Jun 24, 2024  
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2023-24 
Ohio University Graduate Catalog 2023-24 [Archived Catalog]

Film Studies - MA

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Master of Arts in Film Studies

Film Studies – MA5142

School of Film
31 S. Court St., Rm 007
Ohio University
Athens, Ohio 45701

Delivery Mode: Athens Campus

Term of Entry: Fall only

Terms of Entry Requiring Program Permission: None

Program Overview

The M.A. in Film Studies at Ohio University takes a broad approach to film studies in the humanities, with the aim of nurturing innovative and rigorous scholars who can use their experience at OU to enter doctorate programs or find appropriate careers in the field. The program is composed of two compulsory course tracks in film history and theory as well as a range of electives covering a variety genres, movements, and critical approaches. While the compulsory courses provide a survey of the field, the electives often focus on new research in film studies. Classes integrate a presentation of the disciplinary knowledge needed in the field with the development of the skills and practices necessary to apply this knowledge to new research questions. Following a first year of intensive course-work, students may pursue either a written thesis or a comprehensive exam for graduation. Students writing a thesis work closely with a faculty advisor and other committee members to develop an original thesis topic, conduct the necessary research, and produce a manuscript of publishable quality that can be used to further their scholarly goals. Students pursuing an exam path likewise work closely with a faculty advisor to plan and execute a plan for scholarly research in one theory and one history area, preparing them for future scholarly work. Starting in their first year students gain valuable teaching experience as TAs in large lecture courses. In their second year, most students are given the opportunity to create their own stand-alone courses, under the supervision of a faculty advisor. Recognizing the changing demands of the field, the M.A. program strives to prepare each student individually for the challenges and rewards of scholarship, while giving them the skills to become researchers and teachers able to critically intervene in film and media studies while guiding the next generation of students to become active participants in their increasingly mediated visual worlds.

Program Learning Outcomes

  • Scholarship: Students will be able to produce original scholarship in film, acceptable at a scholarly peer-reviewed level.
  • Critical Thinking: Students will gain a mastery of a broad range of critical, theoretical, and historical approaches to film, and be able to apply these to a range of films across different historical periods, nationalities, and modes of production.
  • Teaching: Students will gain experience in undergraduate teaching that addresses course learning outcomes, engages students, and employs different resources appropriately to produce a rich leaning environment.
  • Professional Development: Students will articulate and implement a comprehensive vision of their career paths and goals.

Opportunities for Graduates

Most graduates from the M.A. program use their degree to pursue doctoral work in film studies, American studies, cultural studies, and related disciplines. The program aims to make graduating students stand-out applicants to competitive programs. Graduates who apply for Ph.D. programs have behind them the experience of conducting a long term research project and teaching experience that makes them particularly attractive for doctoral programs. Graduates also have a many opportunities outside of academia, including working as film and media librarians, film festival organizers, museum and program curators in film and media, and work in film criticism. There are also expanding opportunities for graduates in non-profit work that integrates film and media into its mission.

Further Information

Link to Program: https://www.ohio.edu/fine-arts/film/graduate-programs

Admission Requirements

  • Three letters of recommendation.
  • A sample of written work consisting of a paper or papers on any subject such as a research paper, article or critical analysis.
  • Personal statement.
  • CV

International Students

This program permits full-time enrollment in residence at Ohio University, and an I-20 may be issued based on admission to this program.

Graduation Requirements

Complete a minimum of 50 credit hours as follows:

Core Curriculum

Complete the following courses. Minimum required hours and the maximum number applicable to the degree are given as a range for each.


Complete at least five electives (min. 15 hours) selected in consultation with the Head of the M.A. program.

Culminating Experience

Complete one of the two following options:

  • Thesis – The M.A. thesis is an original scholarly monograph of at least fifty pages and is recommended for students interested in pursuing study at the doctoral level. Successful oral defense of the thesis is required to meet graduation requirements.
  • Comprehensive exam - Students not planning to go on to a doctoral program immediately after completion of the M.A. may meet formal degree requirements with course work and a written comprehensive examination designed to assess synthesis of knowledge developed during the course of study.

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