Department of Visual & Media Arts

Film & Media Art (MFA) Curriculum

Required Courses (16 credits):

  • VM 613 Foundations of Image and Sound Production (4 credits)
  • VM 605 Writing the Short Subject OR VM 606 Writing for Interactive (4 credits)
  • VM 651 Narrative History OR VM 652 Theories of Integrated Media (4 credits)*
  • VM 600 Business of Modern Media (4 credits)


Studies Electives (8 credits) Samples

  • Media Ethics
  • History of Documentary
  • Avant-Garde/Experimental
  • Global Asian Cinema
  • African Diaspora Films

Production Electives (24 credits) Samples: 

  • Fundamentals of Directing
  • Directing Actors
  • Cinematography
  • Installations
  • New Media
  • Producing
  • Documentary
  • TV Writing
  • Advanced classes in Cinematography
  • Documentary
  • Producing

Production Workshops (8 credits/2 semesters, with a third semester optional in lieu of a production elective).

Thesis Project (8 credits)

Portfolio Review:

At the end of each year in the program, students participate in a formal portfolio review of their class and creative works or works-in-progress by the graduate program director and a committee of department faculty members who teach in the MFA program.

The portfolio review provides the student with formative feedback from the faculty. In consultation with the Graduate Program Director, they plan the coming year’s coursework to address weaknesses and build on strengths. 

Students stating in Phase 1 (64 credits/6 Semesters) – Student with undergraduate degree in Literature interested in exploring narrative fiction production.

  • Semester 1 – Foundations of Image & Sound Production, Writing the Short, Narrative History (Required)
  • Semester 2 – Basic Cinematography, Producing, Studies Elective
  • Semester 3 – Fundamentals of Directing, TV Writing, Advanced Editing
  • Semester 4 – Directing Actors, Sound Design, MFA Production Workshop
  • Semester 5 – Thesis Project, Studies Elective
  • Semester 6 – Thesis Project, MFA Production Workshop

Phase 2 (52 credits/5 Semesters) – Student with a B.A. in TV journalism and freelance work producing videos for online marketing, wants to pursue documentary production.

  • Semester 1 – History of Documentary (Studies Elective), Basic Cinematography, Adv Editing
  • Semester 2 – Documentary Production Workshop, Motion Graphics, Visual Ethnography (Studies Elective)
  • Semester 3 – Adv. Documentary, New Media Workshop, MFA Production Workshop
  • Semester 4 – Thesis Project
  • Semester 5 – Thesis Project, MFA Production Workshop

Phase 3 (40 Credits/4 Semesters) – Student with a BFA in Film/TV/Media Art and professional production experience, with proposal for thesis project in augmented reality/interactive media.

  • Semester 1 – Advanced New Media Projects, Writing for Interactive, Studies Elective
  • Semester 2 – MFA Production Workshop, Adv. Cinematography, Computer Animation
  • Semester 3 – Thesis Project, Sound Design
  • Semester 4 – Thesis Project, MFA Production Workshop