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Grad Program: Film/Cinema Studies

Basic Information

It’s one thing to love a great movie—it’s another thing entirely to have an appreciation for the history of cinema and the styles and filmmakers that have made it great. A graduate program in Film/Cinema Studies will expose you to the entire spectrum of the Cinema world, from its humble beginnings to its glorious future. You’ll learn about different periods and genres that have made the film industry so far-reaching. (Think horror or science fiction movies are a waste of time? They’ve actually contributed in their own way to the development of the movie industry.) You’ll learn about the filmmakers whose visions have transformed the field—what made their ideas work, and why those ideas have turned out to be significant. You'll also study the contributions that various writers, technicians, and actors have made to the field.

Your work in Film/Cinema Studies will go far beyond the entertainment aspect of film. You’ll learn how film has affected and been affected by our culture, and the significance film has had on our society. You’ll learn how film has struggled with censorship and controversy. You’ll study film as an art form. And as with any program of art study, one of the most important components of the program is exposure to that art—so much of your time will be spent viewing, analyzing, and discussing great films of the past and present.

Degree Information

There are many options available to students wishing to pursue graduate work in Film/Cinema Studies. Some programs offer a M.A. in Art History with a concentration in Film/Cinema Studies, while others offer a M.A. in Film/Cinema Studies itself. Students wishing to earn a Ph.D. in Film/Cinema Studies can do so at some schools. Master’s degrees are often available in related fields such as Archiving and Preservation. Students who wish to not only study film filmmakers but become filmmakers themselves might choose to pursue an M.F.A.

Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Degree Program
  • What is your main area of interest? Are their faculty members known for being experts in that area?
  • How often do directors, actors, screenwriters, or other industry insiders visit the program? How connected is the program to the local or national film community?
  • What are the research interests of the faculty and other graduate students?
  • What are the thesis requirements? Is there an opportunity to submit a creative thesis if you choose to do so?
  • Does the program fit with your post-graduate career goals?

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