Production with an emphasis in Cinematography, established in 1997, is a four-year Film and Television MFA program that trains students in the aesthetic, technical and organizational aspects of cinematography making them the most versatile and innovative young cinematographers working today.
In the first year of admissions to the program, nearly 100 candidates applied for the two positions. The number of applications and admits has increased as the reputation of the program grows.
The Cinematography Program has a 12-quarter time-to-degree requirement. The minimum total units required to graduate is 72 units (18 courses). Only 16 units of FTVDM 596ABC may be applied towards the total course requirement and only eight of these may be applied towards the minimum graduate course requirement. Only four units of 596A and four units of 596B may be taken prior to advancement. FTVDM 596 D though F may be taken after advancement.
A. Required Courses:To pursue the Cinematography specialization, students are required to:
- complete the FTV 410 course sequence and other general MFA degree requirements
- complete FTV 153, 298A, 416, 417, 418, 419, 420,596A
- photograph a minimum of three advanced projects
- enroll in Directed Individual Research Projects
- exploring various aspects of cinematography
- write a research paper on an area of cinematography
- photograph a short project related to the research paper
- photograph three thesis films
B. Required Cinematography Courses
- 153 MOTION PICTURE LIGHTING
- 454C POST PRODUCTION PATHWAYS
- 416 INTERMEDIATE CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 417 LIGHTING FOR FILM & TELEVISION
- 418 CINEMATOGRAPHY & DIRECTING
- 419 ADVANCED CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 420 DIGITAL CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 596A DIRECTED INDIVIDUAL RESEARCH
C. Required Cinema and Media Studies Courses
Seminar courses that are approved to fulfill the Cinema and Media Studies requirement are (Two of these courses are required):
- 203 FILM AND OTHER ARTS
- 204 VISUAL ANALYSIS
- 206A EUROPEAN FILM HISTORY
- 206B SELECTED TOPICS IN AMERICAN FILM HISTORY
- 206C AMERICAN FILM HISTORY**
- 207 EXPERIMENTAL FILM
- 209A DOCUMENTARY FILM
- 208B CLASSICAL FILM THEORY **
- 208C CONTEMPORARY FILM THEORY
- 209C FICTIONAL FILM
- 209D ANIMATED FILM
- 217 SELECTED TOPICS IN TELEVISION HISTORY **
- 217A AMERICAN TELEVISION HISTORY**
- 218 CULTURE, MEDIA AND SOCIETY
- 219 FILM AND SOCIETY
- 220 TELEVISION AND SOCIETY
- 221 FILM AUTHORS
- 222 FILM GENRES
- 223 VISUAL PERCEPTION
- 224 COMPUTER APPLICATIONS FOR FILM STUDY
- 225 VIDEOGAME THEORY
- 246 ELECTRONIC CULTURE
- 270 FILM CRITICISM
- 271 TELEVISION CRITICISM
- 276 NON WESTERN FILM
- 277 NARRATIVE STUDIES
- 298AB SPECIAL STUDIES (select classes must see Graduate Counselor)
IV. Course Requirements by Year:
A. First Year Course Requirements
- 410A SYMPOSIUM
- 410B CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 410C POST PRODUCTION
- 410D POST PRODUCTION SOUND
- 409 DIRECTING THE ACTOR FOR THE CAMERA
- 433 WRITING FOR THE SHORT FILM
- 401 FILM ANALYSIS
- 410A SYMPOSIUM
- 410B Film Production Workshop
- 410E PRODUCTION
- 410C CINEMATOGRAPHY
- 410A SYMPOSIUM
- 410C POST PRODUCTION
- 410D POST PRODUCTION SOUND
- 298A FINAL CUT PRO
- TBD DOCUMENTARY COURSE
B. Years 2 and 3
Cinematography students take required classes in intermediate cinematography, lighting for film and television, cinematography and directing, advanced cinematography, digital cinematography, among other courses. Students also take diverse electives such as film and television critical and historical studies, screenwriting, directing actors, makeup fundamentals, production design, etc. Directed Individual Research Projects are required. These courses afford the student an opportunity to work one-on-one with individual faculty members, allowing the student to pursue targeted interests in aesthetic or technical subjects.
Cinematography students also serve as the director of photography on the advanced projects written and directed by Directing students.
C. Years 3 and 4
Each Cinematography student is required to photograph three thesis films written and directed by Directing students.
D. Year 4
Completion of the thesis research project. Students focus their academic research on an aspect of cinematography of interest to them. Combining a written document with original photography, each student creates a research project that contributes to the greater knowledge of the field. Currently, students are authoring their research projects on interactive DVDs, allowing for greater correlation of the research to the images created in support of that research. Recent examples: The Narrative Impact of Hand-Held Camera Work, Color Theory and Cinematography, and Cinematography in a Multi-Monitor Environment.
As we are undergoing a comprehensive curriculum review, we will not be accepting applications for Fall 2021. The department plans to resume Graduate Cinematography admissions for students entering in Fall 2022.
All M.F.A. programs in Film, Television and Digital Media are full-time. The Department admits new students only once each year for the Fall Quarter.
We do not accept films, DVDs or CDs.
Applicants must submit all required application materials to be considered for admission.
By the time of entrance, M.F.A. applicants must:
- Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Satisfy the University of California’s Graduate Admission Requirements.
- Complete equivalent to a 4-year U.S. bachelor’s degree.
Please complete all of the following steps:
Step 1: Online
- Complete the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
- Indicate MFA, Film and Television, Production/Cinematography as the program.
- Upload the Statement of Purpose.
- Submit a 1-2 page document.
- Upload an Essay on Cinematography as Storytelling.
- Submit a 2-4 page document.
- Upload Unofficial copies of all Transcripts.
- Submit Three Letters of Recommendation
- Enter the Names and Emails of all recommenders into the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
Step 2: Mail
- Mail an Official copy of all Transcripts from each Undergraduate and Graduate institutions attended.
- Note: Community College transcripts are not necessary.
- Request that all Test Scores be sent directly to UCLA.
- The GRE UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409.
- Note: The GRE is not required for M.F.A. applicants.
Please send all applicable materials to:
Graduate Film Admissions: Cinematography
UCLA Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media
103 East Melnitz Hall, Box 951622
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622
For more information on requirements and applying to UCLA as an International Student, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/international-applicants/.
English Proficiency: Any international applicant whose first language is not English must certify proficiency in English when applying to UCLA, and, if admitted, upon arrival. Such applicants must submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as part of their application. The UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/english-requirements/. International applicants who have received a Bachelor’s degree from an American institution are not required to take the TOEFL.
Academic Records: Although the UCLA Graduate Division Application enables applicants to upload an unofficial copy of their academic records, all applicants are required to submit official records from each academic institution attended. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/required-academic-records/.
Undergraduate Degree Requirement: Applicants must complete equivalent to a 4 year US Bachelor’s Degree. International students who hold three-year ordinary pass degrees, or who hold professional diplomas in accounting, business, librarianship, social work, physical education, health education and so on, or four-year degrees, diplomas or higher certificates from technical, vocational or post-secondary specialized schools are NOT eligible for graduate admission. For Academic Requirements by Country or Educational System, visit: https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/required-academic-records.
Proof of Funding for Visa: U.S. immigration law requires that international applicants, if admitted, show documented evidence that sufficient funds to cover all tuition, fees, transportation, and living expenses are available for the first year of their studies at UCLA. This must be proven before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/visa-procedures/ .
For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid, note that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by this date if they want to be eligible for all awards, work-study, and scholarships that UCLA offers. If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities. www.financialaid.ucla.edu
DREAM ActFor non-U.S. citizens or non-permanent residents who are approved to pay in-state tuition because they graduated from a high school in California; they will need to complete the California DREAM application by the March 2 deadline. The DREAM application can be accessed at https://dream.csac.ca.gov. If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities. www.financialaid.ucla.edu
** Please do not contact the department to check on your application, as we cannot update you on your application status or materials.