Jul 22, 2024  
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 
USC Catalogue 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOGUE]

Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production (MFA)

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The Master of Fine Arts, Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production, requires a minimum of 52 units in cinematic arts at the 400 or 500 level. At least two-thirds (35) of the units must be at the 500 level. A thesis is not required for the MFA degree.

Applications for the graduate production program are accepted for both fall and spring semesters. See a current Graduate Study Application for deadlines. Applicants must submit supplemental applications and materials to the Graduate Production Program. For specific instructions, contact the Cinematic Arts Office of Admission, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-8358 or online at cinema.usc.edu.

Graduate First Year Production Courses

CTPR 507 , which brings together students from other School of Cinematic Arts divisions, introduces the fundamental principles of motion picture production, emphasizing visual and auditory communication. Projects are shot using digital cameras and edited on non-linear systems. Approximately $1,200 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees. Production students must take CTPR 507  concurrently with CNTV 530 and  CTWR 505  in the first semester.

In CTPR 508 , students produce short films in small crews. The primary goal is to communicate effectively through sound/image relationships. Most equipment and materials are provided by the school, but approximately $2,000 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees.

Students who earn a grade of C- (1.7) or less in either CTPR 507  or CTPR 508  will be disqualified, and will not be able to continue in the MFA program. In any other required Production course, students earning lower than a C (2.0) may repeat the requirement on a one-time-only basis upon approval of the division chair. Students earning a C- (1.7) or less after being allowed to repeat a required production course will be disqualified from the program, and will not be allowed to continue.

Our program is distinguished by the understanding and hands-on practice our graduates achieve in all mediamaking disciplines; at the same time, each student pursues specialized interests in years two and three. To qualify for the MFA, each must demonstrate mastery of at least one of six disciplines: writing, producing, directing, cinematography, editing or sound. In the discipline chosen, the candidate must register for and complete an advanced project, as well as the defined prerequisites.

CNTV 530 , CTPR 502 , CTPR 507 , CTPR 508 , CTPR 546  and CTPR 547  cannot be waived or substituted with transfer credit under any circumstances.

Three-Year Requirements for the MFA in Production

Total units: 8

Total units: 8

Year Two, First and Second Semesters

Year Three, First and Second Semesters

Advanced Project Requirement

A minimum of 4 units is required. Students must complete the prerequisites and follow the guidelines for the course(s) chosen:

Elective Units

Of the 52 minimum unit requirement for the degree, students can take up to 24 elective units, 16 of which must be CTPR courses.

Additional Requirements

Grade Point Average Requirements

A grade point average of at least 3.0 (A = 4.0) must be maintained in all USC course work toward the master’s degree. Courses in which a grade of C- (1.7) or lower is earned will not apply toward a graduate degree.

Graduate Level Course Requirement

At least two-thirds of the 52 units required for the MFA degree must be 500 level.  Students are, therefore, allowed to take a maximum of 17 units at the 400 level.

Time Limit

Students must maintain satisfactory progress toward their master’s degree at all times. The time limit to complete all requirements is three years from the first course at USC applied toward the Master of Fine Arts degree. Course work more than seven years old is invalidated and will not be applied toward the degree. Students are expected to meet with a faculty adviser every semester.

Graduate Review

One year prior to graduation, students must see their academic adviser for a curriculum and graduation degree check. Contact the Production Faculty Office for forms (213) 740-3317.

Academic Warning and Dismissal of Graduate Students

Faculty advisers and departments take factors other than satisfactory grades and adequate GPAs into consideration in determining a student’s qualifications for an advanced degree. A student’s overall academic performance, specific skills and aptitudes, and faculty evaluations will be considered in departmental decisions regarding a student’s continuation in a master’s or doctoral degree program.

Satisfactory progress toward an advanced degree as determined by the faculty is required at all times. Students who fail to make satisfactory progress will be informed by their department or committee chair or school dean. The faculty has the right to recommend at any time after written warning that a student be dismissed from a graduate program for academic reasons or that a student be denied readmission. Procedures on disputed academic evaluations are described here.

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