Moving images in changing times. MFA in Film and Television Studies
New technologies are transforming traditional media. Embrace the change. Prepare for professional or academic success in the integrated fields of film, television and new media.
In BU’s Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television Studies program, you’ll develop your appreciation for film, television, video and media as art forms. Examine their historical, political and sociocultural dimensions. And gain greater understanding of moving image media and its various contexts through comparative study.
Upon completion of the four-semester program, you’ll have a broad-based education in many aspects of film, television and media studies that prepares you to thrive in the field. Additionally, teaching assistantships allow select students to gain practical teaching experience. A number of our students continue to follow their passion for the field and for teaching by pursuing a PhD after completing their MFA.
Take the next step.
Tailor your studies to your interests.
The Redstones feature film projects written and directed by graduate and undergraduate students from the Boston University’s Department of Film and Television.
So just what will you study? That’s largely up to you. Of the 16 courses you’ll take, only four are required. Take full advantage of our broad and deep course offerings. Here are a few of the topics you can explore: film and television history; critical and cultural theory; the media industries; American independent film; avant-garde film and experimental media; sports media; religion and television; queer theory; and horror in film and television.
You’ll also find a special emphasis on global cinema history—particularly the films of Germany, France, England, Italy, Asia, Eastern-bloc countries and the developing world—as well as courses on international movements and new waves.
In your last semester, you will write a graduate thesis on a topic related to various aspects of film and media. Recent theses include:
- “Now is the Envy of All of the Dead: An Introduction to Don Hertzfeldt, The Animator” (Chris Wei, MFA ’19)
- “Everyday Life, Everyday Songs: A Re-Valuation of Song Sequences in Popular Hindi Films of the 1950s” (Richanjali Lal, MFA ’19)
- “Strings Attached: Orchestrating the Role of Music in Early Television” (Laura Brown, MFA ’19)
- “Constructing Liberal Fantasy Presidents on Television: How Battlestar Galactica and The West Wing Responded to the Bush Era” (Cayce Campbell, MFA ’19)
- “The Impact of a Political Transition on Canal Encuentro’s Public Mission: Social Equality, Diversity, and Representing the Nation” (Cecilia Pardo, MFA ’19)
- “Light at the End of the Tunnel: The Representation of War in Ken Burns and Lynn Novick’s Vietnam War” (Ricky Aksharanugraha, MFA ’18)
- “Jamie is My Darlin’: Masculinity and Sexuality in Outlander and Doctor Who” (Lena Barkin, MFA ’18)
- “The Films of Maren Ade” (Ben Dulavitch, MFA ’18)
- “Hollywood’s Orientals: Asian American Representation in Early U.S. Cinema” (Megan Hermida Lu, MFA ’18)
- “Constructing Interested Publics: The Style of National News on Network and Public Television” (Dennis Major, MFA ’18)
- “‘Nolite Te Bastardes Carborundorum:’ Motherhood in The Handmaid’s Tale And Orphan Black” (Reut Odinak, MFA ’18)
- “Over Her Hill: Charged Humor and Representations of Older Women on Broadcast, Cable, and Streaming” (Tara Zdancewicz, MFA ’18)
- “The Stand-up Sitcom: How the Independent Stand-up Comic Translates Comedy to Television” (Eric Forthun, MFA ’17)
- “The Long War, In Theaters Now: A Genre Study of the War on Terror in American Film” (Jason Henson, MFA ’17)
- “Robert Kramer’s Early Films, 1965-1975” (I-Lin Liu, MFA ’17)
- “Obscurities of Order: Reimagining Mumblecore through the Films of Frank Ross” (Brett Wright, MFA ’17)
Take advantage of our extensive resources. Krasker Media Center counts thousands of films and television program among its holdings, including 16mm prints and many rarities. And you can attend film screenings for free at the Harvard Film Archive, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Brattle Theatre.
Cinemathèque is a series of meetings and conversations with filmmakers and television-makers and free screenings of important, innovative films and television programs.
Opportunities for experience abound. Consider our summer internship and study programs in London, Los Angeles and Sydney. In addition, the Film and Television Studies Program works closely with many of the area art house and revival theaters (including the ones mentioned above) where internships may be available. And we offer a number of teaching assistantships that prepare you for PhD programs, including Boston University’s PhD in American Studies through the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
Is it right for you?
Obviously, you must love film and television. But more than that, you need a curious, analytical mind and the desire to understand how moving images fit into the world’s past, present and future.