Graduate Admissions

All applications to the Department of Cinema and Media Studies PhD program must be submitted through the Division of the Humanities Admissions website by December 15 for admission the following fall quarter. Please know that we cannot consider late applications.

The application window for Fall 2018 admission to the PhD program is now closed. Applicants can still apply to the MAPH program for Fall 2018. 

Once you submit your application to the Division it will be forwarded to our Department. Each year we have a limited number of slots for which we are able to offer admission, and our faculty carefully review each application in order to select the applicants which we will recommend to the Division of the Humanities for admission. Final admission decisions are made by the faculty as a whole rather than by individual faculty members.
Master of Arts Degree
Our department does not offer a stand-alone MA program. Instead, the Division of the Humanities has a one-year Master of Arts Program in the Humanities - MAPH provides students with strong pedagogical support, including a core course in interpretive theory and master's thesis workshops. Students in the MAPH program can choose to concentrate in cinema and media studies and complete an MA thesis supervised by a faculty member.
Admissions Decisions
All admissions decisions are sent by the admissions office through the online application system in mid-February. No decision information can be given by phone or email from the department. Unless you are contacted by the department, please direct all questions about your application directly to


Frequently Asked Questions
How many applications does the PhD program receive per year? How many of those applicants are admitted?
In recent years, Cinema and Media Studies has been receiving around 150 applications a year - we admit anywhere between 2% and 5% of those applicants to the PhD program.
How many times a year does the PhD program accept applicants?
Students can apply to the university between mid-September to December 15 each year in order to matriculate the following autumn quarter.
Does Cinema and Media Studies fund all admitted students?
All students admitted to the PhD program, both domestic and international, are funded equally and receive a five-year package - based upon satifcatory progress - that includes a living stipend, tuition remission, and health insurance.
What are the minimum test scores for the GRE? 
A general GRE test score from within the last five years is required to apply to a PhD program at the Univeristy of Chicago; Cinema and Media Studies does not have a minimum GRE score required for admittance. 
The GRE code for the University of Chicago is 1832.
What are the minimum scores for language exams (TOEFL; IELTS)?
The minimum required score for the TOEFL exam is 104 (with 4 sub scores of 26 each); the IELTS requires an overall minimum score of 7 (sub scores of 7 each). A score from either test must be from within the last two years. To see if you qualify for an exemption, please consult the Office of International Affairs
Does the PhD program offer joint degrees?
Prospective students are welcome to apply to the Joint PhD Program in Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) - an initiative which allows students to complement their scholarship in Cinema and Media Studies with a program of study in TAPS that reflects their particular training and interests, encompassing both academic and artistic work. For more information on joint degrees in other fields of study, please refer to the Division of the Humanities.
Please also visit the FAQ page for the Division of the Humanities. 
Contact Us

If you have any questions about the PhD program that are not answered by our website, please contact us at
Cinema and Media Studies hosts an Open House each spring solely for prospective students who have already been admitted to the PhD program. If you are interested in visiting the camous prior to the Open House, tours of campus are available for prospective or admitted graduate students. These tours, led by current graduate students, are managed by UChicagoGRAD. Please contact their office directly if you would like to register for a tour.