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Learn more about the MFA in Film

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The FDU low-residency MFA in film offers concentrations in producing, screenwriting, directing, cinematography, and editing.

Internship experiences and workshops led by professionals are “built-in” to the studies. Situated near New York City, and in the heart of a vibrant media market, our students and graduates will be able to hone their skills and be better prepared to obtain work in the field.

MFA film students attend online courses during the fall and spring semesters and attend nine-day residencies in the summer and winter sessions. To complete the degree, students attend four residencies and eight online courses. The program can be completed in two years.

Upcoming residency dates

  • Summer 2020: Aug 3 to 8
    Due to COVID-19, the 2020 summer residency will be held online.
  • Winter 2021: TBA

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Summer residency/Fall semester: May 1
  • Winter residency/Spring semester: November 15

All new students begin their studies with a residency held on the Florham Campus, Madison NJ. 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Admissions Requirements

Students holding undergraduate degrees from an accredited four-year institution in the U.S. or abroad may apply. Applicants should have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or better on a 4.0 scale.

To Apply

  • Complete the FDU Application online.
  • Choose your concentration: screenwriting, producing, directing, cinematography, or editing.
  • Attach a statement of purpose to your application. Please tell us more about yourself and why you wish to pursue an MFA in Film.
  • Official transcripts should be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office. All undergraduate transcripts are required.
  • GRE scores are not required.
  • Submit your portfolio or a link to your portfolio via email to: gradfilm@fdu.edu.
    • You can submit a film work (.mov or QT file), a screenplay, stage play, or creative writing document (Use PDF or MS Word format. Please paginate and put your name on every page). Portfolios may contain live-action film material, screenplays, or other written narrative work. Work from other disciplines can be submitted — be it animation, playwriting, photography, graphic design, or fine arts.
    • If your portfolio is too large for email we will direct you to our server. Email gradfilm@fdu.edu for details.
  • Letters of recommendation are welcome, but not required. They can be sent to the Graduate Admissions Office at grad@fdu.edu.
  • Complete the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid)  online asap if you require financial aid. You don’t have to accept any funds unless you choose to. Many graduate students are eligible for State and/or Federal loans and aid. Our Financial Aid Office (974-443-8704) can assist with this.

In making admissions decisions, the greatest weight is given to screenwriting samples, completed film projects, festivals, and professional recognition, and employer recommendations. The work-related experience will also be taken into consideration. While admission will not require the undergraduate major to have been in a film-related field, creativity demonstrated while an undergraduate, or in professional work environments, will be considered.

Prospective students may also arrange a meeting with one of the program directors to discuss program options and tour the film facilities.

MFA in Film Curriculum

The degree takes a minimum of two years to complete. Students have up to five years to finish. Four on-campus residencies, eight online courses, and a completed thesis are required for the degree. A total of 60 credits are required to graduate.

Room and board are included in each residency. Students are responsible for their own travel to and from the residency. For information on tuition, please see the Graduate tuition and fees page. The MFA in Film tuition is located under the “Per Credit” heading. If you have any questions, feel free to email gradfilm@fdu.edu.

Example two-year sequence

Below is an example of a two-year sequence for a student beginning with a summer residency and fall online courses.

  • All courses and each residency are 5 credits.
  • All residencies are held at Florham Campus, Madison, NJ.

Year one, 30 credits

  • Summer on-campus residency: nine days (first residency)
  • Fall term: eight weeks (first term): two online courses are taken consecutively
  • Winter on-campus residency: nine days (second residency)
  • Spring term: eight weeks (second term): two online courses are taken consecutively

Year two, 30 credits

  • Summer on-campus residency: nine days (third residency)
  • Fall term: eight weeks (third term): two online courses and/or internships are taken consecutively
  • Winter on-campus residency: nine days (fourth and final residency)
  • Spring term: eight weeks (fourth and final term): two online courses and/or internships are taken consecutively

Residency

FILM5000 MFA in Film Residency. Nine-day graduate film residency held on the Florham Campus, Madison, NJ campus twice a year in summer and winter session. Four residencies are required to complete the degree.

Essential courses

20 credits: Each student takes four “Essentials” courses below in the following order, one in each concentration outside of their main concentration).

  • FILM6000 Screenwriting Essentials. 
  • FILM6001 Producing Essentials. 
  • FILM6002 Directing Essentials. 
  • FILM6003 Cinematography Essentials. 
  • FILM6004 Editing/Post Production Essentials. 

Concentration courses

Four courses in the area of concentration are required.

Internship Courses

  • FILM7000 Screenwriting. Students taking the screenwriting concentration take this course four times for a total of 20 credits.
  • FILM7001 Producing. Students taking the producing concentration take this course four times for a total of 20 credits.
  • FILM7002 Directing. Students taking the directing concentration take this course four times for a total of 20 credits.
  • FILM7003 Cinematography. Students taking the cinematography concentration take this course four times for a total of 20 credits.
  • FILM7005 Editing. Students taking the editing concentration take this course four times for a total of 20 credits.

Internship courses can replace the main concentration courses 1:1. The director’s permission required.

  • Film8001 Screenwriting I Internship
  • Film8002 Producing I Internship
  • Film8003 Directing I Internship
  • Film8004 Cinematography I Internship
  • Film8005 Editing I Internship
  • Film8006 Screenwriting 2 Internship
  • Film8007 Producing 2 Internship
  • Film8008 Directing 2 Internship
  • Film8009 Cinematography 2 Internship
  • Film8010 Editing 2 Internship

Professional workshops led by, and internships available at, …

Course Descriptions