Emphasizing film and related media in their historical and cultural contexts

Graduate programs in Cinematic Arts are grouped under two program headings: film studies (M.A. and Ph.D.) and film and video production (M.F.A.). While each program offers a variety of courses distinctive to each degree, many courses cross program and discipline boundaries, and all of our faculty have interests that span a variety of fields. Examination committees, admissions committees, and departmental committees mix and match interests and expertise so that faculty and students both are maximally engaged.

Master of Arts in Film Studies

The Master of Arts serves to give students substantial training in film analysis, history, and theory, and to afford students an opportunity to learn about various film-related disciplines in order to make an informed career choice. Students who complete a M.A. may go on to Ph.D. work in film studies or another discipline, M.F.A. work in film and video production or another discipline, a library science degree, film distribution, film programming, archival work, arts management, and many other disciplines.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • build requisite skills for Ph.D.-level study, including academic research and writing, public presentations, publishing and grant applications;
  • identify and apply concepts of film and media theory in scholarship as well as pedagogical practice;
  • identify and apply methods of film historiography, including evaluating and working with archival materials;
  • develop a broad understanding of the discipline’s history, current status, and potential futures;
  • acquire knowledge of cinema’s a) historical periods, b) global variations and c) diverse forms; and
  • acquire a diverse set of professionalization skills in order to explore film and media-related career possibilities within and beyond academia.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

Master of Fine Arts in Film and Video Production

With a focus on expanded documentary, experimental, hybrid, and narrative media forms, the Master of Fine Arts in Film and Video Production combines creative and scholarly coursework with the aim of producing a body of innovative, artistic work in film, digital media, multimedia installation, and/or animation.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • develop an artistic vision that will inform an emerging practice of film and video production; begin to develop a portfolio;
  • learn the advanced technical aspects of production from cinematography and editing to sound design;
  • acquire a broad range of knowledge in film and media theories and histories;
  • develop skills and experience in academic research and critical writing; and
  • professional development, including showing work at festivals, applying for grants and residencies, acquiring requisite skills for academic employment, and learning the skills for successful job applications.

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.

PhD in Film Studies

The program's coursework is broadly concentrated in film history and film theory, with specific courses offered on a wide range of topics. With the regular consultation and guidance of a faculty advisor and committee, students formulate and pursue a plan of study during their first year in the program.

Learning Outcomes

Students are expected to demonstrate:

  • solidify skills for work in the discipline, including researching and writing a book-length study, public presentations, publishing, grant applications, etc.;
  • gain confidence and fluency working with concepts of film and media theory and learn to synthesize, adapt, contextualize and critique theoretical approaches;  
  • acquire and mobilize advanced primary research skills and deepen ability to work with models and methods of film historiography, and to articulate historical sources with theoretical approaches;
  • acquire and mobilize advanced understanding of the discipline’s history and current status;
  • acquire and mobilize advanced discipline-level knowledge in a) historical periods, b) global variations and c) diverse forms and learn to take a position in the future development of film and media studies;
  • learn the fundamental skills for undergraduate-level teaching in film and media studies; and
  • deepen professionalization skills in order to explore film and media-related career possibilities within and beyond academia (for example, in media and arts organizations, publishing, teaching, archives, film programming and festivals).

Want to get started?

Learn more about the program, including courses, curriculum, and requirements here.