Degree Requirements | Film Production

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Students may elect to concentrate in Film Production. The program requires completion of 60 credit hours of study plus a thesis project which must be performed or exhibited publicly prior to graduation.

The Master of Fine Arts is a terminal degree. That is, unlike the Master of Arts (MA), it is not considered merely a "stepping stone" to the Ph.D. Teaching at the university/college level in most cases requires a terminal degree.

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Degree Requirements
MFA tracks in Film and Theatre Arts require the following 18 hour core:

6020 Form and Idea in the Media 3
6040 Performance and Direction 3
6060 Concept, Conflict, and Character 3
6910 Studio Thesis I 3
6911 Studio Thesis II 3
6912 Studio Thesis III 3
6005 Graduate Studies in Orientation 0

The Master of Fine Arts track in Film Arts includes a 27-credit hour production core which exposes students to the broad processes of film making. Six credit hours of Analysis provide an important theoretical and historical framework for film production. The remaining nine credit hours (Application Electives) may be used to apply knowledge and training to a special focus within the curriculum.

MFA in Film and Theatre Track in Film Arts Production Requirements (27 hours required)
I. Production

5500 Film Development and Planning 3
6510 Narrative Film Production 3
6520 Narrative Film Postproduction 3
5530 Advanced Project in Film Production 3
5566 Sound I 3
5550 Cinematography 3
6565 Digital Theory and Application 3
6220 Screenwriting for Production 3
6580 Film Directing 3

II. Analysis (6 hours required)

5540 History of Cinema I 3
5541 History of Cinema II 3
5545 Film Theory and Criticism 3

III. Application Electives (9 hrs. required) Select from list below.

5090-5095 Special Topics in Film and Theatre 6
5096 Special Topics in Film and Theatre 3
5460 Advanced Documentary Production 3
5551 Spring Film Crew 3
5555 Spring Film Production 3
5567 Sound II 1
5568 Special Topics: Visual Effects 3
5570 Advanced Film Acting 3
5575 Advanced Film Postproduction 3
5591 Film Styles and Genres 3
5600 Film Producing 3
5900 Internship in Film and Theatre 3
6001 Practicum in Production 3
6090 Directed Independent Study 3
6100 Visual Design for Stage and Screen 3
6240 Writing the Thesis Script 3
6250 Seminar in Screenwriting 3
6560 Directing the Documentary Film 3
6900 Graduate Internship 3

Comprehensive Examination

Students are required to take and pass a Comprehensive Examination to fulfill degree requirements. Normally students may take the Comprehensive Examination no sooner than the term in which they have completed 36 hours of graduate credit. This examination will be both written and oral. The form and content of the written examination is constituted by the student's Thesis Committee (essay questions) and the Film Faculty (standard objective questions). In the subsequent oral defense, students meet with their Thesis Committee for the opportunity to correct or amplify answers given in the written (essay) exam.

Publicly Presented Creative Thesis Project

The MFA in Film Production thesis project has two components, the thesis film and the written thesis paper. The thesis will be prepared and executed under the supervision of a committee appointed by the Graduate Faculty Committee of the Department of Film and Theatre. This committee will be made up of a Thesis Committee Chair (Major Professor) and two other Committee members. The Thesis Chair must be a member of the graduate faculty of the department. Other committee members are members of the graduate faculty, one of whom may be from a department other than Film and Theatre. A written Thesis Prospectus is the first component of creating the thesis. Approval of the prospectus by the student's Thesis Committee and the Department's Graduate Faculty Committee are required to become a candidate for thesis. The research and preparation, execution and completion of the thesis will normally take nine studio hours. The completed MFA thesis project should demonstrate and appropriate mastery of filmmaking and visual storytelling, with particular emphasis on area(s) of concentration. In order to fulfill the program's degree requirements, the thesis film and paper must be approved by student's Thesis Committee and the film must be completely finished (technically and artistically) and publicly screened.

Students who have earned graduate credits in film, theatre, video, or its equivalent from other institutions may apply for admission into the Master of Fine Arts program. However, the maximum allowable transfer credit must conform to the Graduate School’s policy on extension and transfer credit. Transfer credit is subject to the graduate coordinator’s recommendation and approval by the Graduate School.