Film and Media Studies FAQ
MA students are not eligible to take classes in directing, producing, or screenwriting, but they can become connected with MFA students in plenty of other ways, such as volunteering to work on student films if it is of interest to the individual student, attending screenings, or participating in other film-related programming at the school. It is likely that some history/theory/criticism classes in the Film division will be shared with MFA students.
If you are interested in meeting with a faculty member from the program to which you are applying, please speak to the Admissions Office. However, please note that due to the volume of applicants, faculty members may not be able to meet with prospective students. We are happy to arrange for you to speak with a current student who can give you insight into the School of the Arts program in which you're interested, campus life and living in New York City. Please email [email protected] or call 212-854-2134 to schedule an appointment.
Unfortunately, it is not possible for prospective students to sit in on classes.
The School of the Arts receives applications from students with a wide variety of undergraduate backgrounds. Applicants do not need to have a comprehensive academic background or extensive professional experience in their field, but they must demonstrate familiarity with major issues and artists.
While the School of the Arts does not require applicants to have an advanced degree or professional work experience, applicants who do are certainly considered positively in the review process, and such achievements may enhance their candidacy for admission.
Columbia University offers full campus tours daily. Please see the Visitor Information page for schedules.
School of the Arts admissions representatives are happy to meet with prospective students to discuss programs and admissions policies and procedures. Please email [email protected] or call 212-854-2134 to schedule an appointment.
MA students will be expected to take classes in and out of the division. The classes can be larger lecture classes (50–75 students) or smaller seminar classes (10–15 students). There is an emphasis on academic approaches to film history, film theory, and new media theory. Each semester there is a required seminar for all MA students, which will focus on larger theoretical issues surrounding classic and contemporary debates in film theory and new media.
Columbia University School of the Arts and Columbia University Student Financial Services work carefully with students to arrange the financing of their degrees. Film & Media Studies MA students are ineligible for need-based institutional aid from the School of the Arts. In rare cases, Film & Media Studies MA students may be compensated for teaching assistant and/or research assistant positions. Please see Financing Your Degree for information and important financial aid application procedures and deadlines.
Columbia University School of the Arts and Columbia University Student Financial Services work carefully with students to arrange the financing of their degrees. Loan packages, fellowships, scholarships and other options are available for eligible students. Please see Financing Your Degree for information and important financial aid application procedures and deadlines.
All interviews are scheduled at the discretion of the committee; you will be contacted directly if an interview is requested.
Columbia University Apartment Housing consists of a limited number of apartment shares, dormitory-style rooms and a very limited number of one-bedroom, studio and family units for which priority is given to couples and families. This housing is primarily located within walking distance of the campus in the Morningside Heights neighborhood.
Applications for Columbia University Apartment Housing are made only after a student has been admitted, and are handled by the University Apartment Housing (UAH) Office. Please see the Housing page for more information.
The School of the Arts welcomes applications for the fall semester of each year only; no students are admitted for the spring semester.
You can check the status of your application and supporting documents, including letters of recommendation, by going to the Status page in the online application. You will be able to view all documents processed thus far. This page will be updated periodically. Application materials that are not submitted through the online application system make take up to two weeks to be updated on your application checklist.