2019-2020 Graduate Catalog 
    Jun 15, 2021  
2019-2020 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Emerging Media MFA, Feature Film Production Track ♦♦

College: Nicholson School of Communication and Media Degree: MFA
Department: Film and Mass Media Option: Thesis
Program Websites: https://communication.ucf.edu/degree/film-production-mfa/
Graduate Program Handbook

Track Description

The Emerging Media MFA – Feature Film Production is a terminal degree, the highest degree awarded to filmmakers or film artists. It is a highly selective and rigorous professional film production program for visual artists and film practitioners who demonstrate exceptional artistic and intellectual prowess, evidence of significant professional promise and a commitment to the expressive potential of digital filmmaking and the exploration of non-traditional modes of distribution. The MFA in Feature Film Production produces graduates with mastery of storytelling through the digital medium as it encourages the candidate to find his or her personal style. Entrepreneurial in spirit, the program emphasizes story, performance, aesthetic choice, business, and creative thinking. When participation is committed and complete, the program develops graduates who can compete in the worlds of national and international independent filmmaking.

While students may make a thesis film outside the narrative feature film model (i.e., an experimental or documentary film), all MFA candidates are required to take the core required courses that teach the customs and skills required of the narrative model. Upon completion of the degree, each student will have produced a microbudget digital feature film or long-form equivalent body of work and prepared a marketing strategy for its distribution and exhibition. The budgetary limitation is designed to encourage the student to move away from more traditional modes of production toward an approach that minimizes crew size, cast size, shooting time and production costs in favor of more careful planning, more personal filmmaking and more creative use of the means of production.

We welcome innovative approaches within the digital cinema paradigm that reimagine how new technologies can create alternative performances to exploit the tension between narrative and experimental storytelling, creating a new agency for actors and new expectations for audiences.


Total Credit Hours Required: 63 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Internal Elective Courses—9 Credit Hours

Students select a minimum of 9 credit hours of internal electives that reflect their mode of filmmaking interest (narrative, documentary, or experimental). More than 9 credit hours of internal electives may be taken to substitute for external electives if approved by the graduate program coordinator.

External Electives—12 Credit Hours

Students select a minimum of 12 credit hours of external electives that align with their particular interests, outside the MFA in Feature Film Production. Choice of external electives should be made after discussion with the thesis advisor or graduate coordinator. Other electives related to the thesis topic may be approved by the graduate coordinator. Not all of these courses are offered every term, prerequisites and consent of instructor may be required.

Thesis—12 Credit Hours

Before undertaking the thesis project, candidates must meet with the thesis advisory committee to submit and discuss the proposed project and obtain the committee’s approval. The thesis requires intensive applied learning in order to complete a feature-length project and/or body of work. The student cannot enroll in thesis hours until the thesis advisory committee has been selected and approved.  

Additionally, the thesis project has a strong research component both in the initial development phase and in the creation of the distribution and marketing plan for the project. In addition to creating the feature film or body of work, the student must write an accompanying thesis paper that meets all university requirements (see ETD Requirements). The final stage of the curriculum serves as a bridge to the professional world and supports the entrepreneurial philosophy of the program. The thesis project must be reviewed by the faculty adviser throughout the production process, and meet agreed upon criteria within a stated time frame. Once the thesis project is completed, candidates must have a screening or exhibition of the work and meet with the thesis advisory committee for final approval and oral defense.

  • FIL 6971 - Thesis 12 Credit Hours

Equipment Fee

Students in the Emerging Media MFA program pay a $90 equipment fee each semester that they are enrolled.

Independent Learning

A thesis is required.

Application Requirements

For information on general UCF graduate admissions requirements that apply to all prospective students, please visit the Admissions  section of the Graduate Catalog. Applicants must apply online. All requested materials must be submitted by the established deadline.

In addition to the Admissions , applicants to this program must provide:

  • One official transcript from each college/university attended.
  • A BA or BFA in film production is preferred, however, degrees in the following areas are acceptable if accompanied by a strong video portfolio:
    • Animation
    • Art
    • Cinema Studies
    • Communication
    • English/Creative Writing
    • Game Design
    • Graphic Design
    • Illustration
    • Journalism
    • Photography
    • Radio/TV
  • Personal Statement: In 750-words or less, provide an Artist’s Statement that reflects your vision for a feature film, or equivalent body of cinematic work, that explains your vision using a microbudget production process. Please describe how the critical thinking and technical expertise acquired in our program will support the successful execution of your vision.
  • Portfolio:  Submit 1 - 3 complete short films (each being 15 minutes or less) that the applicant has participated in as a principle creative collaborator (i.e. as writer, director, producer, director of photography, production designer, and/or editor).
    • Provide a document with links to YouTube, Vimeo, or similar platform.
    • All submitted online links to film samples must include:
      • The film’s title
      • The applicant’s role in the making of the film
      • The date the film was completed
    • Other materials in the portfolio may include, but are not limited to:
      • screenwriting samples, photography, documentation of work in other media, critical media analysis, and any other materials which reflect the applicant’s experience with moving image scholarship and practice
  • Writing Sample: Please submit one of the following writing samples based off which film genre is your interest.
    • Narrative Feature Film:
      • Provide a treatment for a proposed feature film.
      • Provide a script sample of another work that he/she has written.
        • The applicant does not have to be the author of the script that he/she plans to direct as the thesis film if accepted into the program. Students may use a script that is in the public domain and direct his/her interpretation of it, or someone else may write a script that the student will direct.
    • Documentary Feature Film:
      • Provide a written treatment for a proposed feature documentary.
        • The treatment should define the subject of the film and how it addresses the following items and your professional goals:
          • Rationale/Thesis
          • Style
          • Content
          • Approach
    • Experimental Feature Film, Series of Short Films, or Body of Work:
      • The treatment/proposal should describe the subject of the film and express the filmmaker’s intentions regarding approach and style. The length of the treatment/proposal should reflect the scope of the project.
        • Rationale/Thesis
          Address why this topic was selected and why this film should be made. This portion of the treatment/proposal should demonstrate the filmmaker’s knowledge and sense of context for the significance of the work. It can also state a “challenge” or question - one the project will address, explore, or attempt to answer.
        • Approach
          The filmmaker should express the style in which the film(s) or project will be made and how this style will enhance and express the nature of the subject and the meanings, thoughts, or impressions the filmmaker intends to reveal. The filmmaker may choose to describe specific techniques with shooting on film or video, or experimenting with other forms of cinematic digital media, that will form the basis of inquiry or aesthetic and technical exploration within the thesis project.
  • Résumé
  • Provide two letters of recommendation, with at least one from an industry professional or college/university professor.
  • Applicants applying to this program who have attended a college/university outside the United States must provide a course-by-course credential evaluation with GPA calculation. Credential evaluations are accepted from World Education Services (WES) or Josef Silny and Associates, Inc. only.


Please submit all materials, with the exception of official transcripts, electronically as part of the online application. Applicants may be asked to participate in an admissions interview.

Meeting minimum UCF admission criteria does not guarantee program admission. Final admission is based on the evaluation of the applicant’s abilities, past performance, recommendations, match of this program and faculty expertise to the applicant’s career/academic goals, the applicant’s potential for completing the degree and the current applicant pool.


Application Deadlines

Feature Film Production *Fall Priority Fall Spring Summer
Domestic Applicants Jan 15 Jul 1    
International Applicants Jan 15 Jan 15    
*Applicants who plan to enroll full time in a degree program and who wish to be considered for university fellowships or assistantships should apply by the Fall Priority date.


Graduate students may receive financial assistance through fellowships, assistantships, tuition support, or loans. For more information, see the College of Graduate Studies Funding website, which describes the types of financial assistance available at UCF and provides general guidance in planning your graduate finances. The Financial Information  section of the Graduate Catalog is another key resource.


Fellowships are awarded based on academic merit to highly qualified students. They are paid to students through the Office of Student Financial Assistance, based on instructions provided by the College of Graduate Studies. Fellowships are given to support a student’s graduate study and do not have a work obligation. For more information, see UCF Graduate Fellowships, which includes descriptions of university fellowships and what you should do to be considered for a fellowship.

Contact Info

Graduate Program

Philip Peters
Telephone: 407-823-5595
NSCM 130

Graduate Admissions

Telephone: 407-823-2766
Millican Hall 230
Online Application
Graduate Admissions

Mailing Address

UCF College of Graduate Studies
Millican Hall 230
PO Box 160112
Orlando, FL 32816-0112

Institution Codes
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TOEFL: 5233
ETS PPI: 5233

Graduate Fellowships

Grad Fellowships
Telephone: 407-823-0127

Graduate Financial Aid

UCF Student Financial Assistance
Millican Hall 120
Telephone: 407-823-2827
Appointment Line: 407-823-5285
Fax: 407-823-5241