Program Requirements

 

Students are expected to complete seventeen courses during their course of study, of which a minimum of twelve have to be listed among the offerings of the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. Required courses must be taken for a quality grade (not pass/fail). These Cinema and Media Studies courses will include:

Four required courses originating in the department:

  • CMST 40000 Methods and Issues in Cinema and Media Studies: an introduction to research methods, key concepts, and theoretical approaches, using case studies to introduce students to debates and issues in the field;
     
  • CMST 48500/48600 History of International Cinema: a two-quarter survey course that is designed as both a beginning-level graduate and an upper-level undergraduate course.
     
  • CMST 69900 Pedagogy. 

Eight elective courses in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies.

Five other elective courses. 

A sample program for students entering the Department without previous graduate study in Cinema and Media Studies would consist in the following:

  • First year: A total of seven courses: the three required courses; a minimum of two elective courses cross-listed in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies; two further elective courses.
     
  • Second year: A total of six courses: a minimum of four elective courses cross-listed in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies; two further elective courses. Of these six courses, three must be designated as advanced courses. In years that Pedagogy is offered, students are expected to enroll; 
     
  • Third Year: A total of three (3) courses; at least one Ph.D. research seminar listed or cross-listed in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies; two elective courses. Students should take Pedagogy if not taken in their second year. 

Students entering the department with an M.A. from another institution or another program may ask to be exempt from some of these requirements. Such requests will be handled on an individual basis. Students wishing to waive requirements must get the approval of their adviser and the Director of Graduate Studies.

Fields Examination: Students entering the Department without previous graduate study in Cinema and Media Studies are expected to take their Fields Examination by the end of the third year; students entering with an M.A. may be encouraged to take the examination earlier.

Foreign Language Requirement: Given the highly international nature of the field of cinema and media studies, proficiency in two modern foreign languages has to be demonstrated by earning High Passes on the University's Foreign Language Reading Examinations. The first of these two languages must be either French or German, and proficiency should be demonstrated by the beginning of the Autumn quarter of the student's second year. The second language will be chosen in consultation with the graduate advisor, and proficiency must be demonstrated before the student will be permitted to take the Fields Examination.

Teaching: We will make every effort to assure that all students who apply for a course assistantship have at least one quarter of supervised teaching during their years in the program, and more if specified by the terms of their award package. Further information on teaching in CMS and other opportunities to teach at the University of Chicago can be found in the CMS Graduate Student Handbook and from the Office of the Dean of Students.

Dissertation Proposal: Before being admitted to candidacy, students must write a dissertation proposal under the supervision of the dissertation committee.

Dissertation: Upon completion of the dissertation, the student will defend it orally before the members of the dissertation committee.

Please refer to the Graduate Student Handbook for more detailed information.