Last updated Jan 6, 2024
As a part of our series on How to Fully Fund Your Master’s Degree, here is a list of universities that offer fully funded MFA Programs in Film. A master’s degree in Film studies can lead to a variety of careers, including working as an independent artist, within an organization, on faculty in academia, and more.
Fully-funded M.F.A. programs in Film can be difficult to find. Because most universities focus their funding on Ph.D. students, M.F.A. candidates can have a harder time securing scholarships and funding. However, there are some universities that do offer funded master’s programs. “Full funding” is a financial aid package for full-time students that includes full tuition remission and an annual stipend or salary for the duration of the student’s master’s studies. Funding is typically offered in exchange for graduate teaching and research work that is complementary to your studies. Not all universities provide full funding to their master’s students, which is why I recommend researching the financial aid offerings of all the potential MFA programs in your academic field, including small and lesser-known schools both in the U.S. and abroad.
You can also find several external fellowships in the ProFellow database for graduate and doctoral study, as well as dissertation research, fieldwork, language study, and summer work experience.
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Concordia University, based in Canada offers a fully funded MFA in Film Production. The MFA in Studio Arts, Film Production concentration, provides a laboratory setting where you can explore ways to advance your particular approach to filmmaking through critical inquiry, experimentation, intellectual exchange & innovation. Upon entry into the MFA Program, students are automatically considered for some merit-based bursaries, awards, and fellowships. Each admitted MFA student is automatically guaranteed a Teaching Assistantship in their first and second year of study. Students may have the opportunity to work as paid Research Assistants for some of the leading artist-researchers.
Ohio University, based in Athens, OH offers a fully funded MFA in Film. The MFA Film program is a professional three-year program of study for talented individuals seeking advanced training in directing, screenwriting, producing, cinematography, editing, and motion picture sound with a solid background in film history, theory, and criticism. The vast majority of graduate students in the School of Film receive some level of funding. Funding comes in two forms – tuition waivers and graduate stipends. In return for funding, students are asked to complete a service assignment in the school.
Ohio State University, based in Columbus, OH offers an interdisciplinary three-year fully funded MFA in Visual Arts. The MFA degree in Art with facilities and faculty in Art and Technology, Ceramics, Film/Video, Glass, Painting and Drawing, Photography, Printmaking, and Sculpture. Graduate and professional students at Ohio State have a variety of funding options available to them, including associateships and other employment, fellowships, loans, and scholarships.
Stanford University, based in Stanford, California offers a fully funded MFA in Documentary Film and Video. The MFA degree is designed to prepare students for professional careers in film, video, and digital media. In addition to the core production courses, students take a range of film studies, documentary film history, art history, and art practice courses, helping them situate their documentary film practice within a context of critical engagement with the world. Documentary Film graduate students receive a generous amount of fellowship support.
The University of Utah, based in Salt Lake City, UT offers a fully funded MFA in Film and Media Arts. The MFA in Film and Media Arts is a 3-year program designed to develop filmmakers who want to push the boundaries of conventional fictional and documentary storytelling. Starting with a comprehensive foundation in the production, criticism, and history of film and media arts. Teaching assistants receive a 75% tuition waiver through the Graduate School Tuition Benefit Program, in addition to a stipend. Graduate students may also apply for a range of scholarships and fellowships.
University of Iowa, based in Iowa City, Iowa offers a fully funded MFA in Film and Video Production over three years. The program seeks to help students develop an artistic vision informed by theoretical knowledge; hone their technical skills in image design, sound, editing, and more; accumulate a strong portfolio; and acquire essential professional skills (grants, film festivals, etc.) given further employment either in academia or in professional settings. Most graduate students in Cinematic Arts receive funding for the normative time for each degree. Most funding occurs through TAships.
York University, based in Canada offers a fully funded MFA in Film. A program that offers specialized instruction in fiction, documentary, alternative cinema, and screenwriting. The department can place every MFA student in a Teaching Assistantship position. For students with no Employment component in their funding package, Healthcare coverage will be provided via YUGSA. A Healthcare bursary of $1,000/academic year is provided.
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