MFA Programs

MFA Overview

The graduate Film program offers qualified students a choice of concentration in film production, film & television studies, or screenwriting. Film production students are trained by a faculty of national distinction to perform at a high level of professional competence. Film & television studies majors are expected to acquire a deep grounding in cinema history, research, and criticism. Screenwriting students master the art of screenwriting, and are encouraged to take an active role in both film production and film & television studies.

Master’s thesis films by graduates in the film production sequence have been honored by an Oscar in short documentary, three Academy Award nominations, and more than a hundred festival prizes. In recent years, films from the graduate program have been shown at the New York Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival, and the major student festivals in Tel Aviv and Munich. A number of film & television studies candidates have published all or part of their written theses.

The orientation of the graduate film program is pluralistic. Master’s candidates are prepared for a broad range of careers in film and television. Alumni are working at the highest reaches of the motion picture industry, but many have also chosen to work as independent or experimental media artists. They are running their own production companies, producing prime-time television series, teaching film courses, and directing feature films.

In selecting students for the program, the faculty considers not only applicants’ academic records (GRE, GPA), but also evidence of self-motivation and creativity as demonstrated in portfolios, extracurricular activities, and employment. The program accommodates students both with and without previous production experience.

Incoming students must declare in advance whether they are applying for admission to the film production sequence, the film & television studies sequence, or the screenwriting sequence.


The film program is equipped with complete production and postproduction facilities and equipment, including 10 Arriflex 16 SR2 packages, multiple Canon 7D DSLRs, hard disk sound recorders, sound design flash card recorders, Marantz minidisc recorders, lighting and grip equipment, a sound mixing studio, a motion picture studio, and two digital media labs with Avid Media Composer and Xpress Pro, Adobe After Effects, Photoshop, and Illustrator. The new Marilyn and Jeffrey Katzenberg High Definition Center permits students to complete advanced projection high-definition videos.

Graduate Film Degree Requirements

The requirements for the MFA degree in Film are the completion of 64 credit hours (four full semesters) of coursework. This may include completion of thesis credit in production, editing, cinematography, producing, or film and television studies.