Graduate Master of Fine Arts 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. We train filmmakers, videomakers, screenwriters and media artists who seek to challenge the current practices of Hollywood and commercial television.

With approximately 50 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.

FMA offers arrays in Narrative and Documentary Cinema Arts, Media Arts and Screenwriting. We train students to challenge the current practices of Hollywood, commercial television, art and global media through independent, alternative and experimental forms of production. Read below about the different fields covered by the disciplines offered in our program:

cinema arts narrative• 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, Narrative Filmmakers develop innovative approaches in narrative form.

 • Documentary Filmmakers and Media Artists work with leading practitioners in direct cinema, documentary story-telling, essay film, ethnography, nonfiction installation arts, interactive cinema and documentary studies.
• In the Documentary Arts & Ethnographic Practices Certificate Program, MFA and PhD students work together to develop advanced projects that fuse visual research and image-making techniques. The program is open to all FMA students at no extra cost.
• Students grow projects through community and international partnerships and find
careers across forms of production, international NGOs, field research and education.

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.
• Media Artists work collaboratively across fields of motion-picture making, fine arts and performing arts in Temple’s new Center For The Arts and in its one-of-a-kind Technology Center.
• 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.

screenwriting• 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 certificate with FMA and Visual Anthropology exploring methods of visual research for story-telling.
• Screenwriters can work with emerging media to make interactive cinema projects, serial narratives and works for mobile media.


The Film and Media Arts at Temple University is an international leader in Documentary Cinema Arts. Students pursue documentary production through the MFA Program in FMA and through the interdisciplinary Graduate Certificate in Documentary Arts and Ethnographic Practice (DAEP) that partners with Temple’s PhD Program in Visual Anthropology.


• 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.
• Temple programs in Los Angeles, Silicon Valley, Rome, Norway and elsewhere offer opportunities to expand projects internationally.
• 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.

the certificate

• DAEP joint program between FMA and Anthropology brings Temple MFA and PhD students together to envision works that bridge theory and practice. FMA students enroll in DAEP at no extra cost.
• Students to develop critically and socially aware filmmaking for the 21st Century.
• Students turn research into film and art. MFA and PhD students work together to develop advanced projects that fuse visual research and contemporary image-making techniques.
• The degree offers students depth and strength in project and grant development.
• The program takes an expansive view of motion picture production. Students create works through a hybrid of media forms from film to emergent technologies, such as interactive cinema and mobile media. Works may blend documentary and narrative form.
• Students may design projects for a wide range of venues like cinema, projections in public spaces, museums, web journals, interactive spaces, and publications.

Read more about the DAEP program here.

Download the MFA in Film and Media Arts brochure now.