School of Theatre, Television and Film

TFM Selection Process

Your TFM Petition Portfolio

Please click here to download a pdf version of the following information.

The School of Theatre, Television and Film limits enrollment in the production emphasis in order to maintain the recognized quality of our programs and to ensure reasonable affordability in terms of student finances and time spent from admission to graduation. Entrance into this major is competitive. Only students with outstanding academic records and demonstrated creativity in related fields are encouraged to petition.

For advancement from pre-­‐major into the major you will submit a portfolio to be evaluated by the TFM screening committee.
In order to apply for the TFM Production Emphasis you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Complete TFM 160 and THEA 100 with a grade of B or higher.
  • Complete a minimum of 15 transferable semester units.
  • Have a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or higher.

The Petition Portfolio

Students who meet the minimum requirements will submit a TFM Request to Apply Form (available on the TFM webpage) to Angie Parkhurst, who will send the student an invitation to the Blackboard site where your application area will show up in the Applicants tab on the left side of the page. Students must fill out and upload the TFM Production Emphasis Application, available on the TFM website. You may use the File Exchange Area to upload your application and related files. Depending on the program you use to fill out the form, you can either use the scroll bars or arrow keys on your keyboard to navigate within the large text boxes.

The following material must be submitted with the application form:

  • A personal statement. Included in the form.
  • A creative story treatment for a 1-3 min production (fiction or nonfiction). Included in the form.
  • Samples of visual creative work. Linked in the form, uploaded to Blackboard, or submitted separately. Video work (Vimeo or YouTube links are preferred.) may also be submitted on a flash drive or by hard printed copy of photography, storyboarding, or other forms of artwork that show your abilities.
  • Transcripts (unofficial are fine) from all colleges attended. Uploaded to Blackboard.
  • Two letters of recommendation (must be signed and dated). Emailed directly to

Submitting Your Petition Portfolio

Digital submission is required. If you wish you can hand deliver or mail a hard copy of selected elements, such as a usb drive, printed artwork, or letters of recommendation. Be sure to note on the Blackboard site any materials you will be submitting directly to the TTF office.

Hand deliver or mail any hard copy elements to the School of Theatre, Television, and Film.

Send to:

  • TFM Petitioning Committee
  • School of Theatre, Television and Film
  • San Diego State University
  • 5500 Campanile Drive
  • San Diego, California 92182—‐7601

Hand deliver to:

  • Theatre, Television, and Film Office DA 201

After all petitioning materials have been reviewed you will receive a letter of acceptance or denial. Notification will be sent in time for you to register for classes.

Explanation of Required Materials

TFM 160 and Theatre 100: Petitioning students must have completed both TFM 160—Cinema as Art and Theatre 100—The Art of Theatre, before submitting the portfolio. These courses may be satisfied by taking them at SDSU, or approved course equivalents at another school. A grade of “B” or higher is required for each course.

Personal Statement: Your statement should be pasted or typed into the application form, and be approximately two pages in length. Include your career goals, interests, talents, achievements, and any work experience in the field of TV, film, or new media. Write about   what makes you stand out, what your passion is, what you hope to accomplish. Give it a personal voice.  Write well and persuasively.

A minimum of two letters of recommendation are required.  Letters should come from teachers, work supervisors, and professional associates who can assess your abilities and potential to work in this field. Letters may not be from students, including graduate students, or letters from family members or friends. Make sure the letters are on letterhead stationery, signed and dated. Letters should be emailed directly to  Please ask your recommenders to put your name in the subject heading. Letters may be addressed “To the TFM Screening Committee,” or “To Whom It May Concern.” Letters of recommendation become property of the School of Theatre, Television and Film office and will not be returned. If you need a personal copy of your letters, please get them separately from your recommenders.

Creative Materials:Submit evidence of your creative work, e.g., films clips, computer animation clips, photographs, storyboards, design renderings, etc., for which you have had primary responsibility. Film samples should be about 5-6 minutes total time. In the appropriate section of the TFM   Production Emphasis Application Form clearly indicate your role on each production. We request 2 examples of your creative work. In addition to your visual work you may also submit script samples.  The best way to submit video work is via a link to a streaming service such as Vimeo and YouTube. Make sure to include any necessary passwords. You may also send or deliver a usb flash drive with your work, or hard copies of work like photographs and artwork directly to the school. Since flash drives are tiny, make sure they are securely enclosed in a labeled envelope, and name the drive with your name to make sure your work can be identified. DvDs are not accepted.

Treatment: Submit a treatment for a 1-­‐3 min production (fiction or nonfiction). Maximum two pages. We are looking for visual storytelling, a script for a visual sequence. Dialogue passages should be used sparingly, if at all. Please note: no car chases, no blow-­‐‘em-­‐up sequences, no music videos. This is a written submission, do not tape, film, or otherwise produce.

Transcripts: Unofficial copies of all transcripts, including your most recently completed semester are required. 

Current SDSU students may use their Degree Audit Report or their Unofficial Transcript, both accessed through your web portal.

Transfer students:  The SDSU Admissions Office will not release transcripts from other schools. Notify each school or college you have attended to send unofficial transcripts to you, so you may include them in your petition. These transcripts will be uploaded to the File exchange area of the Blackboard site.

Number of Times a Student May Petition

SDSU students are permitted to petition for the TFM major TWICE. Incomplete files will not be reviewed nor will they count as a petitioning attempt.

Please Note: Transfer students who have received a letter of acceptance to SDSU need to submit their portfolio the second Monday of April; this is usually 6-8 weeks after letters of admission are sent from the university.. Transfer students may petition once more after their transfer if their first portfolio is denied.