Film and Media Arts

Graduate Program

The Master of Fine Arts program in Film and Media Arts at Temple University is the country’s foremost program in alternative film, video and new media. The program trains filmmakers, videomakers, screenwriters and media artists who seek to challenge the dominant forms of film and media. The graduate program allows students to focus on narrative film, documentary cinema arts, media arts and screenwriting. 

With approximately 40 graduate students from diverse communities and countries, the program is large enough to offer intellectual stimulation through a wide range of courses, yet small enough to afford individual attention, maximum access to equipment and creative control over one’s own projects.

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For more information about the application process and financial aid, visit FMA Graduate Admissions.Film student adjusting mic for a film shoot

Narrative Film

Narrative Filmmakers make innovative films with top indie filmmakers. Students combine professional training in screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing and producing with project-driven research and courses in emergent technologies. FMA’s leadership in theory-practice results in works that are critically informed, socially vital and culturally diverse. Through partnerships with Theater, filmmakers develop innovative approaches in narrative form.

Documentary Cinema Arts

Documentary filmmakers and media artists work with leading practitioners from across documentary forms, including direct cinema, documentary story-telling, essay film, ethnography, nonfiction installation arts, interactive cinema and documentary studies. Community and university partnerships allow students to grow projects across diverse audiences and cultural groups. Students grow projects through community and international partnerships and find careers across forms of production, international NGOs, field research and education. Nonfiction installation arts, locative media and interactive cinema offerings are complemented by technological support through Temple’s one-of-a-kind Technology Center. Critical approaches to making documentary emphasize activism, diversity, innovation, visual research, emergent technology and the political economy that shapes how images are made, distributed and used worldwide.

Media Arts

Media Artists work with leading artists making works for museums, public spaces, interactive cinema, mobile media, kinetic sculpture, performance, projection and the web. Students work collaboratively across fields of motion-picture making, fine arts and performing arts with the Center for the Arts. Media Artists bridge analog and digital forms, from optical-printing and hand-painted film to projected media, mobile media, interactive cinema, physical computing, live media and installation arts. FMA students work within Philadelphia’s vibrant art scene and local communities as well as through national and international networks.

Along with a MFA contrentation in media arts, the Department of Film and Media Arts now offers a one-year, 30-credit master's program in MediaXarts: Cinema for New Technologies and Environments, which prepares students for professions in the creative design industries, interaction design for public organizations, and emergent cinematic art forms.


Screenwriting prepares students for careers in writing for film, television, and new media and includes training in dramatic writing for theater. Narrative Screenwriters work collaboratively with independent filmmakers to tell stories in new ways and participate in workshops with playwrights to bridge methods of creating character, subtext and conflict. Nonfiction Screenwriters work with leading documentarists and can pursue an secondary joint Certificat of Documentary and Ethnographic Practices exploring methods of visual research for story-telling. Graduate students can work with emerging media to make interactive cinema projects, serial narratives and works for mobile media.

The Certificate in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Research (DAER)

The Certificate in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Research (DAER), a joint program between the Departments of Film & Media Arts and Anthropology, brings Temple graduate students together to develop advanced projects that fuse visual research and contemporary image-making techniques. Students create works through a hybrid of media forms from film to emergent technologies, such as interactive cinema and mobile media. Students may design projects for a wide range of venues like cinema, projections in public spaces, museums, web journals, interactive spaces, and publications.

Documentary Arts and Visual Research (DAVR) PhD

The MFA-PhD Program in Documentary Arts and Visual Research (DAVR) is a unique dual degree program in theory and practice for students who have completed a MFA program, have well defined goals, and wish to expand their theories and methods of inquiry through doctoral level research. The MFA-PhD combination offers MFA graduates the opportunity to use their creative education to take on the intellectual challenge of our technological age: the expression of ideas, once communicated entirely by written means, through multiple forms of media.

Temple UPenn Graduate Exchange Award Program 

Every year, one student in the graduate M.F.A. program of Film and Media Arts at Temple University is awarded the opportunity to enroll in a course in cinema studies or related studies course at UPENN as part of a unique agreement between FMA and Penn's program in Cinema Studies.
The application should consist of a one-paragraph explanation of why you want to take a course at Penn and how it will help advance your MFA project and/or advance your career goals. You must also include the name of a faculty member in FMA who can speak on your behalf. There may be a follow-up interview. It is recommended that you review courses available on UPenn's Cinema Studies website and/or make contact with faculty whom you think you might like to work with to ask what they might be offering next year. Further questions, requests for information, and completed applications can be submitted by email to Prof. Roderick Coover.

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