Film & Television Graduate Programs

Film & television graduate programs are typically offered as Master of Fine Art (MFA) degrees. These programs give students focused learning in areas such as directing, animation, and screenwriting. Schools offering Radio Broadcasting degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Comparing Master's Degrees in Film and Television

Master of Fine Arts in Screenwriting

Master of Fine Arts degree programs in screenwriting may explore writing for both film and television or focus on only one of the two genres. These programs typically take two to three years to complete. Students may study various writing methods, collaborate with peers, and write several original screenplays. Programs may feature online and on-campus components as well as internship opportunities, and they often include courses on such topics as elements of screenwriting, television and film genres, and script analysis. Students are required to have earned a bachelor's degree prior to entering an MFA program, and those without previous media coursework may need to complete some prerequisite courses. MFA in Screenwriting programs are catered to individuals who intend to pursue careers as screenwriters but can also benefit students interested in other film and television careers, such as directing and producing.

Master of Fine Arts in Production

Master of Fine Arts programs focused on film and television production explore storytelling principles and how to use available resources to create a captivating production. Students are required to have earned a bachelor's degree and may need to submit some creative materials with their application (such as written narratives). Depending on the chosen program, students may earn their degree in two or three years. Students in MFA in Production programs often take courses in screenwriting and directing to maintain interdisciplinary preparation as well as production courses, such as media ethics, cinematography, and editing. An MFA in Production prepares students for careers in production but often gives students insight into a variety of film processes that can be applied in other roles, such as cinematography and directing.

Master of Fine Arts in Animation

Students interested in designing animation for film and television can earn a Master of Fine Arts in Animation in as few as two or three years, depending on their chosen program. Students may need to have a bachelor's degree and a portfolio of their artwork to qualify for admission. In some cases, students may also need to complete some prerequisite courses in art prior to beginning the MFA courses. Animation program coursework explores art methods and the applications of animation in various formats, including television and film. Students in animation programs might take courses in 2-D and 3-D animation, animation aesthetics, animation mechanics, and animation audio. Graduates of these programs may work in roles as animators, graphic designers, or art directors.

Master of Fine Arts in Directing

MFA in Directing programs may take two or three years to complete and prepare students for roles as television and film directors. Most programs cover topics from various disciplines within television and film, including screenwriting, production, and editing, providing graduates with the knowledge to work in other film careers. Common courses included in directing programs include writing for television and film, cinematography, production, editing, visual design, and documentary. Within the program, students may work closely with peers to practice their developing knowledge of editing, storytelling, and the effective use of cameras and technology. They can also expand their personal portfolio with various project assignments. All MFA in Directing schools require students to have earned a bachelor's degree, and schools may require students to submit some portfolio items, such as a sort film or written film concept.

Master of Fine Arts in Film and Media Art

In these MFA programs, students may utilize a variety of audio and visual components to develop their ability to turn ideas and stories into bodies of work. Film and media arts programs combine coursework from such areas as art and art history, production, screenwriting, and animation and often require one or more major creative projects. Students with a qualifying bachelor's degree in art, film, or a related field may have a significant portion of the course requirements waived, finishing in as little as one year, while students with a non-art degree can often finish in two years of full-time study. Film and media art program graduates can pursue various careers in film but may be best equipped for roles as graphic designers or art directors.

Degree Program Program Length Program Requirements Related Careers
MFA in Screenwriting 2 to 3 Years *Bachelor's degree *Screenwriter
*Director
MFA in Production 2 to 3 Years *Bachelor's degree *Producer
*Cinematographer
MFA in Animation 2 to 3 years *Bachelor's degree *Animator
*Graphic Designer
MFA in Directing 2 to 3 years *Bachelor's degree *Director
*Editor
MFA in Film and Media Art 1 to 2 years *undergraduate degree *Graphic Designer
*Art Director

Master of Fine Arts programs in film and television give students an extensive understanding of a variety of media operations and roles. Programs can typically be completed in two years and enable students to earn degrees in areas such as screenwriting, animation, and directing.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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