Program Requirements

General Program Requirements:
Number of Credits Required Beyond the Baccalaureate: 54

Required Courses:

Core Courses
FMA 5241Cinematography Workshop4
FMA 5242Videography4
FMA 5361Writing for Media I4
FMA 5670M.F.A. Colloquium (2 terms)2
FMA 5671Film History and Theory3
FMA 5674Media Arts Thry-Practice4
FMA 9246Thesis Production Workshop4
Customized Course of Study 129
Total Credit Hours54

Within the balance of the course of study for the degree, students choose coursework aligned with their interests. These customized courses must include 1 credit of thesis development with the chair of the student's thesis committee. After completion of the comprehensive examination, the student may also take up to 6 hours of thesis credits with her/his thesis committee chair.

Culminating Events:
Faculty Reviews:
Student work is evaluated by the FMA faculty near the end of the first year in a closed individual session in the First Year Reviews. Each student is asked to present her/his completed work and work in progress, along with an artistic statement that indicates future direction. Students are required to present their work again at the end of the second year in the Second Year Reviews. This is a community-wide event attended by FMA faculty, other M.F.A. students, and undergraduate students. Student participation in the First and Second Year Reviews is mandatory.

Comprehensive Examination:
The intent of the comprehensive examination is to offer the student an opportunity for creative synthesis of information and experience from coursework and beyond. Particularly, it is meant to encourage a strong theoretical, critical, and historical grounding for all creative production work. Each examination is tailored to the student's individual program. However, the questions are not restricted to courses taken by the student but are aimed at incorporating the entire field of study and practice. The examination questions focus on major aspects of aesthetics, criticism, history, and media theory, and also may include issues of economics, institutions, management, media ethics, law, pedagogy, policy, regulations, social effects, and/or technology.

Typically, students take the comprehensive examination after completing 38 hours of coursework. The M.F.A. candidate forms a committee of three FMA faculty members and works with the committee to design four essay questions or subject areas that collectively represent a comprehensive breadth of study. A date for the exam is determined, and the candidate must complete approximately 10 pages of writing for each question.

The candidate submits a copy of the examination to each committee member. The committee reads the examination within two weeks and meets to evaluate the results. The committee members vote pass/fail on each individual question. Candidates may be asked to orally defend a questionable submission and/or rewrite one or more of the questions.

Final Project:
The student selects a thesis chair and forms a thesis committee comprised of three members. All may be FMA faculty or two may be FMA faculty and one from the outside. The student then proposes an M.F.A. final project. The project is evaluated on the basis of originality and creativity, treatment and style, professional competence, and significance of the work. In most cases, the project takes the form of a complete sound, film, or video production; a feature film script; or a completed work in an alternative media form, including computer-generated media, interactive media, installations, or newly emerging technologies.

The M.F.A. project committee evaluates project proposals individually for rigor, scope, length, and other specific criteria prior to the start of production. The committee then meets regularly with the candidate to provide ongoing critique/feedback. Upon completion of the M.F.A. project, the committee publicizes and holds a public screening of the project.