Master of Fine Arts in Cinema

Master of Fine Arts winter & spring 2012-2013

Master of Fine Arts in Cinema

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Cinema is the terminal degree in digital filmmaking. The MFA program is a highly selective program that culminates in the successful completion of the MFA thesis project, a public presentation of the thesis project, and a defense of the thesis to the student's MFA committee.

Learn more about admission to the MFA program.

Students who have been admitted into the MS in Cinema Production can apply for admission into the MFA in Cinema Program. The students can apply at anytime as long as they have not completed more than 24 credit hours while in the MS. If admitted into the MFA, the courses taken during the MS will be applied to the MFA. The MFA clock begins at the time of first enrollment and will not be extended due to a program change.

Online Learning Options
Some courses in this degree are available for review and playback via the CDM Course Online playback system (COL) . If a course is COL-enabled, any student registered in the course has access to the course playback. Students are strongly encouraged to utilize the COL resource wherever available. Some courses are offered online. To complete this degree students may take any combination of courses offered online and on campus. For more information on online learning at CDM visit the Online Learning page.
Degree Requirements
Students in this degree program must meet the following requirements:
  • Complete a minimum of 64 graduate credit hours in the designated degree program.
  • Complete all graduate courses and requirements listed in the designated degree program.
  • Earn a grade of C- or better in all graduate courses of the designated degree program.
  • Maintain a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher.
  • Satisfactorily complete the MFA thesis as determined by the student's MFA Advisor Committee.
  • Students cannot count credit earned towards a previously awarded master's or MFA degree toward the completion of this MFA program.

For DePaul's policy on repeat graduate courses and a complete list of academic policies see the DePaul Graduate Handbook in the Course Catalog.


Course Requirements
Foundation Courses
DC 460 Digital Cinema Proseminar (8 credit hours)
DC 461 Production Workshop
DC 462 Directing Workshop
Theory Courses
DC 502 Story Structures
DC 476 Visual Design
and student must select 1 course from the following list:
DC 421 Production Design
DC 422 Editing Styles and Techniques
DC 431 Film Theory and Practice
DC 451 Modes of Digital Distribution
DC 470 Advanced Topics in Cinema
DC 481 Distribution and Exhibition
DC 485 Producing
DC 489 The Big Picture: the Entertainment Industry
Production Courses
DC 401 Writing the Short Motion Picture
DC 415 Post-Production Sound Design
DC 420 Editing
DC 423 Pre-Production for Cinema
DC 475 Cinematography
DC 495 Directing the Short Motion Picture
Major Elective Courses
Students must choose any 2 graduate level DC, ANI or VFX production or theory courses.
Thesis Phase
DC 565 Cinema Thesis I
MFA Thesis
The MFA Thesis shall be a major artistic digital project. Although there is no prescribed length for the thesis, the following should be used as guidelines:
  • Live action projects should be 15-35 minutes. (15-20 minute films tend to get the best festival play). Films longer than 35 minutes usually do not qualify for the SAG student film waiver. The Digital Cinema faculty encourages students to produce feature length films.
MFA Thesis Committtee
During this phase, their M.F.A Thesis Committee supervises the student. The student's M.F.A. Thesis Committee shall have a chairperson and a minimum of two other members. The chairperson and one other committee member must be full-time Digital Cinema Faculty. After assembling an MFA Advisor Committee the student will advise the Chair of the Digital Cinema MFA Committee of the composition of that committee. Students will work closely with the Chair of their committee in planning and completing the MFA thesis.

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 screening.

MFA Thesis Defense
A minimum of thirty days prior to the public screening, the student will schedule a thesis defense with his/her M.F.A. Thesis Committee. At this defense the student's M.F.A. Thesis Committee will discuss, evaluate, and critique the thesis and make a determination on the awarding of the MFA degree.