Cinema (MFA)

Program Overview

This program was approved to start in the fall 2023 semester. The application for this program will open after the add/drop deadline for the fall 2022 semester.

Binghamton University’s Cinema Department’s Masters of Fine Arts program in Cinema encourages future filmmakers to explore the formal, historical and cultural meanings of cinema and its components, processes and tools, as a means to develop creative strategies for self-expression.

Students have access to a wide range of photochemical and digital resources to create innovative cinematic works, including experimental film, video art, non-fiction, animation, audio-visual performance, and installation. The integration of production and film studies in our MFA program enables our students to articulate their ideas and processes more effectively and understand their practices more deeply.

Through events such as the Visiting Film/Video Artists’ and Scholars’ Speakers Series, students have opportunities to meet contemporary practitioners and scholars in the cinematic art. Graduate students are also welcome to participate in workshops and other events through Binghamton’s Material and Visual Worlds Transdisciplinary Area of Excellence, which supports innovative research, scholarship and creative practice across the disciplines. Additionally, they have the chance to teach an undergraduate course during the summer and winter sessions, and to connect with peers through the Graduate Student Working Group.

Prospective students are encouraged to apply by Feb. 15 to be considered for scholarships, assistantships and fellowships. Please contact the Director of Graduate Program in Cinema for more information.

Degrees Offered

  • MFA in Cinema

Internships, research opportunities and more

The Cinema Department has been hosting the Student Experimental Film Festival (SEFF) in Binghamton since 2010, which features experimental films and videos produced by students enrolled in higher education in the United States. MFA students are encouraged to participate in organizing the festival.

The Department also organizes a university-wide Visiting Film/Video Artists and Scholars Speakers Series, which MFA students will help curate. MFA students have access to all of Binghamton's career planning resources, including the Fleishman Center for Career and Professional Development. Services offered include internship placement, assistance with job searches and a robust array of other tools.

Admissions Requirements

To be eligible for graduate study, you must:

  • Provide a complete set of your undergraduate (and, if applicable, graduate) transcripts showing one of the following:
    • You have earned a bachelor's degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are within one academic year of earning a bachelor’s degree (or its equivalent) from a nationally or regionally accredited college or university
    • You are eligible to apply as part of a memorandum of understanding between your current institution and Binghamton University
  • Have earned, at minimum, one of the following:
    • A 3.0 GPA over your entire undergraduate career
    • A 3.0 GPA during your last 60 semester credits or 90 quarter credits of your undergraduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • A 3.0 GPA in a graduate degree, with most courses graded regularly (not as "pass/fail")
    • In consideration of the different grading scales used around the world, each academic department evaluates international transcripts to determine on a case-by-case basis whether they demonstrate one of the above requirements.

To apply, you must submit the following materials. For general guidelines for these materials, see the Admission Requirements website.

  • Online graduate degree application with graduate degree application fee
  • Transcripts from each college or university that you have attended
    • Undergraduate major in theatre is not required. Students without sufficient background in cinema production are required to satisfactorily complete certain undergraduate courses beyond those required for the graduate degree.
  • Personal statement of 2 to 3 pages describing your reasons for pursuing graduate study, your career aspirations, your special interests within your field, your prospective concentration, and any unusual features of your background that might need explanation or be of interest to the graduate admissions committee
  • Résumé or curriculum vitae
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • GRE scores not required
  • Sample creative works, which are uploaded to the Portfolio section of the online application.
    • A portfolio should include the applicant’s best work, preferably recent project(s). Applicants should provide links to all time-based samples, including film/video, sound, and performance projects, and the total length of the projects should not exceed 30 minutes. We prefer to receive complete projects rather than excerpts. However, if an applicant is submitting a longer film/video, we will accept an excerpt. In this case, we also ask the applicant to provide a link to the complete project. Applicants may submit images and work from other mediums as files, including drawings, installations, paintings, and photographs, and a number of such samples should not exceed 15. An applicant will also provide a brief description of each project in the portfolio.

International students must also submit the following materials. For more information about these materials, see the International Students section of the Admission Requirements website.

  • International Student Financial Statement (ISFS) form
  • Supporting financial documentation (such as bank statements, scholarship or sponsor letters, etc.)
  • Proof of English proficiency (such as official TOEFL/IELTS/PTE Academic/Duolingo* scores)
    • *In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic, the Graduate School at Binghamton University has temporarily approved the use of the Duolingo English Test as proof of English proficiency through the 2022 application cycle.

This information is subject to change. While we make every effort to update these program pages, we recommend that you contact the department with questions about program-specific requirements.

Deadlines

Degree Fall Spring
CinemaRolling (February 15 Funding)

For more information, visit the Cinema website.