Feb 25, 2024  
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog 
2017-2018 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Graduate Studies in Film and Creative Media

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Film and Creative Media

  • Master of Arts
  • Master of Fine Arts

Mike Fernandez, Dean, George Shinn College of Entertainment and the Arts
Steve Taylor, Director, School of Theatre and Cinnematic Arts
TBA, Director, Graduate Studies in Film and Creative Media and Fine Arts

Core Faculty

Larry Brown, Professor of Theatre
Dave DeBorde,  Associate Professor of Film
Mike Fernandez, Associate Professor
Ted Parks, Associate Professor of Spanish
Steve Taylor, Assistant Professor of Film
Stacia Watkins, Associate Professor of English; Director of General Education

In addition to Film and Creative Media core faculty, distinguished practitioners with expertise in the field will teach selected classes.


The mission of the graduate program in film and creative media is to educate the next generation of artists to be independent, entrepreneurial filmmakers who graduate ready to create uplifting content for the digital entertainment marketplace.

Both the M.A. and the M.F.A. are offered in a way that accommodates working professionals. Courses are offered online, in the evening and on Saturdays.

FCM is a total immersion program that is:

  1. Experiential - students create several media projects in an array of formats and genres.
  2. Entrepreneurial - students are expected to not only create media for the classroom, they are encouraged to reach out to artists and companies in Nashville to create content.
  3. Professional - students will gain experience through one of several production companies in the Nashville area.


Admission Policies and Procedures

Applicants to graduate programs must submit the following:

  1. Application Form. Each applicant must complete an application form. The application form is available at gradstudies.lipscomb.edu/, then click on Admissions, then “Apply Today.” The application can be completed online or downloaded in a PDF version.
  2. Application Fee. Each application should be accompanied by a $50 nonrefundable application fee. 
  3. Standardized exam score. Each applicant must submit scores from an appropriate exam. The program accepts scores from the Graduate Record Examination, or the Miller Analogies Test. Students who have already earned a master’s level degree or have been accepted into another Lipscomb graduate program may apply without submitting a standardized test score. For more information on the GRE, visit www.ets.org/ and click on GRE. Students who have already earned a master’s level degree may apply to the program without submitting a standardized test score.
  4. References. Two letters of reference are required: one academic reference and one character reference.
  5. Official Transcript(s). Each applicant must submit an official transcript, showing degree conferral when appropriate, from all schools attended.
  6. Health Form.* Each applicant must submit a completed health form signed by a health care provider. (To print a copy of the health form, visit www.lipscomb.edu/healthcenter/forms.)
  7. FERPA.* The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act affords students certain rights of access to educational records; even if you are independent of your parents, you must submit this form prior to enrollment.

* These forms must be submitted after acceptance into the program.

  1. Resume. A resume detailing the applicant’s work and academic experience is required.
  2. TOEFL. The Test of English as a Foreign Language is required for international students. (See section titled International Students  for more information.)
  3. Video Portfolio or Personal Essay. Each student must submit a video sample of their work. This can be in the form of a reel that shows a variety of film projects or it can be a single piece that best demonstrates your ability. If you do not have a video sample you should submit a personal essay that is no more than two pages describing why you want to enter the graduate film program.

    All application items should be submitted to the graduate studies in film and creative media office no later than 15 days before the beginning of the semester or term in which the student plans to enroll. Forms should be mailed to: Graduate Studies, Lipscomb University, One University Park Drive, Nashville TN 37204-3951.

Transfer of Courses

Although all graduate credit hours may be transferred from another accredited institution, a maximum of nine hours will be counted toward the M.A in film and creative media. The director or appropriate faculty member of the graduate program will evaluate the course(s) being proposed for transfer and make a determination of suitability. No course with a grade below a “B” will be considered for transfer. See “Special Consideration ” in front of catalog.


Students are required to provide satisfactory documentation of personal identification for off-site learning experiences required in many programs of graduate study at Lipscomb University. Failure to provide proper credentials will result in failure to complete the desired course of study. For complete policy, see section Required Documentation for Off-Site Learning Experiences  in the opening section of this catalog.

Student Classifications

Students are admitted to graduate courses in one of five categories:

  1. Graduate Student: one who has satisfied all admissions requirements. (Average of 3.0 on undergraduate work, acceptable standardized exam scores.) A student with an incomplete admission file will be accepted to the program at the discretion of the program director but will be placed on an academic hold which will prevent registration for the following semester. Once the proper admissions documents have been received, the hold will be removed and the student will be allowed to register for the following semester.
  2. Conditionally Admitted Student: one who has been admitted conditionally, at the discretion of the program director, without satisfying all admission requirements. Students admitted with the following criteria may be required to complete a minimum of nine hours of graduate work with a grade of “B” or above.
    1. From an unaccredited school or with a substandard GPA or Standardized Test score.
    2. A transfer student with a graduate GPA between 2.50 and 2.99. The transfer student must be in good standing at the previous institution attended.
    3. As a student who has not completed a bachelor’s degree program. The transfer student must be in good standing at the previous institution attended.
  3. Non-Degree Student: one who has been admitted to graduate studies and has met all admission requirements except GPA or standardized exam score. The student may take up to nine semester hours for graduate credit. Those hours may be applied toward a master’s degree if the student makes a grade of “B” or better in the courses taken for credit and if all admission requirements (GPA and entrance test score) are met and the student is formally admitted to a graduate program as a degree-seeking student.
  4. Visiting Student: one who is currently enrolled as a student in good standing at the post-bachelor’s level at another graduate school, wishes to take courses at Lipscomb and desires to have transcript evidence of course work done at Lipscomb provided for the school of primary enrollment.
  5. Probationary Student: one who has been readmitted to a graduate program following academic suspension from the program.

Admission to a program does not imply admission to candidacy for the master’s degree. Only those students who meet the requirements for “graduate student” described above are eligible for candidacy.

Academic Policies

Course Load

A student enrolled for six hours per block is considered a full-time student. A student enrolled for less than six hours is considered a part-time student. No student will be permitted to enroll for more than 12 hours per block without special approval from the director of the graduate program.

Academic Standing

  1. Good Academic Standing: To remain in good academic standing, the M.A or M.F.A.* in film and creative media student must maintain a cumulative 3.00 GPA and a 3.00 GPA on the most recent 12 semester hours of work.
  2. Probation: Should the student’s cumulative graduate GPA fall below 3.00, he or she will be placed on academic probation. A student on academic probation will not be allowed to enroll for more than six hours during any term the probation applies.

    The probationary student is required to achieve a 3.00 cumulative GPA by the time the student has completed the next nine hours of course work. A course(s) may be repeated to achieve the requisite GPA. If the requisite GPA is attained, the academic probation status will be removed.
  3. Suspension: If the requisite GPA is not attained, the student will be suspended from graduate studies at Lipscomb for the following semester, after which the student may apply for readmission. The student may be required to appear before the graduate committee.

    Failing grades will provide no credit toward the degree but will be included in figuring scholarship level, unless replaced with a higher grade by repeating the course(s). A 3.00 GPA must be maintained to be eligible for financial assistance.
  4. Appeals: Appeals to suspension decisions should be made in writing to the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs. Appeals must be received no later than 4:30 p.m. on the Monday of the week before classes begin for the term during which the student wishes to be readmitted.

Degree Completion Requirements


No period of formal residency is required for a degree in a master’s program.

Statute of Limitations

All requirements for the M.A. or M.F.A. in film and creative media degree must be completed within a five-year period from the time of initial matriculation.


Admission to a program does not imply admission to candidacy for the master’s degree. During the course of pursuing the M.A. or M.F.A. degree, the student must be admitted to “candidacy.” For admission to candidacy the student must satisfy the following:

  1. Complete all required undergraduate deficiencies if admitted on condition.
  2. Complete at least 12 hours of graduate work.
  3. Maintain a 3.00 GPA on all courses taken toward the requirements for the degree with no incomplete grades.
  4. File a degree plan/application for candidacy in the graduate program office which meets all requirements and is approved by the administrator of the graduate program and the dean of the college. The degree plan must be filed during the second semester of graduate work in the program.

After admission to candidacy and approval of the degree plan, any changes in the degree plan must be approved by the administrator of the graduate program and the dean of the college. The application for candidacy must be filed before the beginning of the student’s last semester in the program. No student will be allowed to graduate in the same semester in which the application for candidacy is filed.


Minimum Credits

The M.A. in film and creative media requires 36 semester hours. The M.F.A. in film and creative media requires 62 semester hours. All are exclusive of hours accumulated to satisfy academic deficiencies.

Minimum GPA

The minimum cumulative grade-point average for all programs is 3.00 for all graduate courses taken for graduate credit while pursuing the degree. No grade below a “C” is acceptable. Such grades will not apply toward degree completion.


Students must register for GN 999X the semester in which all course work will be completed for graduation. Students who do not file their intent to graduate form in the registrar’s office by the end of the first week of their last semester may be delayed in graduating.

Graduate students receiving degrees are hooded during the May and Dec. commencement exercises.


Any exceptions to the above stated requirements would require approval by the Vice Provost for Academic Affairs in collaboration with the Dean of the College and the Program Director.

Financial Information

Tuition and Fees for 2017-18*

Tuition per credit hour $1,013
Tuition to audit 50% of tuition
Application fee $50
Application for Graduation $195
Returned payment fee $30
TouchNet payment plan enrollment fee (per semester) $60
Withdrawal fee $195

The tuition cost does not include program fees or equipment purchasing fees. While most of the gear will be provided for first-year students on a loan/check-out basis, it is a requirement that students come in with a Macbook Pro. Also, all students are responsible for costs of their own productions.

*Effective May 1, 2017


Program of Study Requirements

    Master of Arts

    (Civic leadership, conflict management, and film and creative media)

    Master of Business Administration/Master of Fine ArtsMaster of Fine Arts

    In film and creative media

    Approval by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges is pending.

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