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    M.A. in Film Studies

    Hone your research and writing skills

» M.A. in Film Studies

The Master of Arts in Film Studies program offers students a comprehensive study of the moving image with an emphasis on exploring screen aesthetics through critical, historical and theoretical contexts. In the first year, students take courses that establish the key academic methods in the fields of film and media studies, with the opportunity to personalize their degree with a choice of electives. In the second year, students work with faculty and a self-selected adviser to write their masters thesis. At the end of the MA program, students present an oral defense of their thesis.

The MA in Film Studies is unique as it is a research based master’s degree where students develop an original thesis with strong support from faculty. Faculty research interests include, film and television theory, women in film, American cinema, Asian cinema, media historiography, film archiving and preservation, psychoanalysis and cinema, and new media studies. Graduates of the program have found employment in a wide field including teaching positions, enrollment in PhD programs, film critics, film festivals and web and marketing areas.

Students have the opportunity to undertake apply for conference funding, teaching assistant positions and research support, all of which can be connected to the workshop of their MA thesis dissertation.

Chapman University is located less than one hour from Los Angeles, where students have access to world-class research libraries and resources, such as:

  • The Mary Pickford Foundation
  • Margaret Herrick Library
  • Warner Bros. Archives
  • Academy Film Archive
  • LACMA
  • UCLA Performing Arts Special Collections
  • USC Cinema Arts Special Collections
  • The upcoming Academy Film Museum

Students are actively encouraged to apply to a wide range of internships at these well-known institutions, incorporating their work into their classes.

+ - Learning Outcomes

In mastering the curriculum of the M.A. in Film Studies, students will:

  • Identify different theoretical approaches to film studies and apply them to analyze film(s)
  • Compare different filmmaking traditions of national/regional cinemas in a global context
  • Apply primary research skills at archives and libraries for a historical analysis paper
  • Construct a thesis project that engages with major research/analytical tools of the discipline 

+ - Degree Requirements

Requirements for the degree

  1. Complete 36 credits at the 500 or 600 level.
  2. Successfully complete the thesis project.
  3. Pass an oral defense of the thesis project.

Recommended twoyear plan

first year (18 credits)

fall requirements (9 credits)

FS 545

Film Theory and Criticism

3

FS 552

Survey of American Cinema

3

 

Elective

3

spring requirements (9 credits)

FS 553

Survey of World Cinema

3

FS 594

Film Historiography

3

 

Elective

3

 

First year review

 

second year (18 credits)

fall requirements (9 credits)

FS 697

Film Studies Thesis Workshop I

3

 

Elective

3

 

Elective

3

spring requirements (9 credits)

FS 585

Film Reviewing

3

FS 698

Film Studies Thesis Workshop II

3

 

Elective

3

 

Thesis completion and oral defense

 

total credits

 

36

electives

at least one from each of the following

FS 542

Seminar in Film Studies: Genre and Auteurs

3

FS 543

Advanced Topics World Cinema

3

FS 544

Advanced Topics in Film Studies

3

optional elective

FP 531

Production Workshop I

3

FTV 361

Structure of an International Film Festival

3

+ - Faculty

Core Faculty

Dr. Emily Carman - Areas of Research Interest: American cinema, emphasis on the studio system, historiography, film stardom and screen labor, women in Hollywood, film censorship, moving image archive studies, and media industries

Dr. Kelli Fuery - Areas of Research Interest: film and media theory, psychoanalysis (classical and contemporary) and film, gender and sexuality studies, cultural memory, and creative industries.

Dr. Nam Lee - Areas of Research Interest: Asian cinema with emphasis on Korean cinema; Director studies; Women Filmmakers; Cinema and Politics; Cinema and Social Change; 1980s in Korean Cinema

Affiliated Faculty

Erica Aguero

David Desser

Andy Erish

Dawn Fratini

Harrison Gish

Kirk Honeycutt

Maja Manojlovic

Federico Pacchioni

Jonathan Wysocki

+ - Alumni

Our film studies alumni work as professors, film critics, festival programmers,  

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