San Francisco State University

24 months
8704 USD/year
8704 USD/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Cinema program of San Francisco State University is intended for individuals who wish to pursue independent film and media production.


The Cinema program of San Francisco State University  offers students the opportunity to focus on any/all of the following areas: documentary, experimental and/or fiction.

The Master of Fine Arts in Cinema emphasizes knowledge of cinematic traditions along with the development of individual creative vision grounded in professional proficiency in technical crafts. The program integrates new processes, aesthetics, and technologies and encourages the development of original modes of cinematic expression. Coursework emphasizes documentary, experimental and fiction filmmaking. Students are encouraged to take courses in animation. Parallel coursework in film and media theory, history and criticism are required in years one and two of the M.F.A. program.

Career paths

The M.F.A. prepares graduates to work as independent filmmakers, to assume creative professional roles within the film industry, or to teach at the college or university level.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Creative Process
  • Production Practice
  • Introduction to Graduate Studies
  • Animation Workshop
  • Cinematography Workshop
  • Film Production Research

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines




60 alternative credits


On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA Your GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a number that indicates how well or how high you scored in your courses on average. Usually a GPA scales between 1.0 and 4.0, however different countries and universities can have different grading systems.

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • A resume (1-2 pages) summarizing the applicant's education, awards or recognition, work experience, travel, languages, and special skills
  • A personal statement (3 page maximum) discussing aesthetic influences, creative interests, and professional aspirations as a filmmaker
  • An example of academic writing (7-12 pages) which illustrates the applicant's ability to make and support a thesis 
  • An example of creative, moving image work submitted on VIMEO, YouTube or other online link is required (five minutes maximum)
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Unofficial transcripts: Upload two unofficial transcripts to the Cal State Apply application
  • English language proficiency

Tuition Fee

  • International

    8704 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8704 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.
  • National

    8704 USD/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 8704 USD per year and a duration of 24 months.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

Updated in the last year

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

San Francisco State University