FAQs: Film & Media Art (MFA) Applications

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As the priority deadline for Fall 2018 applications approaches, we’re sharing tips and tricks to help you finish up your Film and Media Art application successfully.

The Application Process

What is the application deadline?

For Fall 2018, the priority deadline is February 1.

If you miss this deadline, that’s okay! We will accept applications on a rolling basis until February 15th.

What materials will I need to apply?

All Emerson applications require a few basic materials:

  • Transcripts from all past degree(s)
    • Unofficial transcripts may be uploaded directly for application review.
    • Official, signed transcripts must be mailed by your undergraduate institution prior to enrollment if you are admitted to the program.
      • Transcripts should be mailed to: Emerson College Graduate Admission Processing Center, PO Box 870, Randolph, MA 02368-0870
      • We also accept official transcripts electronically. Please have your institution send your transcript to gradadmission@emerson.edu.
    • We do not need to see transcripts from schools where you completed fewer than 8 credits.
    • International Students
      • You may upload a copy version of your transcript during the application review process.
      • If you are admitted to the program and decide to enroll, we will require a transcript evaluation from any non-U.S. institution where you completed 8 or more credits. Please review “International Students” tab on the Apply page for more details.
  • Letters of Recommendation
    • We require three letters of recommendation from persons best able to assess your academic and artistic qualifications, including motivations and goals.
    • We prefer submission directly through the application.
    • Recommendations must be uploaded by the recommender; electronic submissions coming directly from the applicant will not be accepted.
    • If your recommender is having trouble using the upload tool, please have that person email the letter to gradadmission@emerson.edu indicating that it should be added to your application.
    • You may submit your application BEFORE all letters of recommendation have been received.
  • Essays
    • There are two essays required for all applicants.
    • Prompt can be viewed on the Graduate Admission page.
      • Use the essays as an opportunity to introduce yourself to the faculty and give them a sense of who you are as an artist. For the essay in which you critique your portfolio submission, you can write in either the first or third person. Be confident in your work! Highlight its strengths while acknowledging areas for growth.
    • Essay should be a maximum of 2 pages, double spaced.
    • If you are applying for Advanced Standing, there is a third essay in which you will detail your previous educational and professional experience working with film and/or media and why you feel qualified to enter the program at Phase 2 or 3.
      • This essay can be about 1 page, double spaced.
  • Professional Resume
      • Detail your professional and educational history. Feel free to include a section or separate page detailing your work as a media artist, whether it be professional or recreational.
  • Creative Portfolio
    • You will upload your creative portfolio AFTER you have submitted your application.
      • After you’ve uploaded all your materials, please fill out the “Confirmation of Digital Portfolio” form on your student status page.
    • Guidelines for portfolio submissions can be viewed on the Creative Portfolio page.
      • You do not need to submit all types of media from the list of suggestions; these are simply options.
      • It is advisable to submit some form of film or media, though it does not have to be professionally produced.
      • Include credits for each piece submitted, so the review committee knows your role in the production of each piece.
      • Please adhere to the maximum time and page number instructions.
      • Use the portfolio as a way to exemplify your creative voice and artistic vision.
      • Please no trailers or reels.
  • Test Scores
    • Applicants for the MFA in Film and Media are not required to submit GRE scores; however, you may submit scores if you feel they will help your application.
    • Applicants whose native language is not English must provide evidence of English proficiency by submitting official TOEFL, IELTS, Duolingo, or Pearson test results. More details can be found on the “International Applicants” tab of the apply page.  
      • All scores must be received by the application deadline(s) in order for your application to be reviewed.


Where should I upload my materials?

You will complete the application entirely online through our Application Portal. Create an account and then follow the prompts to upload your materials.

You may save and return to your application at any time; just return to the portal and log in as a returning user.


What happens after I apply?

Your program liaison, Haley, is responsible for seeing the application through the entire admissions review process. She’s also the best person to contact if you have any questions.

After you press “submit,” your application goes through a rigorous, holistic review. We’ll use everything you have submitted to make an admissions decision.

Once a decision is made and confirmed, you will receive a letter in your admission portal letting you know if you have been accepted, waitlisted, or denied. If you have been awarded scholarship money, you’ll receive a separate letter at the same time.


How long will I have to wait?

We will aim to issue the first round of decisions in early March.


What if I make a mistake on my application?

If you haven’t yet submitted the application, you can correct any errors yourself through the portal.

If you’ve already submitted, contact Haley or gradadmission@emerson.edu, and we’ll see what we can do to rectify the error.

Fees and Funding

How much does the program cost?

Emerson bills all tuition per credit. The current cost per credit is $1,251. Film and Media Art is a 64-credit program, so the total cost is $80,064.

Note that if you are admitted into Phase 2 or 3, your credit requirements will be reduced.


Is tuition the same for in-state, out-of-state, and international students?

Yes! Emerson is a private college, so tuition is the same for everyone.


What about financial aid and scholarships?

You should complete and submit a FAFSA form when you make your application, just like you did for your undergraduate degree. Emerson’s school code is 002146. See our website for more information.

When you apply, you will be automatically considered for merit-based scholarships. However, please note that applications submitted before or on February 1 will receive priority scholarship consideration.


Are international students eligible for scholarships?



Other Questions

Can I study part time?

The Film and Media Art MFA program is a full-time program. Part-time study is not generally advised. However, you may discuss any concerns with the program director.

International students on an F-1 visa must maintain full time status in the program as a condition of their visas.


Can graduate students live on campus?

Emerson does not have on-campus housing for graduate students. However, you can take advantage of our excellent Office of Off-Campus Student Services. Upon acceptance to the program, you will be invited to an accepted students Facebook group where you can explore housing options and potentially find a roommate!


What if I have more questions?

There’s lots more information available on the Graduate Admission website and on the Film and Media Art program page.

You can also reach out to us at gradadmission@emerson.edu or 617-824-8610 at any time! We’re here to help.



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