COVID-19 update: This course will start online and continue on campus later. Read more

What will I learn?

The Department of Film Studies offers an immersive three-year program in narrative, documentary, and experimental filmmaking, leading to a Master of Fine Arts degree in filmmaking. The comprehensive curriculum includes multi-modal workshop-style courses in cinematography, screenwriting, editing, sound design, producing, directing, interactive media, and animation, as well as courses in cinema history, analysis, and aesthetics. The M.F.A. in Filmmaking is a terminal degree that prepares students to be complete filmmakers, equipped to use moving images in a wide variety of artistic, expressive and commercial applications. Each student develops technical expertise and a creative voice by directing three short films, collaborating on projects directed by his or her peers, and completing dedicated filmmaking projects in classes. Each student gains additional practical experience through an internship or other applied-learning project devoted to a select aspect of motion picture production, exhibition, education, or distribution.

Degree Requirements (61 total credit hours)

The program consists of 61 hours, distributed as follows. No course may satisfy more than one requirement or elective within the degree program.

Required Courses (49 credit hours)

FST 500 - Introduction to Film Study and Production Credit Hours: 6
FST 510 - Screenwriting Credit Hours: 3
FST 529 - Entrepreneurs in the Industry Credit Hours: 1
FST 531 - Editing Credit Hours: 3
FST 535 - Cinematography Credit Hours: 3
FST 536 - Sound Recording and Design Credit Hours: 3
FST 537 - Producing Credit Hours: 3
FST 551 - Directing the Narrative Film Credit Hours: 3
FST 552 - Directing the Documentary Credit Hours: 3
FST 553 - Directing the Experimental Film Credit Hours: 3
FST 558 - Film Project 1 Credit Hours: 3
FST 559 - Film Project 2 Credit Hours: 3
FST 594 - Thesis Film Preproduction Credit Hours: 3
FST 598 - Applied Learning Credit Hours: 3
FST 599 - Thesis Credit Hours: 6

Elective courses (12 credit hours)

3 hours selected from:

FST 501 - Advanced Practicum in Cinematography Credit Hours: 3
FST 516 - Advanced Practicum in Film Production Credit Hours: 3
FST 517 - Directed Seminar in Production Credit Hours: 3
FST 518 - Screenwriting II: Writing the Feature Film Credit Hours: 3
FST 522 - Digital Visual Effects Credit Hours: 3
FST 591 - Directed Independent Study Credit Hours: 1-3

6 hours selected from:

FST 505 - World Cinema Credit Hours: 3
FST 540 - Film Theory Credit Hours: 3
FST 569 - Seminar in Film Studies Credit Hours: 3
FST 570 - Historiography Credit Hours: 3
FST 579 - Studies in Film History Credit Hours: 3
FST 589 - Studies in Global Cinema Credit Hours: 3

Which department am I in?

College of Arts and Sciences

Study options

Full Time (3 years)

Tuition fees
US$18,548.00 per year
Application deadline

Expected February 2022

Start date

Expected August 2022


University of North Carolina Wilmington

601 South College Road,


North Carolina,

28403, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

To be eligible for admission for graduate study at the University of North Carolina Wilmington applicants must: Regionally Accredited Bachelor's Degree: Hold a bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited college or university in this country or its equivalent.

For international students

A minimum GPA of 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) must be maintained in all graduate course work; a “B” average is required for graduation.

Minimum Score Requirement: TOEFL - 79; IELTS (GENERAL) - 6.5 for acceptance, 7.0 for TA consideration.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.