Iowa has a long and venerable tradition of university-level film production stretching back to the 1930s. The first graduate work in Film and Television started in the early 1950s, when the Department of Radio, Television and Film was inaugurated, along with state-of-the-art film and television studios, and we have had a strong reputation for experimental film since the 1970s.

Today, our program offers a fully-funded MFA in Film and Video Production over three years. The program seeks to help students to develop an artistic vision informed by theoretical knowledge; to hone their technical skills in image design, sound, editing and more; to accumulate a strong portfolio; and to acquire essential professional skills (grants, film festivals, etc.) in view of further employment either in academia or in professional settings. All students in our program also gain the teaching experience essential for anyone wishing to enter academia. Strengths in our program include 16mm film, art-house cinema and documentary cinema in various forms.

Our students also enjoy a rich graduate student community. Film and Video Production students regularly collaborate with graduate students from Film Studies and take graduate seminars both in Film Studies and across the university.

For a good overview of what your trajectory might look like, you can consult our Graduate Student Handbook of Policies and Procedures, especially the section outlining the MFA timeline with milestones by semester. 

To see our university placement record for MFAs, please see the Careers and Opportunities page.

For more information on graduate student funding, please our Funding page here.

If you think you might be interested in applying, it's good to start by consulting faculty profiles available on our People page. Active faculty in Film and Video Production include Laura Gede, Anahita Ghazvinizadeh, Chris Harris and Hope Tucker.

For instructions, deadlines and minimal requirements for MFA applications, please consult the Graduate Admissions page.

For any further questions, you may also contact our Director of Graduate Studies or the Head of film and Video Production, listed on the People page of this website.


Listed below are the general categories of coursework required to earn the degree; for more specific information on courses, curriculum, and requirements of the Master of Fine Arts in film and video production, visit the UI General Catalog.

Degree Requirements
Title Hours
CINE:4890 Media Production Workshop 4
CINE:5890 Colloquium in Film and Video Production 8
Advanced production courses 12
Two mid-level graduate courses in film theory/history 6
Two courses from related areas outside Cinematic Arts 6
Additional Upper-Level Electives 5
MFA Thesis Project (see below) 12
Additional Electives (after thesis clearance) 6
Total Hours 59

MFA Thesis Project

Looking forward to the final year, the committee reviews the candidate’s work to date along with a written proposal for the MFA Thesis project. This year-long project should both extend the candidate’s artistic concerns and contribute to a coherent body of work.