School of Theatre, Television and Film

M.F.A in Film and Television Production

Students operating camera

To Begin the Application Process:

Go to CalState Apply, click on “Graduate”. Then click on the “Apply” box. You will be given instructions for logging on and for applying ONLINE. Please note that the CalState Apply application deadline is March 1st. Ideally, all materials should be received by this date, but as is often the case, some items, such as GRE scores or recommendation letters trickle in a bit late. So, the absolute deadline by which all materials (GRE scores, resumes, applicant statements, etc.) must be received is April 1st.

Basic Requirements, Craft and Background Experience:

To be seriously considered for admission, TFM applicants must post a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) Verbal score of 150 or higher (450 or higher using old grading system), a math score of 142 or higher (450 or higher using old grading system), and a GRE Writing Assessment (GRE-W) of Level 4 or higher. On rare occasions, if an applicant’s portfolio material is exceptionally strong, the TFM Selection Committee may waive scores that fall below these minimums and accept the student on a provisional basis.  For international applicants for whom English is not their first language, a TOEFL paper score of 550 (or 213 online version) or higher is required. Students who reach our short list can expect to be interviewed by phone or skype before a final decision is made. In the case to international students for whom English is not their first language, this interview also serves to determine oral language proficiency.

Applicants from other disciplines or with no Formal Training:

Occasionally, students from other disciplines or academic backgrounds other than television and film inquire about application to the TFM Program. For these students, it should be pointed out that a critical component in the application package is the portfolio – the strongest evidence you can offer of your artistic, creative and craft potential. The selection committee looks specifically for originality of concept and treatment, ability to shape narrative material with skill and nuance, and the level of craft skill. The TFM Masters Program seeks applicants whose aspirations and talents fall under the rubric “Independent Filmmaking.” While the portfolio most often takes the form of film/video sample, some submit screenplays, storyboards or other evidence of skill and creativity with respect to the moving image; but it should be stressed that we prefer evidence of motion image art.

It is highly recommended that the prospective applicant with no formal media training be able to demonstrate experience or familiarity with the production process. Most successful applicants coming from other academic disciplines have worked on a film or TV crew, or have enrolled in a special course or courses in a community college or a professional training program. Appropriate courses might include courses in film production, video production, non-linear editing, lighting, audio production, or courses in directing for the camera. Such courses generally afford the applicant an opportunity to produce a respectable portfolio piece that can be included in the TFM application package.