The Film Studies Program is an interdisciplinary program offering courses in history, aesthetics, theory, and critical studies. The Film Studies Program offers the following graduate degrees and certificates:
PhD in Film Studies (in conjunction with six Associated Departments)
Terminal MA in Film Studies
MA Certificate in Film Studies
PhD Certificate in Film Studies
- Program Director: Adam Lowenstein
- Main Office: 454 Cathedral of Learning
- Fax: 412-624-6639
- E-mail: email@example.com
Graduate Coordinator: Neepa Majumdar
Students will submit an application to the Film Studies PhD program, identifying an Area of Concentration from the list of associated departments (e.g. English, French, Hispanic, History of Art and Architecture, Slavic, and German). The name of the Associated Department will appear on the student’s transcript when the degree is granted. The application will be vetted simultaneously by Film Studies and the Associated Department. Only one application fee is required.
Students who have already entered graduate programs in Associated Departments are welcome to apply to the Film Studies PhD through the normal application process. If accepted, they are eligible to transfer a maximum of 24 credits towards the Film Studies PhD degree requirements, and can petition to waive required courses that have been fulfilled, following normal University, School, and Program regulations.
Students who wish to enroll in the graduate certificate programs in Film Studies (whether MA or PhD) must be matriculated for a graduate degree in a department of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences or in another school within the University. Students interested in pursuing a film studies certificate at any point in their career may do so by filing the appropriate form with the program director of the Film Studies Program.
Financial assistance for both the PhD and the certificates will be provided by the associated department (reflecting the student’s Area of Concentration). Such aid typically takes the form of scholarships, fellowships, teaching assistantships, and/or graduate student assistantships.
Requirements for the PhD
General Requirements. The PhD requires 72 credits. All Film Studies PhD students will be required to fulfill the requirements of their Associated Department as well as the Film Studies requirements. PhD students must take the three core courses in Film Studies, as well as four elective film studies courses. Language and teaching requirements are determined by Associated Departments, but Film Studies students will be required to serve as TA/TF for at least one film class.
Comprehensive Exam. The Comprehensive Exam will be taken in the student’s Associated Department. While the exam structure will differ from department to department, in all cases:
• one component (or more) of the exam will focus on Film Studies
• a second component of the exam will focus on the departmental field (including its relation to cinema)
• at least one member of the exam committee in the student’s Associated Department will be a member of the graduate faculty in Film Studies.
The Dissertation. The dissertation will be completed in the Associated Department and must involve film and/or media studies as subject matter incorporated with the student’s Area of Concentration (as determined by the dissertation director). The chair of the dissertation committee will be a graduate faculty member in the student’s Associated Department who is also member of the interdisciplinary Film Studies graduate faculty. The external member of the committee will be a member of the Film Studies graduate faculty from outside the Associated Department.
Requirements for the MA
General Requirements. The Terminal MA in Film Studies degree will be granted only to those students who have been admitted to the PhD in Film Studies but are subsequently unable to finish the program. The terminal MA provides this group of students the possibility of a terminal degree that acknowledges their time of study. A total of 25 credits are needed, including the three core courses in film studies and five electives in film studies.
Master’s Research Paper. The research paper is required for a terminal MA in Film Studies. The paper should be between 6,000-8,000 words, and can be based on a paper that was prepared for a seminar. One Film Studies faculty member will supervise the paper (most likely the instructor for the class in which the paper was written). Two other film faculty members, including the student’s Area of Concentration faculty advisor and one other film studies faculty member, will serve as readers. All three must approve the paper for it to count as fulfilling the requirement. To pass, a paper should provide coherent and original textual analysis, provide historical contextualization (if appropriate), and incorporate primary research in a cogent scholarly argument relating to Film Studies.
Requirements for the Certificates
The MA Certificate in Film Studies requires four film studies courses (12 credits), including one core course (Film History/Theory I) and three electives (one outside the home department). The PhD Certificate requires six film studies courses (18 credits), including one core course (Film History/Theory I) and five electives (two outside the home department).
Both certificates require a 25-30pp research paper, to be written for and evaluated by a Film Studies faculty member who teaches one of the seminars that the students takes for his/her Certificate Requirements. The research paper should go beyond the average seminar paper and aspire to be publishable in an academic journal (though there is no requirement that it actually be published). This might mean: (1) have a demonstrated original point of view or approach to a given topic; (2) articulate a clear and demonstrated argument about a topic that clarifies important issues in media studies; (3) involve substantial research with primary sources; (4) forge new theoretical or historical terrain; (5) consider hitherto ignored media texts. It will be up to the Film Studies instructor/advisor to determine how the paper might meet some of the above standards.