Moving images in changing times. MFA in Film and Television Studies

Production shoot for Professor Joel San Juan's class.
Production shoot for Professor Joel San Juan’s class.

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.

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Tailor your studies to your interests.

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: American and international cinema history; film, television and media theory; modes of production; minority representation; feminist film and television theory; the media industries; American independent film; theory of avant-garde film and experimental media; and contemporary scripted television series.

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:

  • “YouTube in Continuity with Broadcast Media History” (Austin Morris, MFA’14)
  • “Without the Weight of Stillness: Intuition, Modernism and Poetry in the Films of Rudy Burckhardt” (Jason Michelitch, MFA’14)
  • “Post-Feminism and the Modern-Day Bombshell” (Logan Ann Lumm, MFA’14)
  • “Bollywood Style: The Melodramatic Lens” (Jennifer Hardy, MFA’14)
  • “U.K. Youth Television: Moral Panic and the Process of U.S. Adaptation in Skins” (Chelsea Daggett, MFA’13)
  • “The Detective Next Door: Industry, Culture and Class in Radio Adaptations of Hardboiled Detective Fiction” (Catherine Martin, MFA’12)
  • “Reality, Language and History: Three Facets of Contemporary Romanian Cinema” (George Carstocea, MFA’12)
  • “A Woman’s Face: The Films and Performances of Joan Crawford” (Theo Wulff, MFA’12)
  • “So Overt It’s Covert: Holmes and Watson On Screen—Uncovering the Dynamics of Power Between Homosocial and Homosexual Desire (Bethany Lewis, MFA’12)
  • “Apocalyptic Adolescents: The Return to the Romantic in New Hollywood Cinema” (Sarah Leventer, MFA’09)
  • “The Aesthetics of Movement: The Puppet Animation Films of the Brothers Quay” (Laura Leighanne Ivins-Hulley, MFA’07)

Reel resources.

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.

Real opportunities.

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.

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.

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