Film and Digital Media, M.A.
The goal of the MA in Film and Digital Media program is to train students in the creation and production of film, audio, video and new communication technologies and their impact on culture and individuals. Film and digital media are powerful forces in our minds, lives, societies and cultures. Graduate students in this program are encouraged to become ethical, articulate, creative and innovative leaders in professional and academic fields related to film and digital media. Graduates are poised for successful careers in various media industries including film, television/video, audio, new media, screenwriting, media studies, and more. Students may focus on any of four different aspects of media—production, media studies, media management and technology, and uses and effects research. All approaches are designed to deepen students’ understanding of storytelling. Students have the opportunity to take courses and craft projects across multiple domains.
The majority of students begin the program in the fall when teaching assistantships and scholarships are competitively awarded. To be considered for funding, applications should be received on or before February 1. The final application deadline for fall enrollment is May 1. Occasionally, students begin the program in the spring. The application deadline for spring enrollment is October 1. Applications for admission are completed online through the Graduate School and should include: a personal statement, writing sample, production portfolio, three letters of recommendation, and official transcripts of all college/university work. International students are required to submit either TOEFL, IELTS, or Duolingo scores unless they have received a degree from a U.S. accredited institution of higher education.
Degree Path Options
There are three paths or options, a thesis option and two non-thesis options (internship or project), to completing the MA in Film and Digital Media:
Students completing a scholarly thesis will craft an original research project that demonstrates abilities to synthesize research literature, gather and analyze original data or texts, and make explanatory arguments for the findings and interpretations of that analysis. Students who write a scholarly thesis may aspire to doctoral studies or other research-oriented careers. Alternatively, students may complete a production thesis which entails crafting an original creative work (e.g., film). Successful completion of this requirement should demonstrate familiarity with the aesthetic tradition in which the project is based as well as technical competence in and creative use of the medium. An extensive written analysis of the creative work is also required. Students anticipating a career in film, television, interactive multimedia production, technological research and development, and/or a media management career should consider a production thesis. Successful completion of the thesis, scholarly or production, requires an oral examination where students present their work for review and approval by a faculty committee.
- Professional Project
The nature of professional projects vary based on students goals and interests, but each project must include a scholarly writing component and involve submission to an external outlet or audience (outside the university) for consumption or use – for example, a conference or festival. Students who pursue this option undergo an oral exam where they present their work for review and approval by a faculty committee.
The internship requires securing and successfully completing an approved professional media-related internship and preparing an extensive final report. This option is intended for students seeking careers that are not academic or research-oriented in nature and does not require an oral exam process with a faculty committee.
For general information about the MA in Communication program, contact:
Graduate Program Director
Lacy McNamee, PhD
For information and questions specifically related to the film and digital media program of study, contact:
FDM Graduate Program Advisor
Daniel M. Shafer, PhD