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UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

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Type  Public university
Dean  Teri Schwartz
Campus type  Urban
Number of students  315
Established  1947
Faculty  140
Phone  +1 310-825-5761
Enrollment  315 graduate, 328 undergraduate
Address  225 Charles E Young Dr E, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA
Founder  Regents of the University of California
Parent organization  University of California, Los Angeles
Similar  University of California, UCLA Registrar, Geffen Playhouse Theater, UCLA Departme of Art, UCLA Extension

Ucla school of theater film and television top 6 facts

The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television (UCLA TFT), is one of the 11 schools within the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) located in Los Angeles, California. Its creation was groundbreaking in that it was the first time a leading university had combined all three (theater, film and television) of these aspects into a single administration. The undergraduate program is often ranked among the world's top drama departments. The graduate programs are usually ranking within the top three nationally, according to the U.S. News & World Report. Among the school's resources are the Geffen Playhouse and the UCLA Film & Television Archive, the world's largest university-based archive of its kind, celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2015. The Archive constitutes one of the largest collections of media materials in the United States — second only to the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Its vaults hold more than 220,000 motion picture and television titles and 27 million feet of newsreel footage.


The School's enrollment, in 2014, consisted of 631 students. For Fall 2014, the School received 4,442 applications and offered admission to 346 applicants (7.8%).

With 140 faculty members teaching 335 undergrads and 296 graduate students, the teacher to student ratio is about 1:5.

Ucla school of theater film and television


The roots of the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television go back to 1947 when the Theater Arts Department was created at UCLA and chaired by German theater director William Melnitz. When the department became the UCLA College of Fine Arts in 1961, Melnitz was named the founding dean, and drama critic and film producer Kenneth Macgowan became the chair of the Department of Theater Arts. The College of Fine Arts grew in standing and within seven years, its two departments had moved into their own facilities: Macgowan Hall became home to Theater in 1963, and the Department of Motion Pictures, Television and Radio moved into Melnitz Hall in 1967.

Twenty years later, in 1987, The College of Fine Arts was disbanded. The School of Theater, Film and Television was created in 1990, and Gilbert Cates, a renowned film, television and Broadway director, became its founding dean. Curriculum was expanded, new faculty was hired, and entertainment industry connections were strengthened.

In 1999, Robert Rosen became UCLA TFT’s second dean. A distinguished professor and film historian, Rosen had earlier spearheaded the expansion of the UCLA Film & Television Archive into one of the largest collections of moving image material. As dean, Rosen expanded the School’s international influence with strong alliances, particularly in China.

UCLA alumna Teri Schwartz became dean of UCLA TFT in 2009. A former award-winning feature film producer, she was previously the founding dean of the School of Film and Television at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. Schwartz’s vision for UCLA TFT included spearheading a long-range plan for the 21st century that re-imagines entertainment and performing arts education “as an interdisciplinary enterprise grounded in humanistic storytelling, technology and innovation, global diversity and social responsibility.”

The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment

The Skoll Center for Social Impact Entertainment at UCLA TFT was created in partnership with Participant Media founder and CEO Jeffrey Skoll in 2014. Skoll donated $10 million for the center, the first of its kind dedicated solely to advancing entertainment and performing arts to inspire social change. The work of the Center is organized around three pillars: research, education and special initiatives, and public programming and exhibition.

Department of Theater

The different areas of studies in the Department of Theater consist of:

  • Acting
  • Critical Studies
  • Design
  • Directing
  • Musical Theater
  • Playwriting
  • Production Management / Technology
  • Undergraduate program

    The undergraduate program requires an interview/audition process for all applicants. The program teaches the general studies of theater broadly, before allowing the student to study their specified area of study.

    Graduate program

    Offering Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, the graduate program requires an audition for all acting applicants, and a possible interview for other candidates. Each applicant must apply for a specific area of study.

    Department of Film, Television and Digital Media

    The different areas of studies in the Department of Film, Television and Digital Media consist of:

  • Critical Studies: The history, theory and aesthetics of film and television
  • Film and television production (study and field): Digital, experimental and animation
  • Film and television writing, film directing, television directing, cinematography, sound recording and editing
  • Undergraduate program

    The undergraduate program in Film, Television and Digital Media gives students the opportunity to learn about the history and theory of film and television while also teaching practical, creative and technical skills. Students must concentrate on one of the following areas:

  • Film production (Directing)
  • Producing
  • Documentary
  • Screenwriting
  • Animation
  • Digital Media
  • Critical Studies
  • Cinematography
  • Students must all complete one internship during their senior year.

    Graduate program

    Offering Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees, the graduate program offers two main areas of study. A Master of Arts and a Doctor of Philosophy degree are available for critical studies. The Master of Fine Arts degree can be obtained with the choice of five specializations:

  • Production/Directing (four-year program)
  • Production/Cinematography (four-year program)
  • Screenwriting (two-year program)
  • Animation (three-year program)
  • Producers Program (two-year program)
  • The Producers Program focuses on the production and business side of Film, Television and Digital Media.

    Professional Programs

    The School also offers non-degree certificate programs modeled after the world-renowned MFA curriculum. The UCLA Professional Programs [1] in Screenwriting, Video Game Writing, Producing and Acting for the Camera are the only non-degree screenwriting and producing programs that have oversight by the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television, and the only viable alternatives to the UCLA MFA Screenwriting and Producing programs.

    In the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting (offered both on campus and online) [2], students focus on the theory and craft of professional screenwriting, without having to take the critical studies seminars and related electives that are required to obtain a degree. The goal of this graduate-level program, which takes place over one academic year, is for the student to start and complete two original feature-length screenplays.

    The UCLA Professional Program in Producing [3] is a 10-week program that provides an intensive overview of the contemporary film and television industries, and introduces students to the tools needed to navigate the studio and independent marketplace. The program consists of a series of lectures, discussions and appearances by entertainment industry guests.


    The School of Theater, Film and Television consists of a linked network of professional theaters, sound stages and television studios. From theatrical spaces outfitted with state-of-the-art intelligent lighting systems to animation studios equipped with the latest 3D computer graphics software, the School provides comprehensive and up-to-date facilities for instruction and production.

    The Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum

    Made possible by a $5 million gift from Audrey L. Wilder and designed by Michael Maltzan Architecture, the state-of-the-art, 295-seat Billy Wilder Theater is situated on the Courtyard level of the Hammer Museum in Westwood Village. Equipped with the highest standards of film and video projection and sound, the theater, which cost $7.5 million to complete, is one of the few in the country where audiences may watch the entire spectrum of moving images in their original formats — from the earliest silent films requiring variable speed projection to the most current digital cinema and video. The Billy Wilder Theater also provides an intimate and technically advanced showcase for events including artists’ lectures, literary readings, musical concerts and public conversations. It offers one of the most advanced, comfortable and intimate cultural venues on the West Coast, where the Museum and the Archive present their exciting programs.

    Geffen Playhouse

    The award-winning Geffen Playhouse is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2015. It was founded in 1995 by former UCLA TFT Dean Gilbert Cates. The theater is owned by UCLA and named after entertainment executive and philanthropist David Geffen, who gave a substantial initial gift for the restoration of the theater’s building, originally constructed in 1929. The Geffen receives more than 130,000 guests each year who come to see both classic and contemporary plays.

    Department of Film, Television and Digital Media

  • Janet Bergstrom — Professor
  • Barbara Boyle — Professor; Associate Dean, Entrepreneurship and Special Initiatives
  • John Caldwell — Professor
  • Thomas Denove — Professor; Area Head, Cinematography
  • Kristy Guevara-Flanagan — Assistant Professor
  • Erkki Huhtamo — Professor
  • Rory Kelly — Assistant Professor
  • Gina Kim — Assistant Professor
  • Arne Lunde — Associate Professor
  • Stephen Mamber — Professor; Vice Chair, Cinema and Media Studies
  • Purnima Mankekar — Professor
  • Denise Mann — Associate Professor; Area Head, Producers Program
  • William McDonald — Professor
  • Kathleen McHugh — Professor; Interim Chair, Department of Film, Television and Digital Media; Associate Dean, Diversity and Equity
  • Celia Mercer — Professor; Area Head, Animation
  • Chon Noriega — Professor; head of the UCLA Chicano Studies Research Center
  • Nancy Richardson — Professor and film editor
  • Ellen Scott — Assistant Professor
  • Chuck Sheetz — Professor and animation director for "The Simpsons"
  • Becky J. Smith — Professor
  • Jasmine Nadua Trice — Assistant Professor
  • Fabian Wagmister — Associate Professor; Vice Chair of Production
  • Richard Walter — Professor; Area Head, Screenwriting; Associate Dean, Student Affairs
  • Department of Theater

  • J. Ed Araiza — Professor; Area Head, MFA Acting Program
  • Sue-Ellen Case — Professor; Head of Theater and Performance Studies
  • Myung Hee Cho — Professor
  • Michelle Liu Carriger — Assistant Professor
  • Thomas O'Connor — Associate Professor; Vice Chair, Undergraduate Studies
  • Hanay Geiogamah — Professor
  • Michael Hackett — Professor
  • Neil Peter Jampolis — Professor
  • Chrisi Karvonides-Dushenko — Professor
  • Brian Kite — Chair, Department of Theater
  • Miwon Kwon — Professor
  • Sean Metzger — Associate Professor
  • Deborah Nadoolman Landis — Professor; Academy Award-nominated costume designer and chair of the David C. Copley Center for the Study of Costume Design at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
  • Joseph Olivieri — Associate Professor
  • Sylvan Oswald — Assistant Professor
  • Rich Rose — Professor
  • Marike Splint — Assistant Professor
  • Dominic Taylor — Professor
  • Jose Luis Valenzuela — Professor; Head of Directing
  • Edit Villarreal — Professor; Associate Dean, Academic Affairs
  • References

    UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television Wikipedia