Home > The Scholarship for the M.F.A. Degree Program in Directing > About the M.F.A. Degree Program in Directing

About The M.F.A. Degree Program in Directing

The UCLA TFT M.F.A. Degree Program 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. Some of our distinguished alumni include:

  • Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night)
  • Patricia Cardoso (Real Women Have Curves)
  • Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather)
  • Valerie Faris (Battle of the Sexes, Little Miss Sunshine)
  • Justin Lin (Fast & Furious 6, Star Trek)
  • Alexander Payne (Nebraska, The Descendants)
  • Gina Prince-Bythewood (The Secret Life of Bees)
  • Valerie Red-Horse (True Whispers)
  • Gore Verbinski (Rango, Pirates of the Caribbean)

The M.F.A. Degree Program in Directing by year:

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 webpage.