Course Requirements

Foundation Courses

Note: Students must take the Foundation Courses during their first year in the program.

Production Courses

Major Elective Courses

Students must choose any 2 graduate level DC, ANI, or VFX courses or MCS 502.

MFA Thesis

The MFA Thesis should be a significant work that utilizes excellent cinematic storytelling technique to demonstrate the filmmaker's unique voice and vision. This project may be a short film, feature film, pilot, or web series.

Thesis Phase

MFA Thesis Committee

During the thesis phase, the MFA Thesis Committee supervises the student. The student's MFA Thesis Committee shall have a chairperson and a minimum of two other members. The chairperson and at least one of the other committee members must be a full-time Cinematic Arts faculty member. Once selected, the student must notify CDM Advising, in order for the chairperson to become the student's new academic advisor. Students work closely with the chairs of their committees in planning and completing the MFA thesis. The MFA Thesis Committe must approve a student's script and preproduction documents before the project will be allowed to enter production.

MFA Thesis Screening

A major component of the MFA degree is the public screening of the MFA thesis. It is the student's responsibility to organize, schedule, promote and publicize this event. 

MFA Thesis Defense

A minimum of thirty days prior to the public screening, the student will schedule a thesis defense with his/her MFA Thesis Committee. At this defense the student's MFA Thesis Committee will discuss, evaluate, and citique the thesis and make a determination on the awarding of the MFA degree.

MFA Thesis Timeline

Students will have a maximum of five years from first enrollment in the program to complete, defend, and screen their MFA Thesis. Time spent in the MS program will count toward this limit. Students may petition their MFA Thesis Committees for a one-time extension.

DC 701 Thesis Continuation

This zero-credit course is for students actively working to finish their thesis projects. A student's MFA Thesis Committee Chair may enroll a student in 701 a maximum of eight times. Enrolling in 701 requires student to declare goals for the quarter with regard to finishing their thesis. Students who do not meet these goals may not be eligible to enroll in another 701 until those goals are met.