Master of Fine Arts




The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Cinema is a terminal degree in digital filmmaking designed for aspiring directors and producers who seek to join the next generation of visual storytellers. Graduates of the program will have the skills necessary to work professionally in positions across the entertainment industry. The MFA is also the preferred degree for those who wish to teach at the university level. Our program is a highly selective, and culminates in the successful completion of an MFA thesis project, a public presentation of the thesis project, and a defense of the thesis to the student's MFA committee. MFA students have opportunities to defray the cost of earning their degrees through employment within the school itself, Graduate Assistantships that offer course credit and stipends, and competitive grants for producing thesis films.


In 2013, The Hollywood Reporter ranked DePaul's School of Cinema and Interactive Media one of the top 25 best film schools in the country.

In 2014, MovieMaker Magazine ranked Chicago as the #1 "Big City" to work in as a filmmaker.

Faculty View All

All of the faculty teaching in the Cinema program are working writers, directors, and producers with credits that include: Curb Your Enthusiasm, Saturday Night Live, Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer, Wild Things, The Promotion, Buffalo '66, Spun, King of Queens, and the American Pie franchise--among their many other produced film and television projects and screenplay/pilot sales. Our production faculty continue to screen new films in prominent festivals around the world each year.

Get More Information


2 Concentrations

Directing Concentration

Employing an artistic and practical approach, the coursework focuses on educating the next generation of directors. Utilizing the latest technology, students gain a thorough understanding of the process of cinema production from script to screen, refine their professional skills, and further develop their narrative style.

Producing Concentration

A producer’s primary role is to build a team and collaborate with others in service of generating content with creative and commercial merit. Students prepare a portfolio of projects throughout the curriculum including an MFA Thesis.

Visiting Artists Series learn more


The School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artist Series brings top animators, filmmakers, game artists and designers to DePaul for workshops and lectures.

Project Bluelight


Students learn from professionals on the set of Project Bluelight.

LA Quarter Learn More

LA Quarter

Want to uncover the secret to breaking into the film and television industry? Find out by participating in DePaul's LA Quarter. This ten-week immersion program enables you to live in Los Angeles, take classes on a historic studio lot, and intern at high-profile companies that align with your professional goals.

Admission Process

The Graduate Admission process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts, and any additional information, e.g. letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.

Please visit our Graduate Admissions page for more information.

Faculty Perspectives


Meet Our Faculty

Cinespace Alliance Learn More

cinespace chicago

The School of Cinematic Arts recently created a formal alliance with Cinespace Chicago Film Studios. The school's production facility maintains 20,000 square feet of studio space housed between network televison shows and Hollywood motion picture stages.

Watch ABC7 News: Cinespace got Hollywood's Attention

Production Resources Learn More

The Production Office is the primary resource for all production needs related to producing a film.

Online Learning Learn More

Online Learning

Some courses are available for review and playback ONLINE.

Ask an Ambassador


Premiere Film Festival Learn More


School of Cinematic Art's best student films screen annually at the historic Music Box Theatre.