The two-year MFA program focuses on each student's personal development within the context of media arts. Each student works toward an individual thesis project that incorporates research and theoretical exploration of a topic of their choice, with the goal of producing a refined body of work that culminates in an MFA exhibition. DMA graduate students come from many fields including the visual arts, sciences, and engineering. In the first year of the program, students take skills and theory courses that expose them to new ways of thinking and making, which they use to build on their existing expertise. The second year is devoted to thesis definition, exploration, and production, through a series of studio and seminar courses. Students have the opportunity to work as teaching assistants and to collaborate with faculty members on research projects.
MFA Course Overview
A minimum of 80 quarter units of upper division and graduate DMA courses is required. 68 of the 80 units require letter grades; 12 units require S/U grades. Required courses: DMA 200, 252A, and 252B must be taken during the first two quarters in residence; DMA 269 must be taken twice (8 units total), once each year while in residence; 12 units of DMA 403 (S/U grading) and 36 units of DMA 404 are to be taken during the first two years in residence; and 16 units of electives, of which 8 units of DMA 596 may be applied toward the requirements for the degree.
The MFA class schedule is listed in the right column. Students must take one Graduate Critique and two Graduate Tutorials during every quarter in residence. These courses are designed to guide students through their individual thesis projects. In the first year, students also take DMA 252A and 252B.
16 units of electives are required. Students are encouraged to select elective courses from outside the department.
For a complete list of DMA and other UCLA courses and course descriptions, consult the UCLA General Catalog.
Upon an applicant's acceptance, the faculty will form an initial advisory committee for each student. This committee is composed of two DMA faculty members. It is the committee's responsibility to monitor the student's progress and provide guidance until the student is considered ready to select a Graduate Thesis Committee, which must be established no later than the fourth quarter of full-time residency.
The Graduate Thesis Committee, led by the student's primary advisor, is responsible for reviewing the student's progress toward a thesis project and documentation. This committee is comprised of three faculty members and one outside member.
The comprehensive MFA examination consists of an oral examination and a concentrated body of work that will be presented in a master of fine arts exhibition. An accompanying record of the exhibition, including documentation appropriate to the media, for example, images of physical work, research material, other visual material, a written statement, and other materials as determined by the student’s Graduate Thesis Committee, is also required.
For a complete outline of degree requirements, see "Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees," accessible on the Graduate Division web site at Program Requirements for UCLA Graduate Degrees.