Film and Digital Technology (MFDT)
Film and Digital Technology (MFDT) Overview
As of 8.1.23, applications and new enrollment for the 23-24 academic year to the MFDT program have been paused. All currently enrolled students will progress through the program to completion.
At Chatham, our Master of Film and Digital Technology program allows filmmakers and media creators to collaborate and customize their learning according to their personal interests and areas of specialization. Combining technical skills, screenwriting, and a solid foundation in theory, the program helps students develop a unique approach to storytelling regardless of genre. Students are also challenged to think about how the convergence of technologies encourages innovative techniques in the development and distribution of stories with original themes.
The application deadline is July 1.
Chatham offers a 30 credit Master of Film and Digital Technology program.
Cost consists of program tuition (cost per credit times number of credits) as well as any applicable University and degree-specific fees.
Share Your Work
Chatham students retain full ownership of any work created during their time in the program. This allows students to submit their work to film festivals. Watch this video to learn more.
Explore the Master of Digital Technology Degree:
Our project-based approach, instructed by recognized filmmakers, gives students the chance to hone their craft in ways that best use their talents and interests. Production-based courses comprise more than half of the curriculum in order to broaden students’ skillsets and bolster their portfolios.
- Have a completed baccalaureate degree from an accredited college or university, with an overall undergraduate grade point average (GPA) of 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale.
If a student has below a 3.0 GPA, please feel free to apply if you show extreme promise through other achievements. Additional Admissions documents may be requested.
- Online application
- Admissions Essay (current prompt found in application portal)
- Curriculum vitae or Resume
- Two letters of recommendation
- Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
- Portfolio or other examples of work in film and/or digital media. Can be submitted as an uploaded document and/or a website shared.
Admissions Materials can be uploaded in the application or submitted to:
Office of Graduate Admission-Berry Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15232
Integrated Degree Program
Chatham University undergraduates applying through the Integrated Degree Program (IDP) must complete all requirements outlined on their respective admission or track tab on the IDP Portal Site. All IDP applicants should work closely with their academic advisor to ensure they are meeting all requirements according to their IDP course of study.
In addition to the 30-credit MFDT program, Chatham also offers an MFA (36 credit hours) in Film and Digital Technology. Admittance to the MFA program requires departmental approval and a six-credit thesis project.
My work at Chatham has had a direct impact on what I currently do and in many ways led me to my current work in TV program development and commercial projects. All in all, Chatham’s MFDT program pushed me into worlds that separate me from my contemporaries.
—JESSE COLAIZZI, MFDT ’12
Faculty members are accomplished teachers, scholars, practitioners, and active leaders in the field.
The Pittsburgh Film Community
The film community in Pittsburgh is booming, and our own film community at Chatham is thriving as well. In addition to collaborative students and supportive faculty, the program hosts panel discussions and Q&A's to discuss the work of filmmaking. These events extend students' learning opportunities and knowledge of filmmaking while better connecting them to the larger Pittsburgh film, literary, and arts scenes to create connections and continue the development of their craft.
Co-sponsored by the Chatham University Women’s Institute and screened on campus, Just Films is an annual series that shows documentaries focused on gender equity and social justice, usually being shown in Pittsburgh for the first time.Learn About Just Films : Checkerboard 2 - Just Films
One of the powerful uses of film and digital media is the ability to create awareness and serve as a catalyst for change. Our curriculum includes research components that position students' work within broader social, historical, cultural, and theoretical contexts. This provides students with a platform to engage with stories of sustainability, women's issues, global perspectives, or other pressing concerns that deserve a voice.
"As technology constantly changes, teaching video production requires that we provide students with a filmmaking vocabulary and foster in them a desire to continually and independently learn. While we give them the confidence to use the tools proficiently, we must also reveal the possibilities of communicating with digital media; it is the content of the work that speaks to an audience, whether shot on a mobile device or the most advanced camera on the market." – Kristen Lauth Schaeffer, associate professor, MFDT
Assistantships & Fellowships
A limited number of graduate assistantships and fellowships are available to full-time students. In addition to providing financial assistance, these positions offer students valuable hands-on experience, expanded learning opportunities, and professional skill development.View Funding Opportunities : Checkerboard 5 - Assistantships & Fellowships
Alumni Profile: Danielle Burkhart, MFDT ’12
An assistantship in digital video production at Chatham prepared Danielle Burkhart, Film and Digital Technology ’12, to work for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Award-Winning Filmmaker Chester Lampman, Film & Digital Technology '12
US Army Veteran Chester Lampman, Film and Digital Technology ‘14, has won recognition for his documentary film “The Marquee on Main Street,” which focuses on three small independent theaters in and around Pittsburgh.