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Program Overview

Program Overview


You've Checked the Boxes, Now Chase the Dream!

Write tenacious screenplays for film or TV that inspire audiences around the world. Grow your career in production and influence the industry on a large scale. Create new content in animation, film or television, leaving the program with everything you need to pitch your projects professionally. By pursuing your MFA in Film and Creative Media at Lipscomb, you’ll learn from expert faculty who will cultivate your strengths and guide you toward your goals, starting with a strong foundation of storytelling. 

Film and Television Focus

You’ll engage with visiting respected creatives who are directly impacting pop culture in the U.S. and around the world. Past visits have included writers of "Saturday Night Live” and “American Dad,” “Wonder Woman,” “Dr. Strange” and “Napoleon Dynamite.” You’ll also pitch ideas and network, at the Austin Screenwriting Conference in Texas and the Nashville Film Festival where you will be able to workshop your writing. Additionally, you may intern with a production company in Los Angeles, where you will build industry experience and grow your professional network.

Most importantly, at Lipscomb, you’ll immediately discover the number one element to earning your MFA in Film and Creative Media and that’s community. Support from relationships gained here will be what will continue to strengthen your career even after you graduate. Receive your MFA in Film and Creative Media in a faith-based, service-minded community focused on collaboration, innovation, technique — and building the future of film together.

Animation Focus

Lipscomb University’s Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film and Creative Media with a focus in Animation helps you learn the foundations and practice of animation, from innovative character design to top-end computer graphics and 3D graphics. Through our world-class MFA program, you'll grow your creative skills in storytelling and pre-production under some of the most prominent animators in the U.S., including five former Disney animators, and advance your career in animation, game, and interactive media as an expert. Through your thesis project, you’ll also have the opportunity to develop your own animated series or film while pursuing your degree.

With our transformative and comprehensive curriculum, you will develop key skills in storytelling and collaboration, and learn how to pitch your ideas and create strong content that disrupts. The master’s degree program also inspires you to explore different artistic topics like production, as well as technical tools and business skills.

Through hands-on animation education, you can build a network of colleagues and experts in the industry, and expand your technical and business skills for the film, television and animation industries. 

Twin Disney Animators-the Bancroft Brothers - article

Follow the MFA on Instagram

Admissions Requirements

Admissions Requirements

Application Deadline for Fall 2023: April 1, 2023 

Due to high demand enrollment is limited. 

All applicants to the graduate program must submit the following:

  • Application with $50 nonrefundable fee 
  • Official transcript(s) Undergraduate degrees with cumulative 3.0 GPA will receive priority consideration
  • Two letters of recommendation
  • Résumé 

The admission process also includes an interview which will be scheduled through the program director. 

Film and Television Focus

Animation Focus

Information for International Students



After meeting with the graduate program director, you will develop a customized plan of study that allows for artistic exploration while developing the technical proficiency to undertake your thesis project.

Students will focus in one or more areas of content creation, live-action filmmaking, documentary, animation, screenwriting and film studies. Courses build skills to work within the industry but also give students the tools to be content creators and work independently of the studio system.
The program of study decided between you and the program director will be followed as closely as possible for the duration of your program. Some flexibility will be allowed if certain courses are not available when needed or if your areas of interest change as you experience new aspects of content creation.

Required Courses For All MFA Students (24-27 hours)

FCM 5002 Story & Structure (Online)
FCM 5022 Media Entrepreneurship
FCM 5033 Film Production I
FCM 5121 Professional Practicum
FCM 5213 Writers in Development (Online)
FCM 6962 Thesis Research & Develop
FCM 6972 Visual Develop & Pre-Production
FCM 699V MFA Thesis (3,4 or 6 hours)

From each set of courses, choose one of the following: (15 hours)

History Course (3 hours)
Choose one:

FCM 5053 History of Film
FCM 5193 History of TV
FCM 6133 History of American Animation

Writing Course (3 hours)
Choose one:

FCM 5083 Screenwriting I (Online)
FCM 6123 Writing for Animation

Business Course (3 hours)
Choose one:

FCM 5243 Digital Entertainment Law
FCM 6213 Business of Animation

Acting Course (3 hours)
Choose one:

FCM 5272 Acting for Directors
FCM 6222 Acting for Animators

Directing Course (3 hours)
Choose one:

FCM 5323 Film Directing
FCM 5352 AD & Set Management
FCM 6203 Directing Animation

Elective Courses (approximately 20 hours)

Choices include the following:
FCM 5A9V Directors & Composers (Online)
FCM 5063 TV Writing (Online)
FCM 5073 Film Production II
FCM 5102 Cinematic Aesthetics
FCM 5153 TV Writing II (Online)
FCM 5162 Redemptive Media
FCM 5173 Screenwriting II (Online)
FCM 5233 Cannes Film Festival
FCM 5243 Digital Entertainment Law (Online)
FCM 5263 Producing
FCM 5303 Post Production
FCM 5312 Film Sound
FCM 5343 Cinematography & Lighting
FCM 5363 Advanced Film Business
FCM 5403 The Adaptation (Online)
FCM 5413 Writers Room Intensive
FCM 5503 Pedagogy of TV & Film
FCM 6033 Global Film Seminar
FCM 6142 Sound & Voice Performance
FCM 6203 Directing Animation
FCM 6303 Character Design Master Class
FCM 6313 Concepts in Creative Media
FCM 6323 Animation Production
FCM 6403 ZBrush Techniques
FCM 6413 Animation Post Production
FCM 6423 Character Rigging
FCM 6433 2D/CG Animation Pipeline
FCM 649V CEA Studios Internship
FCM 6513 Advanced Storyboarding

Course Descriptions

Program of Study

Tuition & Aid

Tuition & Aid

  • Tuition: $1,098* per credit hour; students can audit for no credit at a rate of 50 percent of regular tuition
  • Books and Fees: Not included in tuition
  • Application Fee: $50 
  • Graduation Fee: $195

*Note: Graduate tuition rates may increase annually, effective at the start of the summer term.


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 required that students own a MacBook Pro. Students may need subscriptions for Screenwriting, Film Making, or Animation software. You can choose to buy one through the university in your first semester in the program.

Also note that each student is responsible for costs of their own productions.

Types of Aid

15 to 20

Average class size


Both our deeply connected faculty and our experiential learning opportunities offer myriad ways for you to form relationships with leaders in the industry. These connections will serve and support you throughout your career.

Small Class Sizes

You’ll have opportunities to engage in meaningful discussion, receive one-on-one faculty mentorship and ask difficult questions in our small class sizes. Plus, you’ll feel supported in a tight-knit learning community.

Nashville, TN

A big city. An even bigger opportunity. We consider Nashville, Tennessee, an extension of our classroom, and as a leading city in many industries, that means you’ll gain experience and insight you won’t find anywhere else.

Student Work

Still from "Enlightened"


Watch the short film directed and produced by Caelin Davis (2023).

Still from "The End"

The End

Watch the short film directed by Meghan Urbytes (2023).

The End
Still from "Good Boy Richard"

Good Boy Richard

Watch the short film directed by Daniel Haycox (2021).

Good Boy Richard

Our Faculty

  • Steve Taylor

    Steve Taylor

    Assistant Professor

    Steve Taylor is a filmmaker, writer, producer and recording artist who earned his "Renaissance Man" stripes (Prism Magazine) from a body of work that's garnered him multiple Grammy, Billboard, Telly,...

    Meet Steve Taylor
  • Melissa Forte headshot

    Melissa Forte

    Associate Professor and Chair, Cinematic Arts

    After six years of industry work with the Walt Disney World company in Orlando, Fla., Melissa Forte returned to Ohio University to complete an M.A. in Media Studies and an...

    Meet Melissa Forte
  • Tony Bancroft headshot

    Anthony Bancroft

    Program Director

    Meet Anthony Bancroft
  • Mike Nawrocki headshot

    Mike Nawrocki

    Visiting Professor

    As co-creator of "VeggieTales," co-founder of Big Idea Entertainment and the voice of the beloved Larry the Cucumber, Mike Nawrocki has been part of the pulse of the "VeggieTales" brand,...

    Meet Mike Nawrocki
  • Tom Bancroft headshot

    Tom Bancroft

    Artist in Residence

    Tom Bancroft has over thirty years of experience in the animation industry, most of which was for Walt Disney Feature animation where he was an animator for twelve years on...

    Meet Tom Bancroft
  • Mike Meredith headshot

    Mike Meredith

    Assistant Professor

    Meet Mike Meredith
  • Brinn Daniels headshot

    Brinn Daniels

    Assistant Professor

    Brinn Daniels comes to Lipscomb by way of NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and USC's graduate film program. She has been freelancing as a director, cinematographer and editor for...

    Meet Brinn Daniels
  • Lipscomb Featured Faculty

    Diana Coco-Russell

    Adjunct Faculty

    Meet Diana Coco-Russell
  • Lipscomb Featured Faculty

    John Pomeroy

    Artist in Residence

    John Pomeroy is an American animator, producer, writer and painter. He attended Art Center College of Design from 1971 to 1973, majoring in illustration. He was hired by the Walt Disney...

    Meet John Pomeroy
  • Eric Stars

    Eric Stars

    Visiting Professor

    With over a decade of experience working as a professional animator and visual effects artist, Eric Stars comes to Lipscomb University from Fivestone Studios. Stars' primary focus is 3D character...

    Meet Eric Stars

Career Paths

Film and Video Editors and Camera Operators

Film and video editors and camera operators manipulate moving images that entertain or inform an audience.

Producers and Directors

Producers and directors create motion pictures, television shows, live theater, commercials, and other performing arts productions. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.


Actors express ideas and portray characters in theater, film, television, and other performing arts media. They interpret a writer’s script to entertain or inform an audience.