Film and Animation Master of fine arts degree

28599133-79e8-48b7-9d7c-4fd1d5e8d982 | 101483

Overview

Bring your stories to life as you explore the depths of the film industry.


In the MFA program in film and animation, students create live-action production, scripts, 2D, 3D, or stop motion animation that is unique. The School of Film and Animation houses state-of-the-art facilities, including full production facilities. The program is also supported by highly specialized faculty from RIT's photography, imaging science, computer science, information technology, and design programs.

Goals

The program provides students with the opportunity to use animation, filmmaking, and other imaging arts as a means to:

  • pursue a career and earn a livelihood.
  • enrich their personal lives and society as a whole.
  • encourage a sense of community, creativity, scholarship, and purpose.

Plan of study

The MFA in film and animation offers four options:

  1. 2D animation concentrates on traditional forms drawn by hand, a mixture of both traditional and digital, or all digital origination. Students may concentrate their studies on stop motion puppet animation.
  2. 3D animation courses focus on advanced 3D modeling, lighting, texturing, and animating in a 3D space.
  3. Production allows students to develop and refine their creative approach to fictional narrative, documentary, and experimental live action filmmaking.
  4. Screenwriting is an opportunity for students to complete short films with a concentration in creating feature, short, and series length screenplays.

All four options require two years of course work and a thesis project. A complete film is required of all first-year students, a complete film or script is required in the second year, and a more ambitious thesis film or feature length script is required in the third year. In the third and final year, students are enrolled part-time and their work is focused only on their thesis project.

Electives

Elective courses are available in animation, film, video, multimedia, screenwriting, printmaking, painting, sculpture, communication design, museum studies, crafts, bookmaking, typography, color photography, new media, studio photography, advertising photography, perception, gaming, computer graphics, art history, and archival preservation and conservation. There are also opportunities for independent studies, internships, and concentrations.

Thesis

Specific instructions pertaining to the thesis are available in the “MFA Guide for Students and Faculty: Policy Regarding Student Work.” The School of Film and Animation reserves the right to retain copies of student-produced films to be used for educational purposes, to show to prospective students, and as examples of student productions.

Industries


  • Movies, TV, and Music

  • Animation

  • Advertising, PR, and Marketing

  • Higher Education

  • Writing and Editing

Featured Work

Latest News

Curriculum

Film and Animation (2D animation option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-603
2D Animation I: Fundamentals
This course will introduce graduate students to the concepts and mechanics of movement for animation, focusing on, but not limited to, character based movement. Animation principles and theories on movement and acting will be introduced and applied using hand-drawn methods, which will serve as the foundation for their application in any desired medium. Various styles of animation timing will be examined and students will have the opportunity to develop their own sense of timing and movement. Multi-week exercises will be recorded using standard animation software, and will be reviewed, discussed and open to group critique.
3
SOFA-605
Basic Sound Recording
This course will provide specialized knowledge and work in sound to prepare the student to be able to distinguish and evaluate proper sound techniques for film and animation productions. The course lays the foundation for professional work in the sound industry. Each student will record an audio and prepare a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards.
3
SOFA-610
Graduate Seminar
A forum to establish among a diverse student group a common vocabulary for discussing film language and structure, collaborative relationships, and a sense of community, while exploring issues related to scene analysis, production practice and planning, story boarding, story telling, visual music, School of Film and Animation policies and professional business realities.
2
SOFA-611
History and Aesthetics of Animation
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, and the creative and practical history of the animated film. This will include prehistory of animation, early film and animation history development, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions, and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be revealed through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films: emphasizing the unique characteristics of the animated art form and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. Both orthodox and unorthodox animation will be highlighted. Films will be screened at every lecture.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-615
   3D Animation Fundamentals
This course will provide a fundamental understanding of computer-generated three-dimensional imagery and world-building. Using top industry-standard software Autodesk Maya, students will explore the technology and processes of professional world-creation and animation. Students will experience the creation of completed digital animations and display skills in 3D modeling, animation, lighting and rendering.
 
   SOFA-617
   Stop Motion Puppet Fundamentals
This introductory course will give graduate students a basic and solid understanding of stop-motion animation. The class will cover aspects of stop-motion in its various forms but will mainly concentrate on stop-motion puppet / character animation. There will be demonstrations on model fabrication, animation techniques and camera / grip techniques. Topics, such as latex and silicon mold-making and intensive postproduction techniques will be introduced.
 
SOFA-622
30 Second Film
An introduction into the world of producing television commercials or other 30 second films. Major emphasis will be placed on learning to generate and intensify a personal statement through creative projects. Work is critiqued weekly by the instructor and class. Students execute the production of a completed 30 second film.
3
SOFA-625
Animated Acting Principles
This course will give students an opportunity to explore a visual language of acting and posing that will help their storytelling abilities. Acting, timing and pacing are critical elements to any successful character animated film. Identifying and building a library of expressions, poses, and movement for emotional and visual expression is the goal for each student. Students will study reference material from silent and animated films. Students will also create their own reference material through acting and filming. The visual references will be scrutinized on a frame-by-frame basis for a deeper understanding of this visual language. Students will produce animated studies related to the acting principles.
3
SOFA-627
Pre-Production for Animators
Using pre-production steps, students will produce short film ideas. The course will cover concept creation, treatments, scripts, storyboards, design, budgets and experimental film structures. Students will make weekly presentations and work will be critiqued.
3
SOFA-628
Animation Writing and Visual Storytelling 
This course will provide an in-depth examination of structural elements of both the written and visual aspects of the animated film and the pre-production process. Particular attention will be given to: the application of materials, short film format, and layout of movements, visual composition, and storyboarding. Along with visualization and writing exercises, students will conceive a story idea, develop it in to formatted animation storyboards and create an animatic.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-748
  Concept and Character Design
This course will introduce students to the basics of design as applied to characters and environments for animated productions. Line, color, texture, shape, form and story will be referenced when developing characters and environments. Projects will utilize drawing, digital painting, and live action. In this course, a variety of exercises will explore tone, mood, deep and shallow space, and natural and imagined spaces. Students will develop their own personal process of visual development through a variety of exercises, working toward a final finished project.
 
   SOFA-623
   Stop Motion Master Class
This course will introduce stop motion MFA students to more advanced techniques of single frame production. The class will be divided into teams that will execute a finished short film complete with post and sound work. Although these finished films will be short and simple they will expose the students to stop motion set and puppet building, lighting, grip work, camera movement and post work. This class builds on the fundamentals that were taught in the Puppet Fundamentals class and advances the student in their understanding of stop motion production. The team members will specialize in certain areas of building, camera work, animation and post work and will contribute to the team film until the completion of that project. The next step for these advanced students upon completion of this class will be to create an MFA thesis film.
 
SOFA-630
Animation Film Language
This course will introduce the historical and contemporary discourse on the theory, aesthetics and characteristics of the animated film. Lectures, readings, writing assignments, classroom discussions, and film viewings will emphasize animation’s diverse history, theories, philosophical and practical aspects. Concepts of animation production and related classification and terminology will be presented.
2
Second Year
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-604
   2D Animation II: Mechanics
This course will build on information gained from foundation animation courses. Multi-week assignments will allow students to fully grasp the production process involved in hand-drawn animation and develop an understanding of different parameters commonly found in animated films, including but not limited to character interaction, emotion and animal movement. Students will have the opportunity to explore various approaches to timing, movement, acting and characterization. Character design and solid drawing skills are highly recommended.
 
   SOFA-652
   Alternate Frame by Frame
This course will give all students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The class will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” These techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional or character animation and present an alternative means of expression. Students can explore character or experimental approaches to animation with these non-traditional alternative approaches to single frame animation. The class will study existing work with these techniques, analyze and discuss them with the instructor and then produce several examples of their own after instruction for each approach. There will be a final project in the technique of the student’s choice.
 
SOFA-618
Business and Careers in Animation
This class will be geared toward the small animation business owner, the studio employee, and the individual freelance animator. The course will discuss the setting up of a small business and all of its operations. The elements of discussion will teach students how to approach animation work in the industry from a small business perspective and from an individual approach. The class will discuss the creation of sample reels, websites, self-promotion, contracts, negotiation, pitching, fund-raising, research and interview techniques all related to the individual animator. Crowdfunding and grant writing will be discussed. There will be guest interviews from animation professionals. Discussions of ethics and individual responsibilities will be covered.
3
SOFA-676
After Effects for Animators
This is an intermediate animation course that will focus on After Effects. The course will cover: visual effects development, character animation, puppet-building, world-building, time management, and post-production cleanup. Students will learn and engage with design and style development in animation production.
3
SOFA-717
Animation Workshop
This course is the student’s second experience producing a complete animated film individually or in collaboration with a classmate. In this workshop-style course, students will design and implement all phases of an animated film production and produce a short film with sound. Students will rely only on techniques learned in previous classes. The final film must be screened for the school community at the end of the course.
4
SOFA-780
Thesis Preparation Seminar
The focus of this course is to develop a written proposal for an MFA Film Thesis. The thesis will provide the backbone of a candidate's final film-making production leading to the completion of MFA creative work and the supporting written document. Students must identify a thesis chair and form a committee. The course will prepare students to present and defend their thesis before a faculty committee seeking approval of the proposal.
1
 
Free Electives
6
 
Professional Electives
6
Third Year
SOFA-790
Research and Thesis I
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester.
4
SOFA-890
Research and Thesis II 
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester as well as present a final screening of their thesis.
4
Total Semester Credit Hours
65

Film and Animation (3D animation option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-605
Basic Sound Recording
This course will provide specialized knowledge and work in sound to prepare the student to be able to distinguish and evaluate proper sound techniques for film and animation productions. The course lays the foundation for professional work in the sound industry. Each student will record an audio and prepare a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards.
3
SOFA-610
Graduate Seminar
A forum to establish among a diverse student group a common vocabulary for discussing film language and structure, collaborative relationships, and a sense of community, while exploring issues related to scene analysis, production practice and planning, story boarding, story telling, visual music, School of Film and Animation policies and professional business realities.
2
SOFA-611
History and Aesthetics of Animation
This course will explore the beginnings, the evolution, and the creative and practical history of the animated film. This will include prehistory of animation, early film and animation history development, major trends, artists, animation studios, theoretical distinctions, and international identities in animation. Issues of animation aesthetics will also be revealed through discussions, readings and reviews of exemplary films: emphasizing the unique characteristics of the animated art form and how those characteristics are used as a means of interpretation and expression. Both orthodox and unorthodox animation will be highlighted. Films will be screened at every lecture.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-603
   2D Animation I: Fundamentals
This course will introduce graduate students to the concepts and mechanics of movement for animation, focusing on, but not limited to, character based movement. Animation principles and theories on movement and acting will be introduced and applied using hand-drawn methods, which will serve as the foundation for their application in any desired medium. Various styles of animation timing will be examined and students will have the opportunity to develop their own sense of timing and movement. Multi-week exercises will be recorded using standard animation software, and will be reviewed, discussed and open to group critique.
 
   SOFA-617
   Stop Motion Puppet Fundamentals
This introductory course will give graduate students a basic and solid understanding of stop-motion animation. The class will cover aspects of stop-motion in its various forms but will mainly concentrate on stop-motion puppet / character animation. There will be demonstrations on model fabrication, animation techniques and camera / grip techniques. Topics, such as latex and silicon mold-making and intensive postproduction techniques will be introduced.
 
SOFA-615
3D Animation Fundamentals
This course will provide a fundamental understanding of computer-generated three-dimensional imagery and world-building. Using top industry-standard software Autodesk Maya, students will explore the technology and processes of professional world-creation and animation. Students will experience the creation of completed digital animations and display skills in 3D modeling, animation, lighting and rendering.
3
SOFA-622
30 Second Film
An introduction into the world of producing television commercials or other 30 second films. Major emphasis will be placed on learning to generate and intensify a personal statement through creative projects. Work is critiqued weekly by the instructor and class. Students execute the production of a completed 30 second film.
3
SOFA-625
Animated Acting Principles
This course will give students an opportunity to explore a visual language of acting and posing that will help their storytelling abilities. Acting, timing and pacing are critical elements to any successful character animated film. Identifying and building a library of expressions, poses, and movement for emotional and visual expression is the goal for each student. Students will study reference material from silent and animated films. Students will also create their own reference material through acting and filming. The visual references will be scrutinized on a frame-by-frame basis for a deeper understanding of this visual language. Students will produce animated studies related to the acting principles.
3
SOFA-627
Pre-Production for Animators
Using pre-production steps, students will produce short film ideas. The course will cover concept creation, treatments, scripts, storyboards, design, budgets and experimental film structures. Students will make weekly presentations and work will be critiqued.
3
SOFA-628
Animation Writing and Visual Storytelling
This course will provide an in-depth examination of structural elements of both the written and visual aspects of the animated film and the pre-production process. Particular attention will be given to: the application of materials, short film format, and layout of movements, visual composition, and storyboarding. Along with visualization and writing exercises, students will conceive a story idea, develop it in to formatted animation storyboards and create an animatic.
3
SOFA-630
Animation Film Language
This course will introduce the historical and contemporary discourse on the theory, aesthetics and characteristics of the animated film. Lectures, readings, writing assignments, classroom discussions, and film viewings will emphasize animation’s diverse history, theories, philosophical and practical aspects. Concepts of animation production and related classification and terminology will be presented.
2
SOFA-695
Advanced 3D Animation
This course will explore advanced character animation utilizing performance, emotion, and speech. Course content will include facial expressions and scenes with multiple characters interacting. Professional animation software will be used. By the end of the course, students will be able to create advanced biped character animation with dialogue and emotion.
3
Second Year
SOFA-618
Business and Careers in Animation
This class will be geared toward the small animation business owner, the studio employee, and the individual freelance animator. The course will discuss the setting up of a small business and all of its operations. The elements of discussion will teach students how to approach animation work in the industry from a small business perspective and from an individual approach. The class will discuss the creation of sample reels, websites, self-promotion, contracts, negotiation, pitching, fund-raising, research and interview techniques all related to the individual animator. Crowdfunding and grant writing will be discussed. There will be guest interviews from animation professionals. Discussions of ethics and individual responsibilities will be covered.
3
Choose one of the following:
3
   SOFA-675
   3D Lighting and Texturing
This course will offer an intensive look at lighting for three-dimensional animation pipelines. The focus of the course will be: surfacing, set-dressing, production design, and economical rendering techniques. Students will learn to observe, plan, replicate real-world environments, and apply to artistic interpretations of style and design. The course will also provide a balance between artistic needs and technical limitations in order to prepare a scene for post-production practices. This course has an additional research component.
 
   SOFA-652
   Alternate Frame by Frame
This course will give all students a chance to explore three different approaches to stop-motion animation. The class will study and experiment with pixilation, time-lapse and relief animation with a “down-shooter.” These techniques will expand the student’s knowledge of traditional or character animation and present an alternative means of expression. Students can explore character or experimental approaches to animation with these non-traditional alternative approaches to single frame animation. The class will study existing work with these techniques, analyze and discuss them with the instructor and then produce several examples of their own after instruction for each approach. There will be a final project in the technique of the student’s choice.
 
SOFA-676
After Effects for Animators
This is an intermediate animation course that will focus on After Effects. The course will cover: visual effects development, character animation, puppet-building, world-building, time management, and post-production cleanup. Students will learn and engage with design and style development in animation production.
3
SOFA-717
Animation Workshop
This course is the student’s second experience producing a complete animated film individually or in collaboration with a classmate. In this workshop-style course, students will design and implement all phases of an animated film production and produce a short film with sound. Students will rely only on techniques learned in previous classes. The final film must be screened for the school community at the end of the course.
4
SOFA-780
Thesis Preparation Seminar
The focus of this course is to develop a written proposal for an MFA Film Thesis. The thesis will provide the backbone of a candidate's final film-making production leading to the completion of MFA creative work and the supporting written document. Students must identify a thesis chair and form a committee. The course will prepare students to present and defend their thesis before a faculty committee seeking approval of the proposal.
1
 
Professional Electives
6
 
Free Electives
6
Third Year
SOFA-790
Research and Thesis I
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester.
4
SOFA-890
Research and Thesis II
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester as well as present a final screening of their thesis.
4
Total Semester Credit Hours
65

Film and Animation (production option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-602
Production Processes
This course is an introduction to all aspects of professional film/video narrative production. Students produce short projects while learning basic shooting and crewing procedures, studio protocol, equipment handling and maintenance, and basic sync editing.
4
SOFA-605
Basic Sound Recording
This course will provide specialized knowledge and work in sound to prepare the student to be able to distinguish and evaluate proper sound techniques for film and animation productions. The course lays the foundation for professional work in the sound industry. Each student will record an audio and prepare a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards.
3
SOFA-606
Graduate Directing
An introduction to the arts of directing and acting with an emphasis on script analysis, performance, and blocking. Students direct and act in scenes from professional productions. Scenes are rehearsed outside of class, and then staged and critiqued in class.
3
SOFA-610
Graduate Seminar
A forum to establish among a diverse student group a common vocabulary for discussing film language and structure, collaborative relationships, and a sense of community, while exploring issues related to scene analysis, production practice and planning, story boarding, story telling, visual music, School of Film and Animation policies and professional business realities.
2
SOFA-613
Graduate Screenwriting
This course focuses on the forms and techniques of writing for visual media, particularly the short film. Throughout the course, students develop resources for finding stories and concepts that can be turned into films. Students are responsible for writing a short script of their own choosing and for completing several brief written exercises in areas such as personal storytelling, character development, dialogue, and plot. Scripts written in this class can be used as the basis for films produced in other classes.
3
SOFA-621
Spring Film
In this course students will complete their first full semester production. Students must decide on a concept, develop a treatment, write a script or research a non-fiction subject. Student will produce a film complete with mixed track and finished titles and credits.
3
SOFA-626
Writing the Short
This course will explore the short screenplay as its own genre and as a stepping-stone to writing longer forms. Students will improve their ability to develop goals and obstacles and, thereby, create a complete narrative journey. Students will write approximately a 15 minute film or animation scripts. Film scripts will be used in production courses.
3
SOFA-678
Cinematography and Lighting
This course will explore the world of cinematography and lighting and how they relate to each other. Students will participate in weekly hands-on exercises to develop and improve cinematic storytelling through composition, framing and lighting techniques.
3
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
Second Year
SOFA-614
Business and Careers in Film
An introduction to all aspects of the business side of professional film/video narrative and commercial production. Students develop a business plan to create their own production company while learning alternative careers in film, basic financial and legal protocol, and mental preparation needed to enter the film business market.
3
SOFA-721
Fall Film
This course allows 2nd year graduate student in production or screenwriting an opportunity to complete their second major production in the program. They must decide on a concept, develop a treatment, write a script or research a non-fiction subject and produce the film complete with mixed track and finished titles and credits.
3
SOFA-733
Hybrid Forms: Theory and Practice
This graduate seminar explores storytelling across a multitude of hybrid forms. It examines an array of fictional and non-fictional strategies as fluid and organic form-content relationships that constitute the shared language between Cinema and New Forms. The creation of a hybrid character in this class is complemented by experimentation in the ways in which we experience characters and stories in contemporary times. Students develop a final semester project, two position papers and an artist statement. The course encourages the use of new media technologies including archival material, prosumer cameras and software.
3
SOFA-780
Thesis Preparation Seminar
The focus of this course is to develop a written proposal for an MFA Film Thesis. The thesis will provide the backbone of a candidate's final film-making production leading to the completion of MFA creative work and the supporting written document. Students must identify a thesis chair and form a committee. The course will prepare students to present and defend their thesis before a faculty committee seeking approval of the proposal.
1
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
 
Professional Electives
9
 
Free Electives
6
Third Year
SOFA-790
Research and Thesis I
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester.
4
SOFA-890
Research and Thesis II
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester as well as present a final screening of their thesis.
4
Total Semester Credit Hours
63

Film and Animation (screenwriting option), MFA degree, typical course sequence

Course Sem. Cr. Hrs.
First Year
SOFA-602
Production Processes
This course is an introduction to all aspects of professional film/video narrative production. Students produce short projects while learning basic shooting and crewing procedures, studio protocol, equipment handling and maintenance, and basic sync editing.
4
SOFA-605
Basic Sound Recording
This course will provide specialized knowledge and work in sound to prepare the student to be able to distinguish and evaluate proper sound techniques for film and animation productions. The course lays the foundation for professional work in the sound industry. Each student will record an audio and prepare a mixed soundtrack to professional quality standards.
3
SOFA-606
Graduate Directing
An introduction to the arts of directing and acting with an emphasis on script analysis, performance, and blocking. Students direct and act in scenes from professional productions. Scenes are rehearsed outside of class, and then staged and critiqued in class.
3
SOFA-610
Graduate Seminar
A forum to establish among a diverse student group a common vocabulary for discussing film language and structure, collaborative relationships, and a sense of community, while exploring issues related to scene analysis, production practice and planning, story boarding, story telling, visual music, School of Film and Animation policies and professional business realities.
2
SOFA-613
Graduate Screenwriting
This course focuses on the forms and techniques of writing for visual media, particularly the short film. Throughout the course, students develop resources for finding stories and concepts that can be turned into films. Students are responsible for writing a short script of their own choosing and for completing several brief written exercises in areas such as personal storytelling, character development, dialogue, and plot. Scripts written in this class can be used as the basis for films produced in other classes.
3
SOFA-621
Spring Film
In this course students will complete their first full semester production. Students must decide on a concept, develop a treatment, write a script or research a non-fiction subject. Student will produce a film complete with mixed track and finished titles and credits.
3
SOFA-626
Writing the Short
This course will explore the short screenplay as its own genre and as a stepping-stone to writing longer forms. Students will improve their ability to develop goals and obstacles and, thereby, create a complete narrative journey. Students will write approximately a 15 minute film or animation scripts. Film scripts will be used in production courses.
3
 
History and Aesthetics Elective
3
 
Professional Elective
3
Second Year
SOFA-614
Business and Careers in Film
An introduction to all aspects of the business side of professional film/video narrative and commercial production. Students develop a business plan to create their own production company while learning alternative careers in film, basic financial and legal protocol, and mental preparation needed to enter the film business market.
3
SOFA-663
Writing the Feature
This is course is an exploration of the feature film form. Students propose ideas for a feature length film and in consultation with the instructor and other students, write a detailed step outline and a substantial portion of the first draft.
3
SOFA-664
Writing the Series
This course is an introduction to all forms of series writing for television and the Internet. Students will choose to write either a one-hour pilot for a dramatic series, or a half-hour pilot and an additional episode for a single-camera comedy series. All students will develop and write a series “bible,” a thorough description of all the characters and the world in which the series takes place as well as how the series may develop with future plotlines.
3
SOFA-721
Fall Film
This course allows 2nd year graduate student in production or screenwriting an opportunity to complete their second major production in the program. They must decide on a concept, develop a treatment, write a script or research a non-fiction subject and produce the film complete with mixed track and finished titles and credits.
3
SOFA-733
Hybrid Forms: Theory and Practice
This graduate seminar explores storytelling across a multitude of hybrid forms. It examines an array of fictional and non-fictional strategies as fluid and organic form-content relationships that constitute the shared language between Cinema and New Forms. The creation of a hybrid character in this class is complemented by experimentation in the ways in which we experience characters and stories in contemporary times. Students develop a final semester project, two position papers and an artist statement. The course encourages the use of new media technologies including archival material, prosumer cameras and software.
3
SOFA-780
Thesis Preparation Seminar
The focus of this course is to develop a written proposal for an MFA Film Thesis. The thesis will provide the backbone of a candidate's final film-making production leading to the completion of MFA creative work and the supporting written document. Students must identify a thesis chair and form a committee. The course will prepare students to present and defend their thesis before a faculty committee seeking approval of the proposal.
1
 
History and Aesthetics Electives
6
 
Free Electives
6
Third Year
SOFA-790
Research and Thesis I
This is the first of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester.
4
SOFA-890
Research and Thesis II
This is the second of two courses designed to advance a student towards completion of their thesis. Students will work independently on their approved plan of work for their thesis while meeting on a regular basis with their committee chair. They are required to meet at least twice with their full committee during the semester as well as present a final screening of their thesis.
4
Total Semester Credit Hours
63

Admission Requirements

To be considered for admission to the MFA in film and animation, candidates must fulfill the following requirements:

  • Complete a graduate application.
  • Hold a baccalaureate degree (or equivalent) from an accredited university or college.
  • Submit official transcripts (in English) of all previously completed undergraduate and graduate course work.
  • Submit an online portfolio of work that demonstrates the candidate’s skills, visual sophistication, and aesthetic awareness. (Refer to Graduate Portfolio Requirements for more information.)
  • Submit a two-to-three minute online self-portrait video.
  • Submit a personal statement of educational objectives
  • Submit two letters of recommendation from academic or professional sources.
  • International applicants whose native language is not English must submit scores from the TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE. A minimum TOEFL score of 88 (internet-based) is required. A minimum IELTS score of 6.5 (with balanced sub-scores) is required. The English language test score requirement is waived for native speakers of English or for those submitting transcripts from degrees earned at American institutions.

Students who are evaluated to have MFA potential but need additional study in preparation for graduate courses will be advised to take such courses either prior to entrance or during their first year of study.

All correspondence concerning application materials as well as all submissions deadlines should be addressed to the Office of Graduate and Part-time Enrollment

Portfolio

The review committee is looking for work that is original in concept and content. It does not need to necessarily be motion media, but should be visual or aural. Examples include films/videos, photos, drawings, paintings, sculpture, stop motion puppets, scripts, storyboards, and original music.

Applicants must present what they consider to be the best of their work, not all of their work. Films or videos should total 12 minutes or less. A short, complete piece of work is preferable to a demo reel. If there are no short works then a 12 minute excerpt of a longer piece is acceptable.

Applicants must place their portfolios on a web or FTP site, such as Vimeo or YouTube, that can be easily accessed by RIT faculty for review. Applications should include a URL/web or FTP address to the online portfolio. If the portfolio is placed on a shared web or FTP site that contains other files, be sure the file name contains your full name (which must match the name used on your application materials). When applicable, please include any usernames and/or passwords necessary for access to your portfolio. Please provide an inventory sheet or table of contents with your portfolio, and if it is not obvious, clearly indicate what your combination was to group and collaborative pieces. This can be a separate description or can be included in the portfolio presentation.

Applicants are also required to produce a two-to-three minute self-portrait video to accompany the online portfolio. This should include information about you, such as why you want to attend the School of Film and Animation, the program concentration you wish to pursue, and why. Please include information about one significant accomplishment you have made. Sound and picture quality should be clear. The online portfolio and self-portrait must be mounted on Slideroom.com once a Slideroom account is established.

For more information about portfolio guidelines please visit the graduate portfolio requirements page of the Office of Graduate and Part-time Enrollment.

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Additional Info

Transfer credit

Graduate-level course work taken prior to admission should be submitted for approval upon entrance into the program. Up to 8 semester credit hours of graduate work with a grade of B or better is transferable and may be counted toward the MFA degree, with the approval of the graduate faculty.

Grades

Students must maintain a B (3.0) average GPA to meet graduation requirements for the MFA. Thesis hours are usually completed over two semesters. Acceptance or rejection of the thesis is made by the candidate’s thesis board and the graduate faculty.

Maximum time limit

University policy requires that graduate programs be completed within seven years of the student's initial registration for courses in the program. Bridge courses are excluded.

Screenings

Screenings are required for all student-produced films and are coordinated through the professor or the thesis chair.