The Master of Fine Arts program in film and video production requires 54 s.h. of graduate credit, typically acquired through advanced production courses, graduate colloquia, and advising-centered thesis courses taken over three years. With a focus on expanded documentary, experimental, hybrid, and narrative media forms, the curriculum combines creative and scholarly course work with the aim of producing a body of innovative, artistic work in film, digital media, multimedia installation, and/or animation. Degree requirements include advanced course work in film/media theory or history, annual public presentations and critiques, the development of an artist statement, a thesis paper, and a creative thesis project.
A faculty committee chaired by the head of film and video production evaluates applications to the M.F.A. program. Application materials should include undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts, a personal statement, three letters of recommendation, samples of creative work, test scores, and writing samples when relevant. Admission decisions are based on the full range of an applicant's accomplishments and evidence that the applicant will thrive in the department's program. Previous academic experience in moving image production is desirable but not required.
All applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College. Information about the application process is available on the Department of Cinematic Arts website and the Graduate Admissions website.
The film and video production program has a remarkable job placement record, with graduates located in faculty positions at major research universities and prestigious liberal arts colleges throughout the world. Through their creative work and published research, graduates are visible and productive contributors to film and video production and related disciplines.
Within the program, faculty mentor students toward professional careers by supervising their development as both innovative moving-image makers and scholars. Regular one-on-one advising sessions, group critiques, workshops on topics such as film festival submissions, job interviews, and related topics prepare students for academic and artistic careers. Students also are regularly advised on applying for grants and awards to facilitate their advanced research, whether conducted in Iowa or elsewhere.
The Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.