Jul 19, 2024  
University Catalog 2020-2021 
University Catalog 2020-2021 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Television, Film and Theatre, M.F.A.

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The M.F.A. in Television, Film and Theatre (TVFT) is a three-year, terminal degree program that prepares students for diverse professional and academic careers in content creation, acting, and writing in the narrative media. The program includes coursework in theory and aesthetics of theater, film, television and new media along with the politics of narrative, and the positioning of storytelling in the context of critical race theory, gender, and class. Students will also learn current industry business practices. There are ample opportunities to develop a creative voice and vision as they work on stage, set, collaborative projects and culminating projects, while applying real-world skills. The MFA degree, in conjunction with extensive professional experience, qualifies students to work and teach in these fields.  

A total of 58 units are required, with 31 units of core courses in 5000-level courses and 3 units of culmination project. Consultation with a graduate advisor is required for development and approval of a graduate program.

The M.F.A .in Television, Film and Theatre program offers three formal options:

Option 1: Acting: offers training in acting, voice, movement and Viewpoints to prepare students for post-graduate careers in live or recorded mediums.

Option 2:  Content Creation: offers a progression of development and production training in live and pre-recorded environments. 

Option 3: Writing: offers a progression in writing skills towards the development of a one-act play, a full-length play, a short film script, a TV Spec (drama and comedy), a TV pilot, and feature-film screenplays.  


Program Objectives:

The M.F.A. in Television Film and Theatre has the following objectives:

  • To offer a curriculum for future storytellers by educating them in a variety of forms of narrative arts: linear, and non-linear storytelling in television, film, theatre and new media; 
  • To prepare students for careers in content creation, acting and writing by emphasizing technical proficiency and creative artistry within and across television, film and theatre;
  • To provide students career options with the intellectual and historical backgrounds central to their development as media artists and scholars;
  • To provide the technical and academic expertise essential to prepare future professionals and faculty in this terminal degree program;
  • To provide our uniquely diverse student body with opportunities for advanced coursework in content creation, writing and acting.



Beginning in Fall 2020, cohorts will be accepted into the program every other year.

I . Admission to the graduate program at California State University, Los Angeles requires:

  • Completion of a four-year college course of study and an acceptable baccalaureate from an institution accredited by a regional accrediting association, or completion of an equivalent academic preparation as determined by the appropriate campus authorities.
  • Good academic standing at the last college or university attended.
  • Attainment of a grade point average of at least 2.5 (A=4.0) in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units attempted.

2. Admission to the MFA TVFT program jointly sponsored by the Department of Television, Film & Media Studies and the Department of Theatre and Dance further requires:

  • A 3.0 grade point average in the last 60 semester (90 quarter) units is preferred for unconditional acceptance with an articulated plan of study submitted for consideration along with a department-based application form.
  • Submission of a portfolio of creative work and performance programs which may include production stills/film/video clips, stage plays, screenplays or television scripts.
  • A statement of the applicant’s academic and professional objectives in the MFA.
  • Two letters of recommendation on the applicant’s potential for success.
  • Transcripts from all institutions of higher education or professional schools attended.
  • Interviews will be required of all candidates.
  • Students applying for the Acting Option will be required to audition using two contrasting monologues - four minutes in length.



The TVFT program is a highly competitive degree program. The review process is structured to assist the student in monitoring their development in the MFA program and progress towards the degree, while ensuring the highest academic and professional program standards. The faculty will evaluate the student’s academic progress based on grades (students are expected to maintain 3.0 GPA and a B grade or better in all Core Courses), and will evaluate whether students meet the program and option learning outcomes as well as maintain artistic, collaborative, and professional standards. 

1. TVFT MFA Review Procedures:

Progression towards graduation in The TVFT MFA program requires the student’s academic record and professional development to be reviewed by committee at posted intervals.

The review intervals are:

  • Acceptance to the program (GS-2)
  • First year review
  • Advancement to Candidacy / Approval for Thesis Committee (GS-12)
  • Culminating Project Approval (GS-13)

If a student is not demonstrating competency in their option, as indicated by a grade B or above, they will be placed on academic probation, and have one semester to improve their academic status or be disqualified.

2. Advancement to Candidacy towards Culmination Project:

In order to advance to candidacy in the program, and enroll in Culmination Project coursework, the student must maintain continuing student status, successfully complete 34 units of coursework with a B or better in courses attempted, with an overall sustained GPA of at least 3.0 in all semesters, have no outstanding Incompletes, and complete an advancement evaluation review. Only students who are advanced are eligible to enroll in courses and Culmination Project units.

Requirements for the Degree (58 units)

A total of 58 units are required, with 31 units of core courses, 3 units of Culmination Project, and 24 units of option requirements. Students are expected to maintain 3.0 GPA and a B grade or better in all Core Courses. Consultation with a graduate adviser is required for development and approval of a graduate program, which includes the following:

Culminating Project (3 units)

For details of the requirement, please refer to the course description and/or to the Advancement section in the program description above.

Options (24 units)

Students are required to select one of the options to satisfy the program requirement.

1. Acting Option

Acting Electives (3 units)

Electives should be chosen in consultation with an adviser from available 4000 or 5000-level courses.

2. Content Creation Option

Content Creation Electives (3 units)

Electives should be chosen in consultation with an adviser from available 4000 or 5000-level courses.

3. Writing Option

Writing Electives (3 units)

Electives should be chosen in consultation with an advisor from available 4000 or 5000-level courses.

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