Graduate Programs in Film and Media Studies

Film and Media Studies is the area of academic study that investigates the content, effects and history of the various media. Focus tends to rest on the mass media. While graduate programs might be offered by other types of educational institutions, programs in film and media studies are most commonly part of a Liberal Arts program, which seeks to place any major area of study within the context of related liberal and fine arts disciplines.

The Liberal Arts and Fine Arts context brings to bear on film and media the analytical methodologies of communication, science, philosophy, anthropology, psychology, political science, economics, sociology, history and artistic theory. The discipline is generally divided into three areas:

1. Social Scientific study of film and media – this aspect of the field uses the methodologies of the social sciences to analyze the message of film and media and the ways in which it is received and influences the thoughts, actions and beliefs of the audience, both individually and as a group.

2. Artistic Criticism of film and media – understanding and appreciation of various genres and aesthetic issues, as well as the artistic styles employed in film and media.

3. Production Processes in Film and Media – study of the processes and technologies employed in the production of film and other media, as well as the audiences and advertising of the productions.

In this program of study the various media are critically examined within the contexts of history, culture, genre, message, artistic expression and meaning. The pervasive influence of the media in modern society and culture and future developments in the delivery of modern media to the society make this a critical area of understanding for all 21st century societies.

Graduate programs in Film and Media Studies explore the depths of impact and meaning of the media in modern life. Interdisciplinary critical analyses of modern media bring to light the implicit impacts of all media on individuals and on societies. In a time when the internet makes many media productions instantly available to an increasingly global audience and a home video clip can become a sensation in a matter of seconds, society is impacted in constantly new ways.

Pursuit of the MA/PhD or the PhD in Film and Media Studies affords the opportunity to acquire and demonstrate a comprehensive grasp of the influences that shape the media and those that are shaped by the media in our society. It prepares a student for profound critical analysis, research and teaching and the higher education level. As the media reaches us ever more quickly, the challenge to understand impacts and art, particularly as culture is shaped in beneficial ways, the importance of advanced study of the modern mass media becomes more important.


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