General Arts and Sciences Requirements: 72 credits total (with provisions for including the MA, dissertation credits, and/or preparation for comprehensive credits, etc. in that number).

All Film Studies PhD students will be required to fulfill the requirements of their Area of Concentration as well as the Film Studies PhD Requirements.

Curriculum Overview

The curriculum for the PhD has two elements:

  1. Core Film Studies Requirements for all PhD Students (coursework in Film Studies, comprehensive exam in Film Studies, dissertation in Film Studies)
  2. Requirements for each Associated Department

Film Studies Core Course Requirements

These required courses will bring together students from all six associated departments so that they will have an opportunity to interact with each other. This core of required courses will also assure that students have a common and coherent thread in their Film Studies doctoral experience.

Core Courses in Film Studies (7 credits):

  • A two-course (6 credit) sequence taken in any order:
  • Film History/Theory I ENGFLM 2451
  • Film History/Theory II ENGFLM 2452
  • One credit Film Studies Proseminar ENGFLM 2905*

*Note: This will not count toward seminar credit within the student’s associated department and will be given on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis.

Electives in Film Studies (12 credits)

  • Four elective Film Studies courses (in any department)

Of the total six required seminars, the student must take at least two courses taught by a member of the faculty outside of the student’s associated department. These course can include the two required core courses as well as any of the four electives.

Associated Departmental Course Requirements

Consult the website of the Associated Department to which you are applying. You must fulfill all requirements within that department although there can be overlap between requirements of the Associated Department and the Film Studies Program.

Preliminary Evaluation

The two required core courses in Film Studies (Film History/Theory I and II) will serve as the preliminary exam in Film Studies. Successful completion of these two classes with a grade of B or better will constitute passing the preliminary examination.

For any additional Preliminary Evaluation requirements in Associated Departments, consult the website of the Associated Department to which you are applying.

Comprehensive Exam

The Comprehensive Exam will be taken in the student’s Associated Department. While the exam structure will differ from department to department, in all cases:

  • one component (or more) of the exam will focus on Film Studies
  • a second component of the exam will focus on the departmental Area of Concentration (including its relation to cinema)
  • at least one member of the exam committee in the student’s associated department will be a member of the graduate faculty in Film Studies.

Consult the website of your Associated Department for more details.

Language Requirements

The language requirement for each student is specified according to his/her Associated Department/Area of Concentration.

Consult the website of your Associated Department for more details.


All film PhD students will be required to serve as TA/TF for at least one film class. If the Associated Department does not offer film course or has no TA/TF positions for a film course, students will be required to teach one term of the undergraduate course Introduction to Film (or another such introductory course developed in the future) as part of his/her overall experience as a TA/TF.


The dissertation will be completed in the Associated Department and must involve film and/or media studies as subject matter incorporated with the student’s Area of Concentration (as determined by the dissertation director).

The Chair of the dissertation committee will be a graduate faculty member in the student’s Associated Department who is also member of the interdisciplinary Film Studies graduate faculty.

The external member of the committee will be a member of the Film Studies graduate faculty from outside the Associated Department. It is expected that students will have been exposed to these faculty members in taking the required Film Studies courses (taught by the interdisciplinary Film Studies faculty), elective Film Studies courses (outside the student’s Associated Department), and in the Proseminar (taught by the interdisciplinary faculty.