Course Requirements

Required Courses

MFA Thesis

The MFA Producing Thesis consists of a representational body of work that demonstrates both practical and creative producing ability. Students should present a portfolio of at least two significant produced works that may include short films, feature films, pilots, or web series. One of these two works must be a project produced as a MFA directing student's thesis. Students must also develop a screenplay, teleplay, or documentary outline and present a preliminary budget, potential cast and director list, and fundraising plan for that project.

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 the advising office, as the chairperson becomes the student's new academic advisor. Students work closely with the chair of their committee in planning and completing the MFA thesis. The MFA Thesis Committee 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 critique 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.