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The M.F.A. in Film and Television specializing in Directing

The UCLA TFT M.F.A. degree program in Film and Television specializing in Directing is a four-year graduate program designed to develop artists in film, television and digital media with an emphasis on humanistic visual storytelling. For more than half a century, UCLA TFT has trained students in the art and craft of filmmaking, while also expanding their understanding of the critical, theoretical and historical components of these art forms. The School’s goal is to infuse the highest standards of craftsmanship with the imaginative freedom, innovation and sense of social responsibility.

Distinguished Directing alumni include:

Patricia Cardoso
Real Women Have Curves

Francis Ford Coppola
The Godfather

Ava DuVernay

Valerie Faris
Little Miss Sunshine

Justin Lin
Fast & Furious 6

Alexander Payne
The Descendants

Gina Prince-Bythewood
The Secret Life of Bees

Valerie Red-Horse
True Whispers

Gore Verbinski
Pirates of the Caribbean

A breakdown of the M.F.A. degree program specializing in Directing is below.

First Year: The Art of Collaboration
The first year of the program is an intensive workshop in the collaborative process of production that culminates with each student completing a short (2-5 minutes) sync sound film. The curriculum includes film and television writing, directing, cinematography, editing, sound and production planning.

Second Year: Faculty Mentorship
The second year of the program allows for the development of a student-faculty mentorship, as the student completes an advanced directing project in narrative, non-narrative or experimental film and takes critical studies and advanced craft courses.

Third and Fourth Years: Thesis Production
No later than the second quarter of the third year, the student begins work on his or her thesis production, which is to be completed by the end of the fourth year. A thesis production can be in either medium, in any form, with a maximum length of 30 minutes.

Additional information about the M.F.A. degree program in Directing can be found on the M.F.A. Production/Directing webpage.