Science and Natural History Filmmaking (Graduate)

Combine your education and experience in science, engineering and technology with world-class filmmaking skills that will enable you to create accurate, innovative and exciting content to help the world better understand science.

Science and Natural History Filmmaking – Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.)

Students within the graduate Science and Natural History Filmmaking program at Montana State University are given the tools and opportunities to tell the story of science through the dynamic medium of cinematography and filmmaking. After graduating with a Master of Fine Arts degree, students in the program have had their work broadcast on many major channels and programs such as National Geographic, Discovery Channel, Netflix, Disney Nature, and won some of the industry’s top awards, from EMMYS to Fulbright Scholarships.




Alumni in the Science & Natural History Filmmaking program continue to produce outstanding, award-winning work, including Youth v Gov, (Christi Cooper director, producer, and writer; Liz Smith, producer; Danny Schmidt, Stephani Gordon, and Andy Adkins, cinematographers; Roshan Patel and Sharon Pieczenia, assistant camera; Jason Roehrig production assistant; and Stefanie Watkins, editor; Netflix), Story of Plastic, (Deia Schlosberg, director and co-writer, Discovery), and Epic Yellowstone series (Thomas Winston, director, cinematographer, and producer; Rick Smith, Jeff Reed, and Dawson Dunning, cinematographers; and Eric Bendick, producer; Smithsonian Channel).





WICHE Partnered Program
This graduate program honors the WICHE partnership for students from 15 western states. If you’re a resident of a WICHE state, you qualify for tuition significantly less than standard non-resident tuition. Learn more.

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Connect with the Best
MFA students link with the close wildlife filmmaking community around Bozeman. All MFA students must also work at one or more production internships during their time at Montana State.

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Simply the Finest
Montana State’s Science and Natural History Filmmaking program is the largest and best known of only three programs in the world dedicated to this unique and rewarding field of filmmaking.




Fund Your Education

The Graduate School at Montana State is dedicated to helping students secure funding during their time at MSU. Some resources the School of Film & Photography and Graduate School offer includes:

Additionally, students with strong preparation in science fields may find assistantships in the relevant science departments on campus, as well.

Learn By Doing

Science and Natural History Filmmaking students have enjoyed such opportunities as:

  • Having their work broadcast on many major channels and programs such as The Discovery Channel, National Geographic, The Science Channel, CNN, Sixty Minutes II, Larry King, CBS Evening News, and NBC Nightly News and more.
  • Winning some of the industry’s top awards including EMMYS, been awarded Fulbright scholarships, a Fred Rogers Scholarship from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, Webby awards and many other honors.



Careers after Graduation

MFA alumni in Science Natural History Fimmaking embark on a wide range of careers within 10-years of their graduation.

Nearly 39% are working in for-profit, 30% in self-employed, and about 17% for academia. Top industry employers include DRYFT Digital and Fire and Wings Media.

Across all career paths the estimated salary of alumni within 10 years of graduation ranges from $70,000 to $150,000+ with an average of $80,000 (source of data Academic Analytics).


Admissions Requirements

Each program within the Graduate School at Montana State has its own particular requirements for admission, and the Science and Natural History Filmmaking program is no different. To ensure that you start your application on the right foot, please review the admissions requirements for the Science and Natural History Filmmaking program. This includes any additional deadlines that the School of Film & Photography may have aside from the Graduate School, which does practice rolling admissions.