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Learn more about the Master of Fine Art in Film

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The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film is low-residency and 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.

Admissions

Application Deadlines

  • Fall semester – Apply by August 1
  • Winter residency – Apply by November 15
  • Spring semester – Apply by December 1
  • Summer residency – Apply by May 15

Students can begin the program with a residency on our Florham Campus held in summer or winter, or with the fall or spring semester online courses.  Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.

Upcoming residency dates

  • 2022 Winter: January 15-23
  • 2022 Summer: June 12-19

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

  • Choose a start date of fall, winter, spring or summer. Complete the FDU Application online.
  • Choose your concentration: screenwriting, producing, directing, cinematography, or editing.
  • Official transcripts verifying your undergraduate degree should be sent by your college to the Graduate Admissions Office.

Once you complete and submit the application form, the system will prompt you to upload other required documents.

  • Upload a statement of purpose to your application. Please tell us more about yourself and why you wish to pursue an MFA in Film
  • Upload your portfolio or a link to your portfolio. If your portfolio is too large, email gradfilm@fdu.edu for details. We will direct you to our server.
    • 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.
  • Letters of recommendation are welcome, but not required. They can be uploaded to the application or sent to gradfilm@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 the program director 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 your residency fee. 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

Course Requirements

Students complete four nine-day graduate film residencies (total of 20 credits) held on the Florham Campus, Madison, NJ campus. The residencies are held twice a year in summer and winter session.

  • FILM5000 MFA in Film Residency.

Students take six “Essentials” courses below plus two courses in their area of concentration for a total of 40 credits.

  • FILM7015  Story, Cinema & Screen Language
  • FILM6000 Screenwriting Essentials
  • FILM6001 Producing Essentials
  • FILM6002 Directing Essentials
  • FILM6003 Cinematography Essentials
  • FILM6004 Editing/Post Production Essentials

Internship courses can replace the main concentration courses 1:1. The director’s permission is 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 and internships available at:

Course Descriptions