MFA in Television, Film and Theatre: Content Creation

MFA in TV, Film and Theatre: Content Creation at Cal State LA

LA’s Triple Threat


The MFA in Television, Film and Theatre (TVFT) is a three-year, terminal degree program that prepares students for diverse professional and academic careers in content creation, acting, and writing in the narrative media. The MFA degree, in conjunction with extensive professional experience, qualifies students to work and teach in these fields. Students in our program will learn current industry business practices and gain ample hands-on opportunities to develop a creative voice and vision as they work on stage, set, collaborative projects, and culminating projects while applying real-world skills.  In addition to a core of praxis-centric courses, the MFA in TVFT program also includes coursework in the theory and aesthetics of theatre, film, television, and new media along with the history and politics of narrative. 


A Content Creator is someone who is actively creating and publishing original content to an audience on one or more platforms. A multitalented creator.  The entrepreneurial artist.

Traditionally, artists could be silo’d entities who worked in their one specific area of expertise — directing, acting, playwriting, music, books, television, comics — but the ever-evolving entertainment platforms have evolved the ways that we can deliver stories and reach audiences. Artists and creative talent now need to be present and actively publishing content across multiple media platforms, building audience, engaging with fans and reaching out to the splintered and variegated market segments to build their unique and individual brands.

In the past, there were enormous barriers to reaching audience through only a handful of gatekeepers that controlled all media and theatrical distribution channels. We were both captive audiences and captive artists. But now there has been a democratization of content. The entertainment and information sector has been cracked wide open. There are no barriers to entry and due to our wired interconnectivity, popular content is accessible, immediate, pervasive, virtually free and omnipresent.

This new and ever-evolving creative landscape creates a unique opportunity for artists to evolve themselves into Content Creators: pro-active, entrepreneurial and engaging purveyors of original IP (Intellectual Property) across multiple media platforms. A writer becomes a Content Creator by writing across many channels — she may author a book, script a pilot and post daily updates to her blog. A director as Content Creator directs in a variety of forms — movies, television, short films, viral videos and theatre. An actor might become a content creator by developing a character to share on social media and then produce a sketch comedy show expanding upon that character’s backstory and life.

Regardless of the form or the platform, a true Content Creator is actively generating new material (Intellectual Property) publishing consistently, and constantly pushing content to an active, engaged and participatory audience.

Production Option Preview


  • A progression of production training from the fundamental skills in live and pre-recorded environments (projection design, art direction, cinematography, motion capture/VR/AR design, editing, sound) to project work and thesis (media or theatre) helping each student grow individually.
  • An education in the history of theater, film and television, new media and themed entertainment from their origins to today, as well as the development process, workflow and business of each art.


  • On-going opportunities to contribute to department productions directed/produced by faculty and guest artists
  • On-going opportunities to contribute to graduate and undergraduate theatre and media projects
  • On-going opportunities to create your own work and productions
  • On-going opportunities to collaborate with the MFA students in the Acting and Writing Options, getting faculty guidance in real-world situations, gaining practical experience and building relationships with your future network.
  • On-going networking opportunities with industry partners, guest instructors, speakers



Motion capture technology presentation

  • Annual opportunities for paid positions as a Graduate Assistant to faculty for undergraduate courses.
  • Teaching Associate positions available to students who have an extensive background in areas such as cinematography, editing, sound, theater stage production and other specialties.
  • We offer a full year of guided teacher training that qualifies students for paid Teaching Associate positions in the undergraduate acting classes.
  • Paid Federal Work Study positions for qualified students.


Learn more about Instructors and the courses they teach.  

Read descriptions of the courses.

See an overview of the 3-year program.

To Apply: 

  • Cal State LA's MFA program only accepts students for admission every other year.  

  • The applications for Fall 2024 will open up in October 2023 and will close in February 2024. 

  • We are NOT accepting applications for Fall 2023. 

  • We do NOT have Spring admissions.

  • The application process is done entirely through CSU Apply.

  • For information about the application requirements & process, see our APPLY page

  • For questions: email [email protected]