The M.A. in Film Studies prepares students for further study at the doctoral level and/or careers in film criticism, art administration, or archive and preservation work. Completion of the M.A. in Film Studies requires fifty hours of coursework, a successful first-year review and either an approved and defended written thesis or passing of a comprehensive exam. The Film Division encourages M.A. candidates to become actively involved in their field by making public, scholarly presentations and contributing to professional publications.
REQUIRED CORE COURSES
Film Studies I, Film Theory I, Film Theory II, Film History I, Film History II, Film Thesis Seminar (two semesters) – thesis track students Film Thesis Seminar (one semester)/Individual Readings (one semester) – exam track students
ELECTIVE COURSES (examples)
Film Aesthetics, Experimental Film Issues in Documentary, Film Topics Seminars, Film Festival Practicum, Media Arts Management
M.A. 1ST YEAR REVIEW
Near the end of the Spring Semester, a Faculty Committee evaluates all first-year M.A candidates. The Committee assesses the candidate’s goals for future study as well as what they have accomplished in the program. The Committee’s evaluation functions as the most important feedback a student receives during their first year, giving the candidate an objective sense of their progress and determining their course work for the following year. In certain circumstances a candidate could be advised not to continue with the program.
1ST YEAR REVIEW PROCEDURE
A schedule for submission of review materials to the Committee will be posted during the Spring Semester. Students will be required to submit:
The M.A. thesis is an original scholarly monograph of at least 50 pages in length. The thesis must be written under the direction of a member of the film studies faculty. In order to insure that the thesis is of current interest to the discipline of film studies, a Thesis Committee selected by the M.A. candidate as well as the Director of the M.A. Program must approve it. Thesis Committees must include the Thesis Advisor, a second faculty member from the Film Division, and a third faculty member from a discipline outside the Film Division.
The variable-credit Written Thesis course hours (usually a minimum of ten) are generally concentrated in the second year of the candidate’s program of study. The Film Division recommends that candidates planning to apply to doctoral programs after receiving their degrees should complete the thesis in Spring Semester of their second year or by the following summer.
Students not planning to go on to a doctoral program immediately after completion of the MA may meet formal degree requirements with course work and a written examination on two areas, which the student selects from one list focusing on film theory and another list focusing on film history. The examination will be administered as a take-home. Students will have from Monday morning at 9:00 a.m. to Friday afternoon at 3:00 p.m. to complete the examination and are permitted to consult research materials.
Students taking the exam must compile a bibliography of 10 books or 20 articles as well as a 15-movie filmography for each area before their final semester of classwork. In addition, in their final semester, they must register for five hours of Independent Study with their advisor during which they will prepare for the examination. Exams are offered in the last semester of the student’s coursework.
For the MA exam, students choose one area from each list:
Required Core Course Descriptions
Film Studies I (FILM 5150): Offers an in-depth examination of the various formal dimensions of film introducing selected key events and movements in film history and selected texts in classical film theory. Weekly screenings.
Film Theory I: Survey of classical film theory including Soviet montage theory, realist theory, medium-specific formalism, and early writings on sound cinema. Weekly screenings.
Film Theory II: Survey of post-classical film theory, including semiotics, psychoanalytic, feminist, post-colonial and contemporary film theory. Weekly screenings.
Film History I (FILM 5310): History of international cinema from the origins through 1940. Weekly screenings.
Film History II (FILM 5320): History of international cinema from 1940 to the present. Weekly screenings.
Film History III (FILM 5330): Advanced studies in film history and film historiography. Weekly screenings.