Cinema and Media Studies Ph.D.
IMPORTANT: Application Information and Requirements for the Fall 2017 application period will be updated early to mid-October. Please check this page at that time for the updated information.
The UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television's Cinema and Media Studies program is designed for the scholarly exploration of film, television and digital media both as significant forms of art and as social communication. The Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Cinema and Media Studies programs offer an unusually extensive range of graduate seminars in film, television and media history that embrace films from many genres and national cinemas. Aesthetics and popular culture, the history and production cultures of the film and television industries and the increasing impact of digital media are examined. Courses that develop analytical skills by utilizing digital media tools are also offered. The Ph.D. program is designed to encourage a small number of highly qualified, motivated students to refine their research skills and interests within the context of an individualized plan of focused study. The primary goal of the doctoral program is to inspire and train students to carry out original research of the highest quality. Doctoral students generally seek and find teaching and research positions at the university and college level. Cinema and Media Studies students at the UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television enjoy unique research opportunities through the resources of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, 35mm classroom screenings and nightly cinematheque programming.
I. Area: PhD Cinema and Media Studies (See sections II to VIII for all requirements)
The Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies has the following time-to-degree requirement: a minimum of four quarters; maximum of seven quarters. The minimum total units required to graduate is 54 units (13 and a half courses) in the first six quarters. Three required courses must be completed during the first year. FTV must be taken in both the fourth and sixth quarter, and an independent study in the area of their dissertation must be taken in the fifth quarter.
In addition to the core sequence, FTV 496, which counts as the half course, is required (normally in the first quarter). Students also select seven additional graduate seminars, at least five of which must be approved cinema and media studies seminars.
In the first year of doctoral study, students must create three areas of concentration. Students preliminarily identify one primary area of concentration and two secondary areas of concentration. The primary indicates area of the expected dissertation. The secondary concentrations are intended to broaden areas of general competence and support the dissertation.
Based on their proposed secondary area of concentration areas students solicit members of a two-person Study Plan Development Committee, drawn from members of the CMS Faculty Committee. .
The Study Plan Development Community assists the student in the constitution and naming of the concentrations, the development and definition of the fields addressed, and in drawing up annotated book lists supporting the secondary concentrations.
The Study Plan identifies essential and foundational reading that defines the disciplinary coordinates of a particular field. Study plans are examined by all Faculty during the Third Quarter Review. The approved Study Plan will be the basis for the PhD examination on secondary concentrations, to be held in the fall of the 2nd year of doctoral study.
In the second year of doctoral study, students undergo the development of their prospectus, narrow the focus of their dissertation research and prepare for the Prospectus Review. The Prospectus Review is an oral examination of the primary concentration. It is an oral exam and defense of the Dissertation Prospectus is held in spring quarter.
Each student must take a minimum of 13 1/2 courses during the first six quarters of residence.
- 213 THEORY AND METHOD
- 206C HISTORIOGRAPHY
- 208B CONTEMPORARY FILM AND TELEVISION CRITICISM
In addition to the core sequence, students are required to take a teaching assistant training course, normally during their first quarter in residence:
- 496 PRACTICE OF TEACHING FILM AND TELEVISION
In their second year, students must take 274: Research Design, which is required in both the fourth and sixth quarters, and an independent study in the area of their dissertation in the fifth quarter.
- 274 RESEARCH DESIGN
- INDEPENDENT STUDY
Students select an additional nine graduate seminars, five of which must be in the Cinema & Media Studies program. The seminars are divided into three areas of concentrations, which might include film theory; narrative studies; film history; American film; European film; non-Western film/television; television studies; media and society; film authors; film genres; film and the other arts; film/television as a business enterprise; film/television production; new media; or other areas, subject to faculty approval. It is expected that the dissertation topic will emerge from one of the concentrations. Seminars vary from year to year, but are selected from the following list of courses:
- 201 MEDIA INDUSTRIES AND THE CULTURE OF PRODUCTION
- 202 MEDIA AUDIENCES AND THE CULTURE OF CONSUMPTION
- 203 FILM AND OTHER ARTS
- 204 VISUAL ANALYSIS
- 205 DVD FOR FILM HISTORY AND ANALYSIS
- 206A EUROPEAN FILM HISTORY
- 206B SELECTED TOPICS IN AMERICAN FILM HISTORY
- 206C AMERICAN FILM HISTORY
- 207 EXPERIMENTAL FILM
- 208B CLASSICAL FILM THEORY
- 208C CONTEMPORARY FILM THEORY
- 209A DOCUMENTARY FILM
- 209B FICTIONAL FILM
- 209D ANIMATED FILM
- 217A AMERICAN TELEVISION HISTORY
- 217B SELECTED TOPICS IN AMERICAN TELEVISION HISTORY
- 218 CULTURE, MEDIA AND SOCIETY
- 219 FILM AND SOCIETY
- 220 TELEVISION AND SOCIETY
- 221 FILM AUTHORS
- 222 FILM GENRES
- 223 VISUAL PERCEPTION
- 224 COMPUTER APPLICATIONS FOR FILM STUDY
- 225 VIDEOGAME THEORY
- 246 ELECTRONIC CULTURE
- 270 FILM CRITICISM
- 271 TELEVISION CRITICISM
- 276 NON WESTERN FILM
- 277 NARRATIVE STUDIES
- 298AB SPECIAL STUDIES (select classes must see Graduate Counselor)
IV. Foreign Language
Mastery of one foreign language is required and must be demonstrated by completing a level five (or higher) foreign language course or by passing a UCLA language examination. The foreign language requirement should be completed by the end of the first year in residence.
V. Third Quarter Review
During their third quarter in residence, PhD students must take a Preliminary Oral Examination of their proposed Study Plan. The Cinema & Media Studies Faculty Committee evaluates the student's progress to date and determines his or her general fitness to continue in the doctoral program. At this time, the student presents a written Study Plan to the faculty, including a proposal for grouping the required nine courses into three areas of concentration.
VI. Comprehensive Exams
During their second year in residence, just prior to the first week of the fall quarter, PhD students must take their Comprehensive Exams. This is a take-home exam, which consists of question categories from two areas of concentration in support of or related to the students intended area of dissertation research. These categories are determined with the guidance of faculty advisors during the first year of PhD study. Questions for the exam are drawn from a predetermined reading list declared at the 3rd Quarter Review.
VII. Prospectus Review
After successful completion of the language and course requirements as well as the PhD Comprehensive Examination, PhD students present a dissertation prospectus to the Cinema & Media Studies Faculty Committee for review. Each student meets with the Committee to discuss the merits and feasibility of the dissertation and the proposed composition of the Doctoral Committee. After the Internal Prospectus Review has been passed, the student takes the Oral Qualifying Examination before his or her Doctoral Committee. This exam is devoted to the merits and feasibility of the dissertation prospectus; it is not a continuation of the written Comprehensive Exam. Once these exams have been satisfactorily completed, the student advances to Candidacy.
Final award of the PhD in Film and Television depends upon completion of a dissertation that demonstrates the ability to complete significant independent research in a historical, critical, or theoretical field of film and/or television studies. Students are expected to complete the dissertation in three to nine quarters.
IX. Normal Progress Toward the Degree is as Follows
1. The Preliminary Oral Examination should be passed and the Plan of Study accepted by the end of the second quarter in residence. 2. The Written and Oral Qualifying Examinations should be passed by the sixth quarter in residence. 3. The Dissertation Prospectus should be approved within the first six quarters of residence. 4. The Dissertation should be filed within three years after Advancement to Candidacy.
All PhD programs in Film, Television, & Digital Media are Full-Time programs. The Department admits new students only once each year for the Fall Quarter.
We Do Not Accept Films, DVDs, or CDs
Applicants must submit all required application materials to be considered for admission.
Online Application and Postmark Deadline: December 1, 2015
By the time of entrance, PhD Applicants Must:
- Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
- Satisfy the University of California’s https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/research-requirements/.
- Complete equivalent to a 4 year US Bachelor’s Degree.
- Complete equivalent to a US Masters Degree.
Please complete all of the following steps:
Step 1: Online
- Complete the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
- MUST be paid and completed Online by December 1, 2015.
- Indicate PhD, Film and Television, Cinema & Media Studies as the program.
- Upload Unofficial copies of all Transcripts.
- Submit Three Letters of Recommendation
- Enter the Names and Emails of all recommenders into the UCLA Graduate Division Online Application.
- Note: Letters can be submitted by mail.
Step 2: Online & Mail
- Complete the Online Graduate FTVDM Departmental Application.
- Print and Mail the generated PDF.
- Upload and Mail the Statement of Purpose.
- Submit a 1-2 page document.
- Upload and Mail a sample of Scholarly Writing.
- Upload and Mail a Resume/CV.
Step 3: Mail
- Mail an Official copy of all Transcripts from each Undergraduate and Graduate institutions attended.
- Note: Community College transcripts are not necessary.
- Please have transcripts sent to the address below or include them in sealed envelopes with the supplemental application packet.
- Request that all Test Scores be sent directly to UCLA.
- Only test scores taken by December 2015 will be accepted.
- The GRE UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409.
- Note: The GRE is Required for PhD Applicants.
Please Send all applicable materials to:
Graduate Film Admissions
UCLA Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media
103 East Melnitz Hall, Box 951622
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622
Online Application and Postmark Deadline: December 1, 2015
For more information on requirements and applying to UCLA as an International Student, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/international-applicants/.
English Proficiency: Any International applicant whose first language is not English must certify proficiency in English when applying to UCLA, and, if admitted, upon arrival. Such applicants must submit scores received on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) as part of their application. The UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409. Only test scores taken by December 2015 will be accepted. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/english-requirements/. International applicants who have received a Bachelor’s degree from an American institution are not required to take the TOEFL.
Academic Records: Although the UCLA Graduate Division Application enables applicants to upload an unofficial copy of their academic records, all applicants are required to submit official records from each academic institution attended. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/required-academic-records/.
Undergrad Degree Requirement: Applicants must complete equivalent to a 4 year US Bachelor’s Degree. International students who hold three-year ordinary pass degrees, or who hold professional diplomas in accounting, business, librarianship, social work, physical education, health education and so on, or four-year degrees, diplomas or higher certificates from technical, vocational or post-secondary specialized schools are NOT eligible for graduate admission. For Academic Requirements by Country or Educational System, visit: https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/required-academic-records/.
Proof of Funding for Visa: U.S. immigration law requires that international applicants, if admitted, show documented evidence that sufficient funds to cover all tuition, fees, transportation, and living expenses are available for the first year of their studies at UCLA. This must be proven before a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20 or DS2019) for a visa can be issued. For more information about this requirement, visit https://grad.ucla.edu/admissions/visa-procedures/.
For U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents interested in receiving financial aid in the 2016-2017 year, note that the Fellowship Application and Financial Aid Application (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2016. Applicants must complete the FAFSA by this date if they want to be eligible for all awards, work-study, and scholarships that UCLA offers. If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities. www.financialaid.ucla.edu
** Please do not contact the department to check on your application, as we cannot update you on your application status or materials.