3 years
Jan Aug
Study mode
Tuition fee (entire course)
Local students
USD 113,442
Foreign students
USD 113,442
Other costs
Other costs apply

About this course

Whether you’re starting from scratch with no prior filmmaking experience, or you’ve been in the entertainment industry for a few years and want to develop an area of specialization, our MFA in Film Production can prepare you for success in ways that will challenge you beyond your expectations.

During your first year with us, you’ll explore all the creative aspects of cinematic storytelling under the tutelage of master storytellers who’ve honed their crafts over a lifetime of award-winning work and who have a combined filmography of more than 150 feature films, a record unmatched by any other film school in the country. Our location, just a heartbeat from Hollywood, enables internships with studios and production companies as well as visits from major Hollywood directors, cinematographers, editors, and screenwriters.

During your second year, you’ll delve headfirst into your chosen specialization. Every class is like a film workshop: you learn by doing. And the “doing” opportunities are endless: intense filmmaking activities — writing, directing, shooting, editing — are going on at all hours of the day and night in and around our facility, Marion Knott Studios, as well as on location. The technology available to you is beyond belief: two sound stages, insert stages for cinematography and television / broadcast journalism, a Foley stage, Dolby surround mixing, a motion capture stage, dedicated spaces for pre- and post-production. Basically, there’s nothing that can be done in Hollywood that you can’t do here at Dodge.

By your third year, you’ll be forming creative teams with your fellow students, employing the best writers, producers, editors, cinematographers, sound and production designers, all coming together to realize a unified vision — a final thesis project that will act as your calling card to the industry. And if it’s really good, it’ll be showcased in our yearly “First Cut” screening for invited professionals in the film and television community. 

Learning Outcomes:

  1. Exhibit an understanding of the fundamental components of visual storytelling, story structure and story analysis.
  2. Articulate the various functions and roles on a film set, and work collaboratively within that structure.
  3. Through closely-mentored projects, demonstrate technical proficiency in a specific filmmaking discipline (Directing, Editing, Cinematography, Sound Design, Producing, or Production Design).
  4. Through critical essays, writing assignments, and visual production exercises, demonstrate an understanding of the development of film language, including aesthetic perspective.

Entry Requirements

1. Supplemental Application Requirements

In addition to the general application, the following programs will require supplemental materials.  You will be prompted to so submit these supplemental materials through the online application as you complete it.  Please refer to the program’s website for specific supplemental requirements.

  • Dodge College of Film and Media Arts - All Conservatory of Motion Picture applicants are required to submit their supplemental materials through SlideRoom. 
  • College of Education Studies – EdS School Psychology and MA School Counseling applicants are required to submit their supplemental application as part of the general application system.
  • College of Performing Arts – MM Keyboard Collaborative Arts applicants are required to submit their supplemental materials through SlideRoom.
  • Wilkinson College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences – MA in English and MFA in Creative Writing applicants are required to submit their supplemental materials as part of the general application system.

2. Application Fee

  • Applicants submitting the general application are required to submit a $60 application fee through the online application system.  Fee waiver information can be found on the online application, or by calling the Office of Graduate Admission directly. 
  • Applicants submitting a CAS application will only need to pay the CAS application fee.

3. Official Transcripts 

  • Applicants submitting a CAS application should send all their transcripts directly to CAS.  Only send transcripts to Chapman if requested by the department. Please see the CAS application for specific transcript requirements.
  • Applicants submitting the general application are required to submit official transcripts from all degree (bachelor’s, master’s, doctorate) granting colleges/universities attended.  An official transcript submitted in a sealed envelope which you have received from your college/university is acceptable. Your application will not be considered complete until ALL required official transcripts have been received.
  • Foreign Transcripts: Students submitting transcripts from foreign universities must submit official or unofficial transcripts in their native language as well as an English translation. An official or unofficial copy of the diploma in the native language as well as English translation will also be required to evaluate coursework. The English translation (verified true copies only) must be word for word, line by line. Include any additional documentation necessary to evaluate the transcript such as mark sheets, degree certificates, etc. If only one original transcript will be issued from the university, please send a notarized photocopy. Do not send the original as it will not be returned.

4. Official Test Scores (as required by your program)

  • If your program requires an official test result, please have the testing service send scores directly to Chapman, or CAS. 
  • Official Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores are required for the following programs, regardless of GPA:
    • Ph.D. in Education (Code: 4047)
    • Doctor of Physical Therapy (Code: 7669)
    • MS Athletic Training (Code: 1772)
    • MS Communication Sciences and Disorders (Code: 0690)
    • MA School Counseling (Code: 4047)
    • EdS School Psychology (Code: 4047)
    • MMS Physician Assistant Studies (Code: 3681)
    • MS Health and Strategic Communication (Code: 4047)
    • MS Food Science (Code: 4047)
    • MS Economic Systems Design (Code: 4047)
    • MS & PhD Computational and Data Sciences (Code: 4047)
    • MBA Programs (may also take GMAT, check program requirements) (Code: 4047)
  • All Credential programs in the College of Educational Studies require a graduate admission test only if your cumulative grade point average (GPA) of your bachelor’s degree is below a 2.75.
  • The MA Marriage and Family Therapy program requires official GRE scores only if your cumulative GPA is below a 3.30.
  • Official PCAT scores are required for Doctor of Pharmacy applicants.
  • For all other programs, a graduate admission test is required if the cumulative GPA of your bachelor’s degree is below a 3.00. If the cumulative GPA is between 2.5 and 2.99 you may be considered for admission by submitting a satisfactory test score. Please refer to the current Chapman University Graduate Course Catalog for program specific acceptable tests and minimum score requirements.

5. Recommendations

  • All programs require a minimum of two recommendation letters. Some programs may require recommendations from specific sources. Please refer to the online application for specific department requirements.

6. Resumé

  • Please check your program’s specific requirements regarding a resumé or CV. If one is required, include any paid and unpaid experience relevant to the program to which you are applying. 

7. Statement of Intent

  • Please check your program’s specific requirement regarding the statement of intent as some programs require specific information to be addressed in your statement.