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Home > Programs > Department of Film, Television and Digital Media > Graduate Degrees > Cinema and Media Studies Program (Ph.D.)

Cinema and Media Studies (Ph.D.)


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. We are at the center of the discipline’s engagement with diversity. Not only do our faculty and student body hail from a diversity of backgrounds, but the robust address of issues of race, class, gender, generation, and sexuality in the curriculum is longstanding. 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 enjoy unique research opportunities through the resources of the UCLA Film & Television Archive, 35mm classroom screenings, and access to emerging digital technologies for the production of digital scholarship as a part of their studies.



The Ph.D. program is intended primarily for students who wish to build a career around excellence in university teaching and research. The Ph.D. program requires successful completion of a minimum of seven core courses and at least seven elective courses (not counting those completed at the masters level) and successful completion of the Intellectual Statement, Third Quarter Review, Sixth Quarter Review, Comprehensive Exam, Prospectus Review, Foreign Language Requirement at level three or higher, and successful submission and defense of the Dissertation.

Year One/Academic Year: Four Core Courses, the Intellectual Statement and Third Quarter Review

  • • Intellectual Statement
  • • FTV 495A Teaching Assistant Training (does not need to be repeated if taken during M.A.)
  • • FTV 215 Theory and Method
  • • FTV 211B Historiography
  • • Third Quarter Review/Academic Progress Report
  • • Begin taking courses toward language requirement
  • Year Two: Two Core Courses, the Sixth Quarter Review and Completion of the Ph.D. Study Plan

  • • FTV 274 Research Design I (Prospectus Writing I)
  • • FTV 274 Research Design II (Bibliography)
  • • Sixth Quarter Review/Ph.D. Study Plan & Book Lists
  • • Continued progress toward language requirement (must be completed to advance to candidacy)
  • Year Three/Academic Year: 1 Core Course, the Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam, the Prospectus Review, Nomination of Doctoral Committee and Advancement to Candidacy

  • • Ph.D. Comprehensive Exam
  • • FTV 274 Research Design III
  • • Prospectus Review (Fall Quarter)
  • • Advancement to Candidacy/Nomination of Doctoral Committee (Fall Quarter, contingent upon language requirement completion)

    Required During Years One-Three: 7 Elective Graduate Seminar Courses. A maximum of two elective courses may be taken outside of CMS. Additional permitted by petition.

    Required During Years One-Three: Language Requirement Courses & Petition. Completion of level 3 language training or higher (as determined by Dissertation Committee) must be provided prior to student Advancement to Candidacy.

    Recommended During Years One-Three: Colloquium. Students are encouraged to enroll in or attend Colloquium during all quarters to participate in screenings, research presentations and discussions. May be repeated for credit.

  • • FTV 212 CMS Colloquium
  • Year 3 and Beyond: Dissertation Research

    All Ph.D. programs in Film, Television and 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 and Mailed Application Deadline: December 1, 2022.

    By the time of entrance, Ph.D. applicants must:

    • Have at least a 3.0 GPA.
    • Satisfy the University of California’s Graduate Admissions Requirements.
    • Complete equivalent to a 4-year U.S. Bachelor’s Degree.
    • Complete equivalent to a U.S. 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, 2022.
      • Indicate Ph.D., Film and Television, Cinema and Media Studies as the program.
    • Upload the Statement of Purpose.
      • Submit a 1-2 page document.
    • Upload a Personal Statement.
    • Upload a Resume/CV.
    • Upload a sample of Scholarly Writing.
    • Submit a 5,000-7,000 word document.
    • Upload Unofficial copies of all Transcripts.
    • Submit Three Letters of Recommendation
      • Enter the Names and Emails of all recommenders into the UCLA Gradate Division Online Application.

    Step 2: Mail

    • Mail an Official copy of all Transcripts from each Undergraduate and Graduate institution attended.
      • Note: Community College transcripts are not necessary.
    • Request that all Test Scores be sent directly to UCLA.
      • Only test scores taken by December 31, 2022 will be accepted.
      • The GRE UCLA Code is 4837 and the Department Code is 2409.
      • Note: The GRE is optional for Ph.D. applicants.

    Mailing Address

    Please send all applicable materials to:

    Graduate Film Admissions: Cinema and Media Studies
    UCLA Department of Film, Television, and Digital Media
    103 East Melnitz Hall, Box 951622
    Los Angeles, CA 90095-1622

    Online and Mailed Application Deadline: December 1, 2022.


    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 31, 2022 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 Application for Graduate Admission 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 2023-2024 year, note that the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) deadline for UCLA is March 2, 2023. 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

    DREAM Act

    For non-US Citizens or non-Permanent Residents who are approved to pay in-state tuition because they graduated from a high school in California; they will need to complete the California DREAM application by the March 2, 2023 deadline. The DREAM application can be accessed at https://dream.csac.ca.gov. If applying after March 2, please check with the Financial Aid Office for available funding opportunities. www.financialaid.ucla.edu

    Please visit the FAQ page for additional information, call 310-206-8441, or email filmgrad@tft.ucla.edu.

    ** Please do not contact the department to check on your application, as we cannot update you on your application status or materials.

    For Prospective Students:

    For Current Students:

    Film, Television and Digital Media Counselor: Allison Taka

    Film, Television & Digital Media Staff

    Film, Television & Digital Media Faculty