step process. You can be admitted to Mason, but you must also be admitted to the Film and Video Studies program.

Mason Gold background
Information Session

Interested in learning more about Film at Mason? Watch a previous information session for prospective students.

How to Apply

Step One

Incoming Freshmxn and Transfers: 
Apply to Mason through the Common Application, or directly through Mason's online application. You do not need to wait to get a response from Admissions before moving to step two.

Current Mason students:
Skip Step One

Step Two

Submit a digital portfolio via SlideRoom that will be evaluated by our faculty. Your digital portfolio includes two short essays and creative work samples (described in detail below). Incomplete portfolios will not be considered.

PART 1: Film at Mason is dedicated to the study and production of independent film. We are looking for a sense of who you are as a unique individual and what you want to say as a storyteller. *Note: enthusiasm for watching films, descriptions of your favorite films/media and the involvement in the filmmaking process is common in most candidates. As a result, we encourage you to focus on your individuality. Write a 500 word essay describing your interest in independently produced film and media and your goals in becoming a filmmaker.

PART 2: Choose ONE of the following. 
*Note: must be a different idea than what you submit for Part 3.

  • 350-word treatment for an original fiction film.
  • 350-word plan for a documentary film (i.e. a story involving participants and representing real life).
  • 350-word proposal for a television pilot or series.

Examples are available from current/past students

PART 3: Submit a sample of your creative work along with a descriptive statement. Your creative sample should evoke your voice and vision. Additional information provided in SlideRoom


  • This can be (but not limited to) a short video, demo reel, photographs, website, animation, drawing, collage, graphic novel, comic book cells, poetry, or script.

Descriptive Statement (25-100 words):

  • Describe your sample of creative work (e.g. medium, context, etc.). If applicable, include collaborators, your specific role, and use of copyrighted media.

Portfolio Deadlines

Incoming Freshmxn

  • Spring 2023: October 1, 2022
  • Early Action Fall 2023: November 7, 2022
  • Regular Fall 2023: Feb 7, 2023

Incoming Transfers

  • Spring 2023: October 1, 2022
  • Fall 2023: March 1, 2023

Current Mason Students

  • Change your major for Spring 2023: October 1, 2022
  • Change your major for Fall 2023: March 1, 2023
Students work with an underwater cinematographer to capture a scene in the Mason Film Lab. Photo: William Dickson
Students work with an underwater cinematographer to capture a scene in the Mason Film Lab. Photo: William Dickson