Affordable 2-year MFA Program

Fall 2020 Admissions Now CLOSED  – please revisit when this window opens again in December 2020 for Fall 2021 Admissions



The MFA program admits 25 students every Fall.

Admission is highly competitive and portfolio-based.

Applicants must have a BA or BFA degree with a minimum 3.0 (B) GPA in their major.

Undergraduate training in film & video or equivalent work/industry experience in film production. (Undergraduate training should include courses in the following subjects: film history and aesthetics; screenwriting; digital motion picture production, digital editing, directing for fiction and/or documentary.)

Our program does not accept transfer credits for courses taken at other colleges, universities or institutions, nor do we admit on a non-matriculated, exchange, CUNY-BA or audit basis.

For applicants who do not have a film/video undergraduate degree (or comparable film/video experience) we recommend taking foundation courses prior to application. Such workshops are offered through colleges and media arts organizations around the country, and will count as pre-requisite “experience”. In NYC, the following media arts organizations offer such courses:  DCTVNYU – SUMMER INTENSIVES,  BRIC, TWN.

The application requires submission of the following:

  • CUNY Application for The Humanities & Arts (includes a personal statement – 1 page)
  • Film Program Supplemental Application (includes 2 additional statements – 1 page each)
  • Online Video Portfolio (direct link to entire website, or up to 4 URLs to video samples) – no dvds.
  • 2 letters of recommendation – must be from Academia (unless separated from school for over 10 years)
  • For international students: TOEFL (recommended score of 575 written; 90-91 IBT) or IELTS (recommended score of 6.5).
  • Official transcripts (and translations, if applicable for international students) from all previous schools.
    • Please send to:
      • The City College of New York
        Office of Graduate Admissions
        Administration Building
        Room A-101
        Attn: Jasmin/ Pauline
  • Optional written sample/script (.pdf upload)
  • Resume (.pdf upload)
  • Unofficial transcripts (.pdf upload) – for reveiew only.
International Students


We are proud to be one of the most international film programs in the world. Recent and current students come from Vietnam, Nigeria, China, Germany, Japan, Israel, Spain, Turkey, Palestine, Haiti, Belarus, France, India, Tibet, Pakistan, Iran, Kenya, Ukraine, Italy, Bhutan, Uruguay, Venezuela, Thailand and Taiwan…

For information on obtaining a student visa and required TOEFL scores, please visit



This program runs for two years (four full-time semesters, plus 1 summer session in the first year). We aim to try to keep classes to Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays to allow for film shoots and part-time employment.

For the most up-to-date tuition & fee information, please refer to the website of the CCNY Bursar’s Office via: The Bursar’s Office is located in the Administration Building (Room A-103), and their telephone number is 212-650-8700.

Tuition is set by the University Board of Trustees and is subject to change without notice. Students should arrange to pay their total tuition, fees and charges to complete their registration if they wish to be admitted to classes. Students who may be eligible for financial assistance or grants should consult with the Financial Aid Office as early as possible.

New York State Residency Requirements: Students are assigned residency status when admitted to the College. Since residency determines tuition rates, students should know their classifications. If there is a question of status it is the responsibility of the student to prove residency. An “Application for Proof of Bona Fide Residency” is available at the Office of the Registrar. New students must apply through the Office of Admissions.

The Financial Aid Office administers federal and state funds, as well as those provided by special programs and the College itself. Federal funds may be disbursed only to those students who maintain their academic standing and are not in default on a student loan or owe a refund on a federal grant. For the most recent information on application filing procedures, deadline dates, and eligibility criteria for the various programs, students are urged to contact the Financial Aid Office.

It is the responsibility of each individual student to plan and apply for financial aid/loans/payment plans/out-of-pocket expeses according to the number of semesters/sessions required for this program (this includes 1 part-time summer session in the first year of study, in addition to 4 full-time semesters over the course of 2 years).


QWhen is the application deadline for next fall and when will the program begin accepting applications?

ATHE DEADLINE IS NOW MARCH 1st.  We begin to accept applications December 1st of each year.


QWhen & where is the next Open House I can attend to learn more about this unique MFA program?

AOur next Open House will be held tentatively in November 2015 at CCNY; for more information please inquire via email:


QCan I apply for admission/acceptance in the spring semester?

AAcceptance is for FALL ONLY– Each group begins together in the fall semester and moves on together to build and nurture production collaboration. Therefore, we cannot admit new students into the program during Spring semesters.


QCan I enroll/attend as a part-time student?

AThe program is designed as FULL-TIME, therefore most students either work freelance or are employed on a contract basis, since working a full-time M-F/ 9am-5pm job along with attending this program is not feasible.


QCan I enroll/attend as a non-matriculated student?

AThe program does not offer any of our courses on a non-matriculated, audit, exchange program or CUNY-BA basis. In order to take our courses, you will need to apply, and enroll in our full-time, matriculated film program.


QHow long does it take to complete the Media Arts Production Program?

AThis program is full-time, 4-semesters (two years), 51 credits.


QDo I need to take entrance exams?

AStandardized entrance exams, such as GRE’s are not required. However, foreign students must take the TOEFL test and achieve a standard minimum paper score of 575 (or 233 computerized, or 91 IBT).  We also accept the IELTS test with scores of 7 or higher.


QWhat are the academic requirements for entrance?

AApplicants must have a Bachelor’s degree with a minimum 3.0 GPA in the major. International applicants MUST have an equivalency of a U.S. 4-year BA or BFA degree (this is determined by the UAPC).


QHow much is the tuition for this program?

AIn-state tuition is $5,065 per semester (up to 15 credits).  Out-of-state and International student tuition is $780 per credit hour.


QAm I considered a New York State resident?

AYou must be a U.S. citizen, permanent resident or in a qualifying non-immigrant status to qualify for the New York State resident tuition.  For more information on NYS residency, please contact the admissions office directly at: 212-650-6448 or via email at: or download the checklist via:


QAre there any other fees?

AYou can anticipate at least $500 per year in materials fees, in addition to books and/or living expenses.  MFA students are also responsible for expenses related to film stock and transfers related to their thesis films, if they prefer to shoot film.


QAre there any scholarships or graduate assistantships?

AWe do not offer any assistantships or paid teaching assistant positions. However, the department awards several departmental scholarships based on merit/performance in the program – most of which are awarded to students in their second year of study. There are also awards of cash and services given to winning films at The Annual Cityvisions Film Festival.  Students also have an opportunity in their final (Spring) semester of study in the program, to work as a TA in Film/Video classes that require assistants, in conjunction with Graduate Independent Study.


QWhat about Financial Aid?

AStudents are also strongly encouraged to file a FAFSA application for federal and state financial aid, via:  which can also determine their eligibility for Federal Work Study (paid student hourly positions) within our department (placement varies per semester and based on the needs of department faculty).


QDoes the program subsidize thesis projects or offer production insurance?

ANot directly.  We do, however, create an environment that is conducive to keeping costs to an absolute minimum.  We also offer production insurance (certificates of liability) exclusively for 2nd year MFA thesis projects only.


QAre there internships or Independent Study opportunities?

AYes, although most are “unpaid” internships.  The program offers academic credit (1-3 credits) for internships and Independent Study projects (TA positions) assigned within the program, and at times may place students with outside agencies.


QIf I am accepted but cannot attend in the fall, can I defer my attendance to the next fall?

AUnfortunately, no–you must re-apply for the following year. This means that you must re-submit new applications (and fees), portfolio reels, and any other supporting documents and be re-evaluated amongst a new pool of applicants.


QIs there campus housing/dorms?

AYes, for more information on campus housing at The City College of NY, visit: For assistance with “off campus” student housing, please contact the Student Services Office at: 212-650-5370 to request a student housing assistance application, and also make an appointment with Mr. Carmelo Rodriquez, who will meet with you and refer you to vacancies nearby. For more information on off-campus housing, you can also visit: 


QWho do I contact with International Student inquiries?

AFor information on I-20, financial certificate and/or transfer release forms, please contact please contact the admissions office directly at: 212-650-6448 or via email at:  For ALL other International Student inquiries such as immigration, employment, medical insurance, social security numbers, housing) please contact the International Students & Scholar Services at: (212) 650-8106 or via email at: or visit their website via:


QWhat are the academic standards/requirements to stay matriculated in the program?

AAs a graduate program, we institute very high standards. Students must maintain a cumulative “B” (3.0) grade point average. If the GPA drops below 3.0, the student is automatically placed on probation for the next semester. If the cumulative GPA does not rise above 3.0 by the end of the next semester, the student will be dismissed from the program.

Questions? Please contact:

April Gatling-Joffee
Assistant Director of MFA Film Program
The City College of New York
Department of Media & Communication Arts
160 Convent Avenue (@ 138th Street)
Shepard Hall – Room 286
New York, NY 10031
v. 212-650-7235
f.  212-650-5734

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