MFA in Film & Television Studies

The MFA in Film & Television Studies program includes four semesters and requires a total of 64 credits. In the third semester, students develop a prospectus for a final graduate thesis project and present it to the graduate faculty for their approval. This project is usually a written work of original scholarship, but students may instead opt to create a multimedia project of comparable scope and with a similarly solid historical or theoretical foundation. The graduate project will count as 8 course credits toward the MFA requirements.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to synthesize key media studies scholarship and apply it to specific case studies.
  • Students will be able to conduct a thorough analysis of media artifacts/institutions using a clear theoretical framework.
  • Students will be able to craft long-form, independent research projects using primary and secondary sources.
  • Students will be able to make an original scholarly contribution to the field of Film and Television Studies.

Film & Television Studies Curriculum

The curriculum contains four required courses in history and theory. These are to be taken in sequence within the first year of the course of study. The remainder of the program is composed of individual selections among a wide spectrum of specialized upper-division courses (500-level and above) taught within the Film & Television Studies program. In addition, a student may petition to take a maximum of two electives (8 credits) outside the program. This includes courses in production and/or screenwriting. The curriculum also offers an opportunity to work on directed study projects with the faculty, as well as the option to pursue a wide variety of professional internships.

First Semester

  • COM FT 520 Television Theory and Criticism (4 cr)
  • COM FT 722 American Masterworks (4 cr)
  • Two electives (8 cr)

Second Semester

  • COM FT 536 Film Theory and Criticism (4 cr)
  • COM FT 721 International Masterworks (4 cr)
  • Two electives (8 cr)

Third Semester

  • Three electives (12 cr)
  • Fourth elective or COM FT 953 Internship* (4 cr)

Fourth Semester

  • COM FT 852 Thesis Project (8 cr)
  • Two electives (8 cr)

Curriculum offerings of potential elective courses:

Students may choose electives (500+ level) that are not listed below.

(These courses are not offered every semester)

  • American Independent Film
  • Uncensored TV: Original Programming on Cable Television
  • Three Masters: Ozu, Dreyer, Bresson
  • Feminist Television Studies
  • Film Criticism
  • Television Industry Studies
  • The Documentary
  • NBC: Anatomy of a Television Network
  • The French New Wave
  • The Profane
  • New Scandinavian Cinema
  • Holocaust on Film
  • Film Styles
  • Third World Cinema
  • Introduction to Screenwriting for Non-Screenwriters
  • Introduction to Video Art
  • Silent Cinema
  • History of the Avant-garde (4 survey courses; sequence not required)
  • The City in Film
  • The Cinema of Stanley Kubrick
  • The World of David Lynch
  • Italian-American: Coppola and Scorsese
  • Noir and Neo-Noir
  • The Films of Alfred Hitchcock
  • British Cinema
  • African American Representation
  • LGBT Representation
  • American Film in the Sixties
  • American Film in the Seventies
  • Gender and Horror
  • Asian Cinema
  • Antonioni and Bergman
  • Bresson and Tarkovsky
  • Four Non-fiction Filmmakers
  • Creative Non-fiction Film
  • Women and Film
  • Pasolini, Sembene, Akerman, Kiarostami
  • The Cinema of Michael Haneke
  • Polish Cinema: Wadja, Polanski and Keislow
  • It Came From Canada: The Films of David Cronenberg
  • Low-Brow Comedy
  • Renoir and Buñuel
  • Classical Hollywood Romantic Comedies and Melodramas
  • The Hollywood Blacklist

Some courses have prerequisites which are not listed above. Please see the course descriptions for additional prerequisite and requirement information.

* Students may only receive credit toward graduation for one 4-credit internship during the duration of the degree program.

In addition to the Bulletin, master’s students should refer to the College of Communication Graduate Handbook for a comprehensive guide to policies, academic regulations, and resources.