Master of Fine Arts in Cinema

Master of Fine Arts Fall 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.

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.
Course Legend

Curriculum Requirements

Foundation Phase
DC 460
DC 461
DC 462
Theory Phase
DC 502
DC 476
and student must select 1 course from the following list:
DC 421
DC 422
DC 431
DC 451
DC 470
DC 481
DC 485
DC 489
Production Phase
DC 401
DC 415
DC 420
DC 423
DC 475
DC 495
Major Electives
Students must choose any 2 graduate level DC, ANI or VFX production or theory courses.
Thesis Phase
DC 565
MFA Thesis
The MFA Thesis shall be a major artistic digital project. Although there is no prescribed length for thesis, the following should be used as guidelines:
  • For live action projects, 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.
  • For animation projects, 10 minutes or more.
Student's MFA Advisor Committee
During this phase students are supervised by their MFA Advisor Committee. The student's MFA Advisor Committee shall have a Chair and a minimum of two other members. The Chair (who was the student's advocate during the selection process) and one 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
At some point following the public screening the student will schedule a thesis defense with his/her MFA Advisor Committee. At this defense the student's MFA Advisor Committee will discuss, evaluate, and critique the thesis and make a determination on the awarding of the MFA degree.

Degree Requirements

Students in the MFA degree program must meet the following requirements:
  • complete a minimum of 64 graduate credit hours (generally 15 courses)  
  • earn a grade of C- or better in every graduate course
  • maintain a graduate GPA of 2.50 or higher while pursuing their degree
  • achieve a graduate GPA of 2.50 or higher at the completion of all requirements
  • satisfactory completion of the MFA Thesis as determined by the student's MFA Advisor Committee
  • credit earned towards a previously awarded master's or MFA degree cannot be counted 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.