Nov 30, 2021  
USC Catalogue 2016-2017 
USC Catalogue 2016-2017 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Cinematic Arts, Film and Television Production (MFA)

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. 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

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 CTPR 510 Concepts of Cinematic Production , and CTWR 505 Creating the Short Film  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.

A minimum grade of C (2.0) in CTPR 507  and CTPR 508  is required in order to continue in the Master of Fine Arts program. Students earning lower than a C (2.0) in any other production course requirement may repeat the requirement on a one time only basis upon approval of the division chair.

Students who do not earn the minimum grade of C (2.0) in CTPR 507  or CTPR 508  or satisfy the degree requirements after repeating a required course will be disqualified from the program.

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.

CTPR 507 , CTPR 508 , CTPR 510 , CTPR 546 , CTPR 547 , CTPR 581a , CTPR 581b , CTPR 581c , CTPR 581z , CTPR 582a , CTPR 582b , CTPR 582z , CTPR 583 , CTPR 585a , CTPR 585b , CTPR 585z  and CTPR 587a , CTPR 587b , CTPR 587c , CTPR 587z  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


* Courses can only count toward one requirement.  Students who choose CTPR 479 or CTPR 523   to satisfy this requirement cannot use either course to satisfy the Production III requirement.

Year Three, First and Second Semesters


**Students must complete the prerequisites and follow the guidelines for these 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.

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 advisers for a curriculum and graduation review. Contact the Production Faculty Office for forms (213) 740-3317.