Program Requirements

FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES

 

 

See below for descriptions of the four required MA courses:

 

I. FILM AF 5700 Pro-Seminar in Film History - Semester One (Fall)

II. FILM AF 5710 Pro-Seminar in Film Theory - Semester Two (Spring)

III. FILM AF 8900 Thesis Prep Seminar - Semester Three (Fall)

IV. FILM AF 9700 Graduate Thesis Research - Semester Three (Fall)

 

Students take 30 credits of coursework over three semesters (full-time) or five semesters (part-time). See below for Residency requirements.

 

Masters Thesis: In the third semester, students will complete a 50 to 60-page written work of original scholarship on a topic chosen in consultation with the faculty.

 

Eligibility: The Master's Degree in Film Studies is designed for students who have already completed significant undergraduate or graduate work in the study of film or associated fields. Note: Students in the MA Program in Film Studies are not eligible to enroll in MFA directing, screenwriting or film production classes.

 

Residency: All Master’s Degree in Film and Media Studies candidates who have completed 30 credits of coursework and have not completed the degree requirements may register for one additional semester of MA Extended Residence. Students must complete all course and degree requirements in no more than three semesters (full-time) or five semesters (part-time). Any extensions to these deadlines (a) must be approved in advance by the Program Director and (b) may carry additional fees. For more specific information, contact the School of the Arts Admissions Office at admissions-arts@columbia.edu

 

Required MA Courses: 4 total

 

Semester One (Fall)

I. Pro-Seminar in Film History: An introduction to issues and cases in the study of cinema century technologies. This class takes up the definition of the historiographic problem and the differences between theoretical and empirical solutions. Specific units on the history of film style, genre as opposed to authorship, silent and sound cinemas, the American avant-garde, national cinemas (Russia and China), the political economy of world cinema, and archival poetics. A unit on research methods is taught in conjunction with Butler Library staff. Writing exercises on a weekly basis culminate in a digital historiography research "map" which becomes the basis of a final paper.

 

Semester Two (Spring)

II. Pro-Seminar in Film Theory: Begins with a general overview of current developments in film theory-issues, for example, related to cultural studies, the emergence of new media, Asian film theory, new formulations of film spectatorship and then proceeds to a close examination of one or two contemporary issues in film theory. Close readings of selected texts, with frequent in-class presentations of material by the students themselves.

 

Semester Three (Fall)

The final semester of study for MA in Film and Media Studies students is dedicated to researching and writing the Master’s Thesis on a topic approved by faculty. Students do not enroll for additional classes during this final term as they are expected to work full-time on their thesis project.

 

III. Thesis Prep Seminar:  Students “workshop” their work-in-progress and receive comments on drafts.


IV. Graduate Thesis Research: Students register for this course to receive academic credit for the completed thesis.

 

 

Elective Courses

 

Students can concentrate in either Film or Media in their selection of elective courses inside the School of the Arts or outside in Columbia University Arts and Sciences departments. A list of suggested elective courses will be distributed each semester.


MA in Film and Media electives might include: Cinephilia, Seeing Narrative, World Film Melodrama, Sound and Image Theory, The Documentary Tradition, The Moving Image and the Museum, Cinema History I: Beginnings to 1930,  Film and Philosophy, The Mind Game Film, Indian Cinema, Queer Film Theory, Cuban Cinema, Film Comedy, Italian Neorealism, Genre Study: the Blockbuster, Topics in American Cinema: The Western, Cult Film, Chinese Documentary, Documentary Activism: Theory and Practice, Contemporary Japanese Cinema, Iranian Cinema, Critical Approaches to African-American Studies, Advanced Topics in Women and Gender Studies. Courses in New and Emerging Media might be: Visual Bodies: From Cinema to New Media, Seriality, Technologies of Dissent, The Mediated Body and the City, Beyond the Human, Free Culture and Open Access, Hacking the Archive, Digital Storytelling

Sample Courses of Study

FILM AND MEDIA STUDIES

 

 

Student 1:

First Year, Fall Semester

“Pro-Seminar in Film History” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Fictionalizing History: Fascism in Literature and Film” (Department of Italian)

“Soviet and Post-Soviet, Colonial and Post-Colonial Film” (Comp. Lit./Slavic Languages Dept.)

“Silent Cinema” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

 

First Year, Spring Semester

“Introduction to Cinema and New Media” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Pro-Seminar in Film Theory” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Italian Neorealism” (Department of Italian)

“The Persistence of Hollywood” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Seminar in Film Research- Cinephilia” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

 

Second Year, Fall Semester

“Thesis Prep Seminar” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Graduate Thesis Research” (School of the Arts, Film Program)


 

Student 2:

First Year, Fall Semester

“Aesthetics and Politics” (Philosophy Department)

“Pro-Seminar in Film History” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

 

First Year, Spring Semester

“The New Hollywood: 1967-1976” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Introduction to Cinema and New Media” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

 

Second Year, Fall Semester

“Rotten Sun” (Anthropology Department)

“Seeing Narrative” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

 

Second Year, Spring Semester

“Seminar in Film Research- Cinephilia” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Seminar in Film Theory II” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

 

Third Year, Fall Semester

“Thesis Prep Seminar” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Graduate Thesis Research” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

 

Student 3:

First Year, Fall Semester

“Neo-Dada and Pop Art” (Department of Art History and Archeology)

“Pro-Seminar in Film History” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Do You Believe in Genre?” (School of the Arts, Writing Program)

“TV as a Dramatic Medium” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

 

First Year, Spring Semester

“Introduction to Cinema and New Media” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Pro-Seminar in Film Theory” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Periodizing the Seventies” (Department. of Art History and Archeology)

“Art, Media, and Avant-Garde” (Department of Art History and Archeology)

 

Second Year, Fall Semester

“Thesis Prep Seminar” (School of the Arts, Film Program)

“Graduate Thesis Research” (School of the Arts, Film Program)