MFA IN DOCUMENTARY PRODUCTION AND STUDIES
The Master of Fine Arts degree is now the most distinguished terminal degree for production faculty at college and university programs in the United States. The goal of the MFA degree in Documentary Production and Studies is the academic, aesthetic and technical training of production professionals. Our MFA program is one of the few in the nation to emphasize documentary production and studies and it is the only program of its kind in the region.
Students are engaged in rigorous and ambitious production opportunities using professional high definition cameras, rigs, audio gear, and various postproduction platforms. Additionally, students are immersed in documentary history and contemporary theories of the global documentary genre. Students benefit from the diverse and international perspectives of the MFA faculty who produce award-winning documentaries that are screened at festivals across the globe each year.
The MFA degree is a 60 hour degree designed to allow for 3-year completion, with course work beginning in the fall semester. The degree culminates in a final documentary thesis production, accompanied by a substantial written thesis.
MFA DEGREE REQUIREMENTS AND COURSES
The MFA degree in Documentary Production and Studies is designed to allow for 3-year completion, with course work beginning in the fall semester. Students must successfully complete a minimum of 60 semester hours: 36 hours of required courses, including 6 hours of MFA colloquium; 6 hours of prescribed electives; 12 hours of electives; and 6 hours of thesis.
The degree culminates in a final documentary thesis production, accompanied by a substantial written thesis. The thesis should illustrate the student's ability to successfully execute professional-level production work of high quality. Additionally, the thesis should demonstrate the student's knowledge of production techniques and historical/theoretical perspectives.
Sample Courses (see the course catalog for course descriptions and exact availability):
- Theory and Technique of Visual Editing
- Documentary Preproduction
- Documentary Production
- Contemporary Documentary
- Documentary Cinematography
- Media Genres and Authors
- Advanced Documentary Workshop
- History of the Documentary
- New Media Theory
- Cinema and Video Verite
- Women and Film
- Studies in Film History
- Internship with department approval
Applicants must meet the admission requirements of both the Toulouse Graduate School and the Department of Media Arts. If applicants are accepted by the Graduate School, their files are forwarded to the Graduate Committee in the Department of Media Arts for further evaluation. The following may be considered the Media Arts department's minimum requirements:
- Completion of a bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
- Completion of a minimum of 24 hours of undergraduate courses in Media Arts or related field of study such as mass communications, media studies, film or media production.
To apply, the following materials should be sent directly to the Toulouse Graduate School:
- Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended
- A completed graduate application form.
- Application fee.
In addition, the following items should be submitted directly to Professor Tania Khalaf, Director of the MFA Program in Documentary.
- A statement of purpose, describing both reasons for pursuing the terminal degree in documentary production and studies and the specific areas of academic and professional interest.
- A portfolio of creative work submitted via a weblink (Vimeo, YouTube, website). The sample should include one complete production and 10 minutes of excerpts from additional work. If relevant, still photographs or other material that demonstrates the applicant's creative talents and accomplishments may be submitted following consultation with the director of graduate studies. All materials should be labeled and include a content list, lengths, and the applicant's role in the production. Materials submitted will not be returned. Do not mail tapes in fiber-filled envelopes.
- A writing sample representative of the applicant's best academic work in the field.
- Three letters of recommendation from faculty. If the applicant has not attended an academic institution for the past four years or more, two of these letters may come from professional colleagues capable of commenting on the applicant's probability of success in a rigorous graduate program.
- In specific instances, the Media Arts Graduate Committee may require an interview of applicants under consideration. This interview may take place in person, via telephone or weblink.
- An applicant from outside the United States must demonstrate proficiency in oral and written English prior to admittance. In addition to GRE scores, international students must submit TOEFL scores if English is not their first/primary language.
Previous academic work and/or professional performance, as demonstrated in the portfolio of creative work submitted with the application, must indicate the potential for graduate work in a rigorous, production-oriented graduate program.
For Fall admission, you should submit all required materials by January 15. If spots remain, a second round of reviews is available for completed packets received by March 15.
Note: to be considered for an assistanship, you should submit a completed application by the earliier deadline.
By virtue of submitting an application to the Master of Fine Arts Program at UNT, I certify:
- I prepared, wrote, and submitted all of my own materials; and
- The information supplied in this application is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge.
UNT Graduate Catalog (You will need to choose Graduate Catalog from the dropdown menu.)
Toulouse Graduate School
Department of Media Arts Graduate Studies general information