Master of Fine Arts in Film

Director Ava DuVernay at the School of Communications Robeson Awards in 2015.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

The Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program in the Department of Media, Journalism and Film in the School of Communications at Howard University offers a sound, balanced study of film.  The program places primary emphasis on the rigorous study of all aspects of film production with attention to vital areas such as film history, the role of film in society, film theory and film criticism.

It is the only graduate film program at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU) and, for more than 30 years, it has provided students with a foundation in film production and film theory from an international perspective. What distinguishes this MFA film program is its comprehensive coursework in film practice and global film studies along with an emphasis on independent filmmaking. Alumni of the MFA Film Program have become award-winning producers, directors, cinematographers and screenwriters working in the United States and abroad.

With a global approach, the program attracts an international mix of students, including many from countries in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and the Middle East. The faculty also has created strong ties with international organizations and institutions that provide our students with the opportunity to interact with film practitioners from around the world.

The graduate program of study has several principal aims:

  • To encourage and enhance personal artistic expression;
  • To provide advanced technical instruction in the craft of filmmaking; and
  • To increase the student’s historical, aesthetic and sociological understanding of the heritage of film as a dominant influential medium.
  • Students produce and direct a thesis film.

To apply for the MFA program, see the requirements and procedures below.

For more information, call 202-806-7927. Or email at film @ howard.edu

ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

  • An applicant must have a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. (It is preferred that the applicant has an earned B.A. in film or an undergraduate degree that includes a broad course of study in literature, language, the social sciences, and the arts.) Foreign applicants with equivalent qualifications are also eligible to apply.
  • An applicant must have a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0 (or its foreign equivalent).

ADMISSION PROCEDURES

To obtain admission to the MFA program, an applicant must follow these steps:

  1. Click here to complete the online application for admission to Howard University. (You can also obtain the form from the Office of Admission page at howard.edu or through this direct link: https://app.applyyourself.com/AYApplicantLogin/fl_ApplicantLogin.asp?id=howardgrad)
  2. A completed application must include the application form plus the following supporting documents:
  • Three letters of academic reference
  • Statement of purpose explaining applicant’s reason for selecting this field of study
  • Transcript from college or university from which bachelor’s degree was obtained
  • Resume
  • Sample of work (relevant material that demonstrates applicant’s written and/or visual skill and creative ability)*

Mail materials to: 

Office of Admission
Howard University
2400 6th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20059

* Sample of work may be emailed to film @ howard.edu 

EVALUATION PROCESS

The Department’s MFA Graduate Admissions Committee evaluates each completed application. The committee considers a student’s academic record, background, achievements, and potential for scholarly or artistic excellence.

For those students who are accepted, the MFA Graduate Admissions Committee will make one of the following recommendations, and the Department will send a notification:

  1. Regular Acceptance The student is approved and cleared to begin study in the graduate MFA program.
  1. Provisional Acceptance The student must meet with MFA faculty to determine what prerequisite courses and other stipulations must be satisfied. The student then must successfully complete all prerequisites and satisfy other stipulations prior to being granted full acceptance into the MFA program. The student has a maximum of one year to complete prerequisites.

NOTE: These courses are usually offered during the spring semester. As a result, a student granted provisional acceptance is encouraged to enroll beginning in the spring semester. However, a student may begin taking pre-requisite classes in the fall semester with the understanding that classes from the first battery of graduate courses will not be available until the following fall semester.