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UCLA Graduate Programs

George Takei, UCLA '60, M.A. '64, holds up the the Vulcan salute

Graduate Program: Film & Television

UCLA's Graduate Program in Film & Television offers the following degree(s):

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

With questions not answered here or on the program’s site (above), please contact the program directly.

Film & Television Graduate Program at UCLA 103E East Melnitz Box 951622 Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622

Visit the Film, Television, & Digital Media Department’s faculty roster


Visit the registrar's site for the Film, Television, & Digital Media Department’s course descriptions

  • Admission Requirements
  • Program Statistics

(310) 206-8441

[email protected]


General Catalog

Film and television ma, cphil, phd.

Music Composition

Master of arts / phd.

phd film ucla

Write Your Future

The school of music’s highly competitive graduate-level composition program welcomes students who demonstrate extraordinary intellectual curiosity and whose primary goal is to communicate with others on a profoundly human level. Above all, our faculty of renowned composers seek students whose personal voice is clearly discernible.

Students in the M.A. and Ph.D programs can specialize in Composition or in Composition for Visual Media. The cross-pollination between the specializations distinguishes the program. All students are expected to acquire and master advanced skills, which involves continued intensive study of music theory, counterpoint, orchestration, analysis, technology, performance, the traditional Western canon and its history, in tandem with the study of popular, jazz, rock, folk, and non-Western traditions.

Both the M.A. and Ph.D programs emphasize the collaborative relationship between composers and performers in such a way that a simulated professional experience is achieved. Composition students have the opportunity to take film music courses and world music for film. Film music composers have the opportunity to broaden their horizons by being part of a true composition program, and this gives composers stylistic depth and breadth.

By the end of the M.A., students will be thoroughly prepared to enter the professional arena, graduating with the tools they need to compose music for multiple purposes, be it for a concert piece, a film, or an opera. The Ph.D. program is designed in a two-fold manner: graduate composers are trained to become both practicing artists in their field and to become mentors for the next generations of artist-scholars.

Featured Alumni

Jake Heggie ’84, M.A. ’05

B.a. composition ’84, m.a. composition ’05.

Jake Heggie  is an American composer of opera, vocal, orchestral and chamber music. He is best known for his operas and art songs, as well as for his collaborations with internationally-renowned performers and writers. Hailed by the Associated Press as “one of the pre-eminent contemporary opera composers,” Heggie is most known for his contributions to the American operatic repertoire, which includes “Dead Man Walking,” “Moby-Dick,” “It’s a Wonderful Life,” and “Three Decembers,” among others. His work has been produced on five continents at some of the world’s greatest opera houses and concert halls. In September 2021, “Dead Man Walking” received its 71st production at the Norwegian National Opera & Ballet in Oslo, Norway, making it the most widely performed American opera of the 21st century.

Read more to learn about his experiences at UCLA, the silver linings of challenges throughout his career and advice for young musical artists.

Related News

Upcoming events, explore other degrees.

phd film ucla

Cultivating the Next Generation of Storytellers

We give students the knowledge and skills to become tomorrow’s artists, leaders and scholars. 

At the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television we are committed to being a world-renowned interdisciplinary professional hub, dedicated to cultivating exceptional humanistic storytellers, trailblazing industry leaders, and insightful scholars. Rooted in our rich heritage as a top-tier entertainment and performing arts institution, we champion diverse and innovative voices that have the power to enlighten, captivate, and usher in transformative change for a brighter future. By seamlessly blending the study and creation of live performance, film, television, and the digital arts through our groundbreaking curriculum, we offer not just education, but experiences. We take pride in our doctoral pursuits in theater, performance studies, cinema, and media studies. Our mission is to inspire, engage, and challenge the next generation of entertainment and academic leaders to create a more inspired and inclusive world.

The Latest at TFT

phd film ucla

TFT student participates in UCLA’s workshop in Oaxaca

phd film ucla

2023 Emmy Nominations

phd film ucla

2 students honored as UCLA’s inaugural Class Artists

Explore our programs, film, television & digital media.

The Department of Film, Television and Digital Media provides professional and scholarly approaches to the study of media and helps students discover their powers as independent artists and communicators.

Undergraduate Programs

  • Film, Television & Digital Media (BA)
  • Film, Television & Digital Media (Minor)

Graduate Programs

  • Animation (MFA)
  • Cinema & Media Studies (MA)
  • Cinema & Media Studies (PhD)
  • Cinematography (MFA)
  • Producers Program (MFA)
  • Production/Directing – Documentary (MFA)
  • Production/Directing (MFA)
  • Screenwriting (MFA)

phd film ucla

Our students become well-rounded artists and researchers by immersing themselves in their chosen areas as well as exploring the other creative disciplines that are available.

  • Theater (BA)
  • Theater (Minor)
  • Acting (MFA)
  • Design for Theater & Entertainment (MFA)
  • Directing (MFA)
  • Playwriting (MFA)
  • Theater & Performance Studies (PhD)

phd film ucla

Theater Season – Upcoming Performances

phd film ucla

Bruin Fringe Fest

A festival of short student-generated pieces directed by and featuring undergraduate students from UCLA Department of Theater. This workshop setting is modeled after fringe festivals around the world that celebrate new and innovative art.


Macgowan 1330

phd film ucla

The Time of Your Life

In 1939 this play was a meditation on class and race according to the legible markers of that time period. Doing this play in 2023 would require a careful examination of what those markers are at this time. Seeking an ensemble of actors with heightened language skills who are interested in exploring identity issues of America utilizing the language and setting of 1939 through the lens of today.

November 16 – 21, 2023

Little Theater

phd film ucla

More details coming soon.

We Appreciate Your Support

As a leading public university, our student, faculty and program successes are made possible by private philanthropic support. Making a tax-deductible gift helps achieve many goals.


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