Overview

Students must complete a minimum of 66 credit hours with the approval of the faculty advisor. At least 24 must be at or above the 700-level and at least 12 must be earned for thesis. Motion Picture students must maintain an overall minimum GPA of 3.0 for all courses.

M.F.A. candidates are expected to follow a set sequence of courses during the first two semesters of their studies. Several courses are required during the second year of studies. Candidates are strongly encouraged to explore not only a primary but also a secondary area of specialization in the program and develop a minimum of two creative projects consistent with their areas of primary interest and secondary specialization. A minimum of 6 credit hours in each area of specialization is required. Under faculty committee supervision, students will develop one or two creative projects in the third year of their studies.

All M.F.A. students must demonstrate deeper, critical understanding of motion picture practice in diverse social and cultural contexts.  To this end, students are encouraged to take advantage of available study abroad programs. Students are also encouraged to participate in an internship during the summer of the first year or second year of studies.

By the end of the second year, students must complete a film and television literacy test, based on a list of 150 culturally and historically significant titles complied by the faculty. The list is circulated to each student upon entrance into the program. The test is administered annually in the spring semester. Students are requried to earn 85/100% on the test in order to complete the degree.

This three-year program culminates with a thesis portfolio that demonstrates, not only skillful execution of craft, but strong conceptual development rooted in collaborative work and innovative uses of technology.

Admission Requirements

The following is a list of the required conditions as well as the required documents/fees for your application for admission to the Master of Fine Arts degree program In Motion Pictures in the School of Communication. 

  • A baccalaureate degree from an accredited institution
  • The School's official application
  • An $85.00 non-refundable application fee
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • 500-word typed statement of academic and professional goals
  • Official transcripts of all college work, both undergraduate and graduate. 
    • Note: In addition, international applicants must send an official copy of their diploma for all degrees earned, and all documentation that confers their degree, with English translation for all degrees earned. 
    • Note: All transcripts must be the original document, forwarded directly from the university: Xerox copies, true copies, notarized copies and other types of copies are not acceptable.
  • Official TOEFL or IELTS scores
    • Note: Only for international applicants.
  • Copy of current passport
    • Note: Only for international applicants. The name entered on the graduate application must exactly match your name as it appears on your passport.
  • Portfolio

Contact the Office of Graduate Studies, call 305-284-5236 or email (socgrad@miami.edu), for information. 

Curriculum Requirements

CCA 601Principles of Aesthetics and Analysis3
CCA 610Foundation of Screenwriting3
CCA 611Writing the Short Film3
CCA 620Cinematography3
CCA 621Narrative Production3
CCA 630Introduction to Editing3
CCA 660Directing the Actor3
CCA 670The Independent Producer3
CCA 707Pedagogy and Film3
CCA 750From Script to Screen3
CCA 815MFA Thesis6
CCA 815- Total of 12 credits is required6
Select two of the following:6
Global Issues and Filmmaking
Writing for Episodic Television
Motion Graphics and Compositing
Science Documentary: Autism
Directing Techniques II
Writing the Feature-Length Screenplay
Advanced Cinematography
Special Topics in Motion Pictures
Select four of the following:12
Documentary Production
Topics in Film Analysis
Advanced Editing
Sound Design
Directing the Camera
Special Topics in Motion Pictures
Select one of the following:3
Mobile Application Development
360° Immersive Filmmaking and Storytelling
Production Management
From Script to Screen
Special Topics in Motion Pictures
Select one of the following:3
Game Development Studio
Total Credit Hours66

Required Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
First Year
FallCredit Hours
CCA 601 Principles of Aesthetics and Analysis 3
CCA 611 Writing the Short Film 3
CCA 620 Cinematography 3
CCA 660 Directing the Actor 3
 Credit Hours12
Spring
CCA 610 Foundation of Screenwriting 3
CCA 621 Narrative Production 3
CCA 630 Introduction to Editing 3
CCA 670 The Independent Producer 3
 Credit Hours12
Second Year
Fall
Required Course Work:  
CCA 750 From Script to Screen 3
Select three of the following: 9
Global Issues and Filmmaking  
Writing for Episodic Television  
Motion Graphics and Compositing  
Science Documentary: Autism  
Directing Techniques II  
Pedagogy and Film  
Writing the Feature-Length Screenplay  
Advanced Cinematography  
Special Topics in Motion Pictures  
 Credit Hours12
Spring
Select four of the following: 12
360° Immersive Filmmaking and Storytelling  
Topics in Film Analysis  
Advanced Editing  
Sound Design  
Directing the Camera  
Special Topics in Motion Pictures  
 Credit Hours12
Third Year
Fall
Required course work:  
CCA 815 MFA Thesis 6
Select one of the following: 3
Mobile Application Development  
360° Immersive Filmmaking and Storytelling  
Production Management  
From Script to Screen  
Special Topics in Motion Pictures  
 Credit Hours9
Spring
Required course work:  
CCA 815 MFA Thesis 6
Select one of the following: 3
Motion Picture Marketing and Distribution  
Special Topics in Motion Pictures  
 Credit Hours9
 Total Credit Hours66

No more than 9 credit hours will be allowed for graduate internships and advanced projects and directed research. Courses may be taken, with program director approval, from other programs or departments within the University of Miami.

Mission

The M.F.A. in Motion Pictures focuses on media creation with an emphasis on combining advanced technical proficiency and innovative narrative skills. Students gain practical and theoretical mastery of their particular professional concentration in screenwriting, production, and producing. Additionally, all students engage in critical studies of film history and theory in order to develop the analytical skills necessary for creative, cutting edge experimentation.

Goals

The Program’s objective is to nurture individual creative voices and encourage independent thinking, as well as to support the unique creative collaborative process of media creation. Graduates are prepared to pursue careers as professional moving image artists, enter the teaching profession, provide service to the community and beyond, and enter moving image related professional fields.

Student Learning Outcomes

  • Students will demonstrate advanced production skills in their area of concentration (producing, directing, cinematography or editing) in both analog and digital technologies. Students are also expected to learn and practice the primary activities of both creative and physical production: to follow the producing process from idea through script to preparation and execution of a production plan, as well as finish and exhibit the resultant production.
  • Students will demonstrate film literacy with a clear fluency regarding important classic and contemporary international cinema and its cultural and social contexts.
  • Screenwriting students will demonstrate advanced skills in screenwriting and television writing, with attention to professional screenwriting standards.