M.F.A. in TVFT | CSULA

Master of Fine Arts Degree in Television, Film and Theatre

The MFA is a terminal degree that prepares students for diverse professional and academic programs. In particular, the CSULA MFA in Television, Film and Theatre will prepare students for careers in performance/acting, production, and dramatic writing in the television, film and theatre industries. The MFA, along with extensive professional experience, also serves to prepare students to teach in these fields.

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The CSULA MFA in Television, Film and Theatre will offer three formal options:

Option 1: Performance / Acting: Students in this option will have the opportunity to perform in numerous venues prior to completing their degree. The Performance /Acting Option will include classes and workshops in performance theory, performance history, theories of acting for the stage, television and film; as well as courses designed to inform students of current industry practices and procedures.

Option 2: Production: The option will include classes, and practicum in all related media through all stages of production. Students in the Production Option will benefit from visiting guest artists, from the Film/Television production and Theatre faculty who continue to work in their professions, and from regularly scheduled graduate student Project I, Project II and Culmination project screening events or staged productions.

Option 3: Dramatic Writing:  Students in this option will have the opportunity to write across television, film, and stage.  In collaboration with students in the Performance and Production Options, students in the Dramatic Writing option will engage the full scope of television, film and stage production as relates to the art and craft of dramatic writing.  Also in collaboration with students in the Performance and Production Options, students in the Dramatic Writing Option will have the opportunity to see their works produced in theatrical/telecast/film exhibition.

Option Requirements: The graduate program consists of a total of 88 units, with a minimum of 44 units in core courses and at least 44 units in one of the three options. Students must meet the requirements of the designated option. Graduate advisers must be consulted regarding specific option requirements.

Within the selected Option of Performance/Acting, Production or Dramatic Writing, each student will engage three projects, one each in television, film and theatre.

 

The MFA in Television, Film and Theatre has the following objectives:

To establish and foster a unique, interdisciplinary approach to production, performance and dramatic writing;

To prepare students for careers in production, performance and dramatic writing by emphasizing technical proficiency and creative artistry within and across television, film and theatre;

To provide students in performance, production and dramatic writing career options with the intellectual and historical backgrounds central to their development as media artists and scholars;

To provide the technical and academic expertise essential to prepare future faculty in this terminal degree program;

To provide CSULA’s uniquely diverse student body with opportunities for advanced coursework in production, performance and dramatic writing.

Admission:

1. Admission to the graduate program at California State University, Los Angeles requires:

a) completion of a four-year college course of study and an acceptable baccalaureate from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or completion of an equivalent academic preparation as determined by the appropriate campus authorities.

b) good academic standing at the last college or university attended.

c) attainment of a grade point average of at least 2.5 (A=4.0) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted.

2. Admission to the MFA program jointly sponsored by the Department of Communication Studies and the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance further requires:

a) A 3.0 grade point average in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units for unconditional acceptance with an articulated plan of study submitted for consideration along with a department based application form.

b) Submission of a portfolio of creative work and performance programs which may include production stills/film/video clips, stage plays, screenplays or television scripts.

c) A statement of the applicant’s academic and professional objectives in the MFA.

d) Two letters of recommendation on applicant’s potential for success.

e) Transcripts from all institutions of higher education or professional schools attended.

f) Interviews will be required of all candidates.

g) Students applying for the Performance Option will be required to audition using two contrasting monologues—four minutes in length.

3. Students may be eligible for admission under a conditional academic program that would entail required foundational course work evaluated and designated by a faculty advisor preceding the formal entry into the MFA (see below).

4. In order to advance in the program the student must maintain continuing student status, successfully complete all courses with a B or better average in courses attempted with an overall G.P.A of at least 3.0 and complete an advancement to candidacy evaluation process after completing 16 units. Only students who are advanced to candidacy are eligible to enroll in Project I, II and Culmination Project units.

NOTE: Students must successfully pass an annual review (at the end of years one and two of their program; roughly set at 35 units and 64 units). The review committee will consist of at least three faculty members, one from each of the three Options who will evaluate the quality of the student’s progress based on a submitted portfolio of work by the student, grades and observations of the student’s on-going work and involvement in the program.

Conditional Programs

Because it is unlikely that students will enter this MFA program with backgrounds that combine media studies and theatre, unique conditional programs have been developed to address possible foundational deficiencies in both areas.

1. The 20 unit conditional program for prospective MFA students entering the Performance Option without a BA majoring in Theatre Arts or an adequate background in performance.
TAD 132: Stagecraft II 3 units
TA 142; Acting Fundamentals: Character Study 3 units
TA 143: Acting Fundamentals: Scene Study 3 units
TA/ENGL 276: Introduction to Play Writing 4 units
TA 313: Development of World Theatre III 4 units
TA 445: Principles of Directing I 3 units

2. The 20 unit conditional program for MFA students entering the Production Option without a BA majoring in Film / Television or lacking an adequate background in production.

TVF 200: Introduction to Single Camera and Editing 4 units
TVF 201: Introduction to Television Studio 4 units
Production
TVF 224: Survey of Film 4 units
TVF 301: Intermediate Television Studio Production 4 units
TVF 320: Audio Production 4 units

3. The 20 unit conditional program for MFA students entering the Dramatic Writing Option without a BA majoring in Film / Television or lacking an adequate background in dramatic writing.

TVF 200: Introduction to Single Camera and Editing 4 units
TVF 224: Survey of Film 4 units
TVF 265: Introduction to Scriptwriting 4 units
TVF 365: Intermediate Scriptwriting 4 units
TVF 465: Seminar: Advanced Scriptwriting 4 units

Master of Fine Arts in Television, Film, and Theatre (88 units)

Requirements for the Degree (88 units)

A total of 88 units are required, with a minimum of 44 units of core courses, a minimum of 44 units in a particular option, including at least 60 units in 500-level courses. All students are required to complete three projects (TVFT 546 A & B, and TVFT 599).
Consultation with a graduate adviser is required for development and approval of a graduate program, which includes the following:

Required Core Courses (36 units)

TVFT 500 Introduction to MFA 2 units
TVFT 502 Directing 4 units
TVFT 503A Dramatic Structure I: Theatre 4 units
TVFT 503B Dramatic Structure II: Film 4 units
TVFT 503C Dramatic Structure III: Television 2 units
COMS/TVFT 508 Media Arts, Theatre, and Society 4 units
TVFT 510 Studio and Field Operations 4 units
TVFT 511 Stage Operations 4 units
TVFT 580 Collaboration Workshop 6 units (2,2,2)
TVFT 581: Entertainment Arts Internship 2 units

Elective Core Courses (8 units): Select two courses from the following

COMS 505 Seminar: Critical Approaches 4 units
Television and Film
COMS 506 Seminar: Television Programming 4 units
COMS 507 Seminar: Post World War II Film 4 units
and Television History
*TA 541 Seminar: Theories of Acting 4 units
TA 570 Seminar: Experimental Theatre 4 units

*Enrollment in TA 541 requires permission from Director of Graduate Studies—Theatre Arts and Dance.

Performance/Acting Option (44 units)

Required Courses (28 units)

TVFT 517 Acting for the Stage 3 units
TVFT 518 Acting for Television 3 units
TVFT 519 Acting for Film 3 units
TVFT 542 Acting Studio 3 units
TVFT 543 ABC Voice for Performers 6 units (2,2,2)
TVFT 544 ABC Movement for Performers 6 units (2,2,2)
TVFT 563 The Business of Acting 4 units
Performance Electives (8 units): Electives should be chosen in consultation with an advisor from available 500-level courses. Students are also encouraged to take elective courses in the other options. Graduate Teaching Assistant recipients must take COMM 491 in their first Fall quarter of Assistantship.

Project Requirements (8 units): All students are required to complete three projects:

TVFT 546 A: MFA Project I 2 units
TVFT 546 B: MFA Project II 2 units
TVFT 599: MFA Culmination Project 4 units

Production Option (44 units)

Required Courses (28 units)

TVFT 521 Directing for the Stage 4 units
TVFT 522 Single Camera Directing and Producing 4 units
TVFT 523 Multi-Camera Production 4 units
TVFT 531A Motion Picture Pre Production/Production 4 units
TVFT 531B Motion Picture Production/ Post Production 4 units
TVFT 533: Advanced Problems in Multi-Cam Production/ 4 units
TVFT 579: The Business of Production 4 units

Production Electives (8 units): Electives should be chosen in consultation with an advisor from available 500-level courses. Students are also encouraged to take elective courses in the other options. Graduate Teaching Assistant recipients must take COMM 491 in their first Fall quarter of Assistantship.

Project Requirements (8 units): All students are required to complete three projects:

TVFT 546 A: MFA Project I 2 units
TVFT 546 B: MFA Project II 2 units
TVFT 599: MFA Culmination Project 4 units

Dramatic Writing (44 units)

Required Courses (28 units)

TVFT 545 Scene Writing Lab 2 units
TVFT 547 Story Development 4 units
TVFT 548 Creating Characters and Writing Dialogue 4 units
TVFT 549 Playwriting 4 units
TVFT 550 Genre Writing 4 units
TVFT 551 TV Sitcom Writing 4 units
TVFT 552 The Business of Writing 4 units
TVFT 553 Pitching Workshop 2 units

Writing Electives (8 units): Electives should be chosen in consultation with an advisor from available 500-level courses. Students are also encouraged to take elective courses in the other options. Graduate Teaching Assistant recipients must take COMM 491 in their first Fall quarter of Assistantship.

Project Requirements (8 units): All students are required to complete three projects:

TVFT 546 A: MFA Project I 2 units
TVFT 546 B: MFA Project II 2 units
TVFT 599: MFA Culmination Project 4 units

MFA Projects

MFA students are required to complete three MFA projects under the rubrics of TVFT 546 A, TVFT 546 B and TVFT 599, with TVFT 599 being the MFA Culmination Project. These three projects must include one in each of the following categories: theatre, multi-camera television, and film style production.

1. Written Project Proposals: After Advancement to Candidacy, Projects I, II, and Culmination Project are developed under the guidance of the candidate's project committee. All candidates must submit a written proposal for each project to be approved by respective committees and department chair.

2. Exhibition: Upon the committee approval of the completed work, all Projects will be appropriately exhibited in accordance with departmental and University requirements.

3. Culmination Project: Students should consult the “Guide to Preparation of Master's Theses and Project Reports” for specific information regarding requirements established by the University for the production and exhibition of Culmination Project reports.