Graduate Program

The School of Cinema offers two graduate programs: a Master of Arts in Cinema Studies and a Master of Fine Arts in Cinema.

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Master of Arts

Our M.A. program prizes the rich diversity of cinematic expression — whether critical examination of “mainstream” media production or independent or foreign filmmaking, experimental works or new media interventions including video installation — the faculty strives to broaden our students’ experience. Much of this takes place in the context of coursework where faculty members bring their own diverse research, theoretical and cinematic interests to bear, but also in extracurricular encounters — visiting filmmakers or scholars, community events (e.g., film festivals), largely profiting from the virtue of our city, San Francisco.

Learn more about the Master of Arts Program.

Master of Fine Arts

Our M.F.A. program offers rigorous, professional training in cinema production in conjunction with an understanding of cinema history, theory and aesthetics. The faculty supports production practice in diverse forms — narrative, experimental, documentary, animation or hybrid, and our graduate writers/directors become skilled in both traditional cinematic and emerging digital technologies. The M.F.A. program also prepares filmmakers to teach cinema at the college or university level. The School of Cinema’s creatively active faculty regularly share from their own production experiences, coordinate master classes with distinguished practicing professionals, arrange for visiting independent filmmakers to screen contemporary work and facilitate student connection with local cinema and arts organizations.

Learn more about the Master of Fine Arts Program.

Apply to the Programs

Visit the sections for the M.A. in Cinema Studies and the M.F.A. in Cinema for application procedures. You will need to complete an application to Cal State Apply as well as a separate application for either the M.A. or the M.F.A. program. Questions about the application process and materials can be directed to the School of Cinema graduate advisor at and/or to the Division of Graduate Studies: Domestic applicants: or International applicants:

View the course schedule.