Watch a brief video featuring students, alumni and faculty from the MFA in Independent Film and Digital Imaging

 Where Filmmakers and Photographers Come to Grow

The arts of digital filmmaking and digital photography blend to create a unique Master of Fine Arts program at Governors State University - The MFA in Independent Film and Digital Imaging. The program facilitates the development of your internal voice as a photographer or filmmaker, helping you grow creatively, pursue your highest ideals, and reach your academic and artistic goals. Our students have gone on to screen in numerous international film festivals and graduated out of our program into tenure-track positions in national universities. Our most recent faculty-student film production won best picture awards at three international film festivals, strong reviews, and was named among the Top Ten Films of 2016 by a critic for The New York Times

As part of the MFA program, you learn and create through field-related internships. The in-depth thesis/project offers you the opportunity to combine all you have learned with your own creativity and style in the making of a festival-worthy film or an exhibition of photography. Graduates of the program will go on to careers in filmmaking, graphic design, photography, 2D and 3D animation, motion graphics, web design, higher education, consulting, producing, media writing, training and TV production and direction.

Creative Preparation

Coursework leads to specialized knowledge, creative development and advanced technical skills in photography and film production. You plan your specific degree path with you advisor, adapting the selective sequence to your individual needs and interests. 

Watch what our alumni say about their experience in The MFA in Independent Film and Digital Imaging:

Seth McClellan, award-winning Filmmaker and tenured faculty at Triton College 

Keisha Dyson, Associate Vice President, Marketing & Communications at Governors State University

Mercedes Kane, Creative Director at Kindle Communications and award-winning Documentary Filmmaker

Dirk Fletcher, award-winning Photographer and Professional Market Representative for Canon USA 

Program Fact Sheet 

Applying for Admission: 

Start by creating a profile with GSU and applying for admission at the Masters level here.

Special Requirements  

In addition to meeting Admissions office requirements, applicants must submit the following to the program coordinator (dnearing@govst.edu):

a digital portfolio: for students in digital imaging, a website with stills and for students in digital filmmaking, a sample of a prior production on vimeo, youtube, or personal website, or sample screenplay by email

three emailed letters of reference from individuals who can speak to the applicant's strengths as a potential student

an emailed personal essay or statement of intent with respect to goals for the degree and artistic philosophy. Note: Applicants may, at the discretion of the M.F.A. admissions committee, also be requested to participate in personal interview.

a current resume

 

 

 

Required Preparation

Special Admission Requirements  

Applications for admission are accepted on a rolling basis. Students may apply at anytime and expect a program review and decision within two weeks. Applications for admission are available from the GSU Office of Admission and Student Recruitment. Due to limited space availability, this program can only accept 15 students on each track at any give time. Some applicants will be admitted on a conditional basis. 

Step One: in addition to meeting university admission criteria, applicants must submit evidence of the following to the Office of Admissions:

  • an undergraduate major in Film, Media, Multimedia, Communications, English, or related areas
  • appropriate prerequisite coursework with a minimum prerequisite GPA of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale. 

        Step Two: Applicants must submit the following by email to the IFDI Program Coordinator:

        • a digital portfolio: for students in digital filmmaking, a sample of a prior production on vimeo, youtube, or a personal website, or sample screenplay by email; for students in photography / digital imaging, a website including a range of stills 
        • three (emailed) letters of reference from individuals who can speak to the applicant's strengths as a potential student
        • an emailed Statement of Intent / Artist's Statement with respect to your goals in taking the MFA and your artistic philosophy. 
        •  Please also email a completed the Supplementary Information Form.

        Please see the Independent Film and Digital Imaging Application Process and Study Plan for additional details.

        The program will also consider hard copy applications submitted to the IFDI Program Coordinator.

        Note: Applicants may, at the discretion of the M.F.A. admissions committee, also be requested to participate in a personal interview.

        Degree and Graduation Requirements

        Degree and Graduation Requirements

        Please see the Independent Film and Digital Imaging Application Process and Study Plan for additional details.

        Please meet with your faculty advisor during the first semester to complete your study plan.

        Faculty

         Master of Fine Arts in Independent Film and Digital Imaging Faculty


        Daniel Nearing

        Professor, Independent Film and Digital Imaging

        Filmmaker in Residence, The City of Chicago

        Academic Program Coordinator

        708.534.4085
        dnearing@govst.edu

         

        Beth Parin
        Associate Professor, Independent Film and Digital Imaging
        708.534.4019
        bparin@govst.edu

         

        Sanghoon Lee
        Associate Professor, Independent Film and Digital Imaging
        708.534.4118
        slee@govst.edu

        Faculty and Advisor Information

        Daniel Nearing

        Professor, Independent Film and Digital Imaging

        Academic Program Coordinator

        708.534.4085
        dnearing@govst.edu

        Beth Parin
        Associate Professor, Independent Film and Digital Imaging
        708.534.4019
        bparin@govst.edu

        Sanghoon Lee
        Associate Professor, Independent Film and Digital Imaging
        708.534.4118
        slee@govst.edu

        Student Handbook and Study Plan

        Current and prospective students are encouraged to review the Independent Film and Digital Imaging Application Process and Study Plan and the Independent Film and Digital Imaging Student Handbook for important program information.