Master of Fine Arts Film and Television Directing

The Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Directing at the School of Cinematic Arts is a highly selective program designed to cultivate a filmmaker’s voice through a rigorous filmmaking curriculum. Students will be educated in every discipline involved in the filmmaking process, as well as the business facets of the film industry, enabling them to be best prepared for a career in the industry following graduation. Graduates of the program will emerge with a rich portfolio, including numerous original short films and a complete significant thesis film.

DePaul has been named a top film school by both The Hollywood Reporter, Backstage, and Variety for giving students real-world opportunities to work on Chicago’s film and television sets. Students have access to unparalleled resources including a dedicated 60,000 square-foot production space at Cinespace Chicago Film Studios, the second largest production studio in North America and home to major Hollywood productions including Power Book IV: Force, Chicago Fire, The Bear, and The Chi. Students also have access to state-of-the-art camera gear, including Alexa, Amira and Red Cameras, as well as two sprinter vans and an array of professional lighting equipment.

Degree Requirements
Alex Thompson
Linh Tran
Julio Padilla
SCA Alumni

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  • Wendy Roderweiss

    Wendy has written and produced numerous short films that have screened at film festivals across the country. Her most recent project, the TV pilot Inferno was created as part of our Project Bluelight program and is currently making its rounds on the festival circuit, including as an official selection of SeriesFest and the Nashville Film Festival. Wendy has produced the School of Cinematic Arts Visiting Artists Series since 2013.

  • James Choi

    James’s films have screened widely on the festival circuit. His first feature, Made in China, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Narrative at SXSW and was distributed by IFC Films. His second feature, Empty Space, was recently released nationally on Xfinity On Demand.

  • Shayna Connelly

    Shayna is a writer/director/producer whose work explores the concept of hauntings. Her films have screened internationally at festivals and galleries.

  • Kevin Cagnolotti

    Kevin is an accomplished sound designer with a passion for teaching. He’s worked on notable projects for clients that include The Onion, AV Club, and Periscope Audio and Post, and has taught sound design and media arts classes for several years. Kevin’s work has been recognized and awarded at festivals such as the Big Picture Film Festival and the Lake Michigan Film Festival.


DePaul Cinespace Studios

CDM boasts a one-of-a-kind, nearly 60,000-square-foot professional production facility formed in alliance with Cinespace Chicago Film Studios.


Premiere Film Festival

Our annual Premiere Film Festival showcases the best of student work in cinema and animation with awards covering all facets of filmmaking, from screenwriting to post production.


Project Bluelight

Work as a crew member on a professional independent film or television pilot.


LA Quarter

Experience the inner workings of Hollywood first hand by living in LA, taking classes on a historic studio lot, and interning at high profile companies aligning with your professional aspirations.


Visiting Artists Series

Gain valuable insight into the industry from established professionals in the field.


DePaul Cinema Collaborative

Become a member of a student organization that fosters new collaborations, arming you with focused information, industry opportunities, closer proximity to guest lecturers, and a better sense of what it takes to succeed in the industry.

Application Deadlines

Enrollment QuarterDomestic Student DeadlineInternational Student Deadline
Fall (Priority Deadline)December 15December 15
Fall (Final Deadline)May 15May 15

Admission Process

The graduate application process involves completing an online application, sending in your transcripts and submitting any supplemental material (e.g., letters of recommendation, certifications, etc.). To learn more about your program specific requirements, visit our Graduate Admission page.

Admission Requirements

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