2018-2019 Graduate Catalog 
    Apr 21, 2021  
2018-2019 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Emerging Media MFA, Entrepreneurial Digital Cinema Track

College: Arts and Humanities Degree: MFA
Department: School of Visual Arts and Design Option: Thesis
Program Websites: http://svad.cah.ucf.edu/programs.php#graduate
Graduate Program Handbook

Track Description

The Master of Fine Arts in Emerging Media, Entrepreneurial Digital Cinema track offers students preparation for jobs in the emerging world of digital motion pictures as educators, filmmakers, and business people. The program requires each student to complete a self-financed feature-length film or long-form equivalent body of work as a thesis project.

In addition to an education in the crafts of digital filmmaking (from initial research through postproduction and marketing), the program aims to train entrepreneurs and educators. Class work and independent research combine to educate students in the theory and practices employed by filmmakers in storytelling; how entrepreneurial filmmakers capitalize, manage and sell their work; and how a production team working on a digital motion picture to achieve artistic goals.


The Emerging Media MFA track in Entrepreneurial Digital Cinema is a three-year cohort style program (six full-time semesters excluding summers) and students must progress through the program by taking required classes in particular semesters. The program requires a minimum of 66 credit hours, including 48 required credit hours, 6 elective credit hours, and 12 credit hours devoted to the thesis project. 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 and specialized courses that teach the customs and skills required of the narrative model.  All thesis projects are self financed.  

Total Credit Hours Required: 66 Credit Hours Minimum beyond the Bachelor’s Degree

Elective Courses—6 Credit Hours

Students select a minimum of 6 credit hours of coursework, internship, independent study or directed research from the School of Visual Arts and Design. Alternatively, students may select relevant graduate courses from other units with prior approval from the student’s thesis chair.

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.  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. 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

Course Schedule

The Emerging Media MFA is a full-time 3-year cohort program that requires students to abide by the following course sequence. Students must remain with their cohort in order to remain in good academic standing and graduate.

Year 1—Complete script and pre-production. Select thesis chair and committee members.

Year 2—Select production methodology, crew, and cast. Schedule production.

Year 3—Complete post-production and enter the marketing/distribution phase.

Fall—9 Credit Hours

Spring—9 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. Students may also register for FIL 5944/6946 Internship for elective credit.  Central Florida holds many internship opportunities and the program nurtures its relationship with film production companies.

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 (in a sealed envelope) from each college/university attended.
  • A BA or BFA in film production is preferred, however, degrees in cinema studies, art, photography, journalism, communications, philosophy, literature and any of the liberal arts are acceptable if accompanied by a strong video portfolio.
  • Academic Goal Statement:  Applicants must provide an Artist’s Statement that reflects the candidate’s vision for their feature film or equivalent body of work as well as how this particular project will benefit from graduate-level study and faculty mentorship. The candidate should describe what he or she hopes to gain from attending graduate school, both creatively and academically.
  • Essay: Respond to the following prompt in 750 words or less: Robert Bresson’s A Man Escaped, Jean Luc Godard’s Alphaville, and Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise are examples of films that took advantage of production and financial limitations that led to particular and powerful aesthetic choices. Describe how the visual style and aesthetic quality of your proposed thesis film require the limitations of the microbudget production process.
  • Portfolio:  All applicants must submit a creative portfolio that includes a link to a filmmaking reel that is no longer than 15 minutes in length. The film sample must include at least one complete short film that the applicant has participated in as a principle creative collaborator (i.e. as writer, director, producer, director of photography, and/or editor). Applicants must provide a document that includes the online link to the film sample, along with (1) the film’s title; (2) the applicant’s role in the making of the film; and (3) the date the film was completed. All films must be submitted via YouTube, Vimeo, or similar link. When uploading the film sample, please title the submission with your full name, and select “unlisted” as your Privacy choice. Other materials in the portfolio can include but are not limited to, additional screenwriting samples, photography, documentation of work in other media, critical media analysis, and any other materials which reflect the candidate’s experience with moving image scholarship and practice.  
  • Writing Sample: Applicants planning to make a narrative feature-length film should provide a treatment for a proposed feature film. along with 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. If the applicant proposes making a documentary feature or an experimental film as his/her MFA thesis project, in place of a script, a Film Treatment should be submitted. The Treatment should define the subject of the film and express the filmmaker’s intentions regarding approach and style. The length of the treatment should reflect the scope of the project and should comprehensively address three parts:
    • Rationale/Thesis
      ​This section should address why this topic was selected and why this film should be made. The reasons can be personal, political, social, dramatic, poetic or scientific. This portion of the Treatment justifies the investment of time and energy in the project and it grounds the filmmaker in a context that supports intention, vision, and commitment to the subject and the art. It can also be the place where a “challenge” or a question is stated – one the documentary will address or attempt to answer.
    • Content
      This section should include an outline detailing what the documentary is about and what will be explored and expressed. The filmmaker should address how the film will develop its story and why. This section describes the initial ideas of the filmmaker, recognizing that documentaries can change as the subject is explored. This section should include information about locations and interviews, specifically explaining how they will be integrated into the film as a whole.
    • Approach
      The filmmaker should express the style in which the film will be made and how this style will enhance and express the nature of the subject and the meanings the filmmaker intends to reveal.
  • Résumé: Résumé, AND a 250-word biography, that details the applicant’s creative and entrepreneurial accomplishments as they relate to professional and/or educational settings.
    • This must be uploaded directly to the online application.
  • 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

Entrepreneurial Digital Cinema *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

Lisa Mills PhD
Associate Professor
Telephone: 407-823-2758
NSC 261  

Graduate Admissions

Keri Corbett
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
GRE: 5233
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