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I could not find a recent post for all the students considering film/media/television studies on the MA level... so I thought I would start one!

I have been searching for the past month for some of the less popular MA programs, and frankly I could use some help. Here is a list of some schools and programs I am considering:

University of South Florida - Masters of Liberal Arts in Film Studies (Did my undergrad work here so this is more of a backup)

Emory University - MA Film Studies

University of Florida - MA Film Studies

Indiana University, Bloomington - MA Film and Media Studies

Georgia State University - MA Film Studies

Savannah College of Art and Design - MA Film Studies

Boston University - MA Film Studies

University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee - MA Media Studies

Anyone have new suggestions? I am trying to stay away from schools in California and New York and some of the big name schools like Brown and Northwestern. Appreciate the help!

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I am attending DePaul University right now for Master's program in Media and Cinema studies. I love the school. The program is designed to prepare you for PhD. If you are interested and have specific questions, you can message me. I would say that if I were to do all over again, I would apply MA school that also offers PhD so you can transition to PhD right after MA.

Good luck.

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May I ask why you're considering an MA in cinema/media studies? Others are welcome to correct me, but in my experience, an MA, being a non-terminal degree in the field, typically does not offer the sort of scope that the PhD does. While you will be qualified for instructor/lecturer/adjunct positions, I don't know that you'll gain a whole lot else out of it. In addition, MA programs are typically unfunded; Emory is a notable exception here, but they only admit perhaps 6 students a year and are thus able to fund their tuition.

On the other hand, applying for and being accepted to a PhD program means you are certain of funding. Most well-known PhD programs (and I can't see why you would want to go anywhere other than a high-ranking program, bearing in mind the contemporary job market in academia) have cut down on their admissions in order to be able to accept fewer students yet be able to fund them completely. So that makes me ask why you're even considering "less popular" programs. Emory, by the way, is not all that unknown; it's one of the most coveted programs around. As for the others, Indiana and Wisconsin are relatively well known, but they offer full PhD programs.

I think you would do much better to consider PhD programs and apply accordingly. If you want to leave after earning an MA, you're free to do so. Given that most MA programs, as noted, do not offer much funding, and considering the current market conditions, it is unconscionable to take on the debt (or even if you can pay out of pocket, invest that much money) into a program that is very unlikely to give you back much in material returns.

That being said, I would suggest you do look at the leading PhD programs: Berkeley, NYU, University of Chicago, Yale, Harvard, University of Iowa, Wisconsin, Brown. Also consider MIT's program in media studies, USC, UCLA, and Columbia (though I am not certain about the last).

Lastly, I would very strongly urge you to consider my own program: the Master of Arts Program in the Humanities at the University of Chicago. A quick review of posts on this forum will show you polarised opinions on the program. However, I have described my own, very positive, experience elsewhere, so please review that. Briefly, I applied to Chicago's doctoral program, but I did not have the sort of rigorous preparation they expect. I was referred to the MAPH program. Although it is expensive, it has provided me a superb foundation for my application to doctoral programs this winter. Most of the people who graduate from my program intending to continue to doctoral studies (and assuming they have worked accordingly during their year here) manage to make it to some of the top programs around. Alternatively, if you are bent on just an MA, you can craft your program of study across the entire graduate division at the university so that you get to study what you want, how you want.

Edited by Swagato

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I'm actually going to vehemntly disagree with the poster above and say to not apply to PhD programs. This is what I did last year, and it was a terrible idea. I hadn't finished my undergrad at the time, so I couldn't submit my thesis, had no legitimate undergrad research or published papers, and I was putting myself up against a ton of highly qualified MA students. Thus, I got completley shut out. Unless you are a superstar BA with a ton of credentials, it's really dificult to go straight to a PhD program. But just looking at my status in the last year since graduating I've increased my profile by having a finished thesis, a conference presentation, two upcoming book reviews in a journal, and simply having a better idea of what I want to do in terms of research.

This year I'm applying to only MA programs,. though ones that I could continue on toward a PhD at that school. I've talked with some professors and current students and most of them like to pull from inside (NYU is an exception I hear though--they prefer bringing in non-NYU students to their MA programs). The MA, depending on the program, can get you good research, conferences, hopefully an MA thesis as well that will make you look good when you apply to PhD programs either at a different school or just enough to impress the faculty to pull you up to their PhD program.

Obviously though the funding is the big question mark, but again, when you consider that with some of those top PhD programs it's often at least 150 students competitng for 4-5 spots these days, mainly because they are funded. With MA programs, if you are at the top of your game on your BA, you can look very good and perhaps if you are the top you can get at least partial funding or something (ex. NYU does credit reimbursement for one or two clases).

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I'm in about the same situation as you (applying to grad schools for the fall of 2012) and everyone one of my professors that I talk to as well as the students they put me in contact with say that getting an MA is a good decision. Somewhere out there, there is someone who has the credentials and skills to go directly into a PhD program from a BA but that is not me (nor is it most students).

Its good that you are looking at smaller "safety" schools. Are you also applying to bigger programs? I'm doing about half and half. I would recommend picking one or two top schools just because if you dont try you'll never know. I've been in contact with a current MA student at IU Bloomington and from what he said and from looking over their program website it looks like a great school (its on my list for sure). Have you looked at Oklahoma State? Their faculty is small but it seems like a strong program and recently got two new faculty members. The good thing about small schools, unlike what one of the above posters said, is that they are more willing to help pay for school. Maybe not a full ride, but definitely some. As one of my professors put it - they want you and want to bolster their program. These types of attitudes will even sometimes make a smaller program a more rigorous and more worth-while program than one of the HUGE schools. For a school like USC and UT (not that I wouldnt love to go to either) sometimes the attitude is 'well you should be glad to even be here, why should we help you out'. This also means less funding and sometimes less attention, unless you're really adamant about getting to know your instructors personally (of course thats key anywhere).

My list is something like this -

UT

USC

UW Madison

UC Santa Barbara

Oklahoma State

Indiana

Ohio University (not sure, visiting there in early October)

University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

I'm taking my GRE on Thursday, have you done yours yet? Are you visiting any schools? From what I understand this is a good idea to make yourself known. I'm visitng UT austin next week and scheduled to sit in on a class which should be fun. I'm also planning on visitng OSU (I live in Denton, TX so these are close) and as I said before Ohio - my parents just moved close to there and am using it as a way to feel out what seems like a small program with really good teaching opportunities.

Glad to find someone in the same boat as me! What are your research interests? Do you have any faculty that you're looking at specifically?

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I am attending DePaul University right now for Master's program in Media and Cinema studies. I love the school. The program is designed to prepare you for PhD. If you are interested and have specific questions, you can message me. I would say that if I were to do all over again, I would apply MA school that also offers PhD so you can transition to PhD right after MA.

Good luck.

Hey to Gracie915

I am currently applying to Depaul for the Master's program in Media and Cinema studies. I could really use your help! I am not planning on getting my PHD but would like to teach as adjunct faculty while pursuing other things. Please let me know if Depaul would be a wise choice for this? What is the work load like? Does it make sense to go hear even if I am not going on to get my PHD. Thank you soo much for the help hope to hear from you soon!

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I've seen surprisingly little activity regarding this year's Film/Cinema and Media Studies applications. What's going on, people? Name your places, hopes, areas of study, and other relevant information and let's get a sense of what's happening this year.

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I'm in about the same situation as you (applying to grad schools for the fall of 2012) and everyone one of my professors that I talk to as well as the students they put me in contact with say that getting an MA is a good decision. Somewhere out there, there is someone who has the credentials and skills to go directly into a PhD program from a BA but that is not me (nor is it most students).

Its good that you are looking at smaller "safety" schools. Are you also applying to bigger programs? I'm doing about half and half. I would recommend picking one or two top schools just because if you dont try you'll never know. I've been in contact with a current MA student at IU Bloomington and from what he said and from looking over their program website it looks like a great school (its on my list for sure). Have you looked at Oklahoma State? Their faculty is small but it seems like a strong program and recently got two new faculty members. The good thing about small schools, unlike what one of the above posters said, is that they are more willing to help pay for school. Maybe not a full ride, but definitely some. As one of my professors put it - they want you and want to bolster their program. These types of attitudes will even sometimes make a smaller program a more rigorous and more worth-while program than one of the HUGE schools. For a school like USC and UT (not that I wouldnt love to go to either) sometimes the attitude is 'well you should be glad to even be here, why should we help you out'. This also means less funding and sometimes less attention, unless you're really adamant about getting to know your instructors personally (of course thats key anywhere).

My list is something like this -

UT

USC

UW Madison

UC Santa Barbara

Oklahoma State

Indiana

Ohio University (not sure, visiting there in early October)

University of Copenhagen (Denmark)

I'm taking my GRE on Thursday, have you done yours yet? Are you visiting any schools? From what I understand this is a good idea to make yourself known. I'm visitng UT austin next week and scheduled to sit in on a class which should be fun. I'm also planning on visitng OSU (I live in Denton, TX so these are close) and as I said before Ohio - my parents just moved close to there and am using it as a way to feel out what seems like a small program with really good teaching opportunities.

Glad to find someone in the same boat as me! What are your research interests? Do you have any faculty that you're looking at specifically?

I'm also applying to UT & USC! just PM-ed you! let's talk about it! :)

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I'm applying to media studies program at UT & Syracuse! Also NYU's media, culture, and communication! yay!!

If you have similar interest, PM me!! don't be shy~!!

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I went to NYU mcc for my ma and am getting my second masters in education via Teach for America. Applied to only Syracuse mass comm and Harvard film phd. We'll see what happens!! Nervous//excited.

Edited by MGJR

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I'm applying to/have applied to the following programs:

UT-Austin

Northwestern

Penn (Annenberg)

UW-Madison

Chicago

Brown

MIT

Syracuse

NYU (Steinhardt)

The New School

I've applied to the Media & Cultural Studies PhD track at UW-Madison, and received an e-mail recently to schedule an interview for this week. It is my top choice--and virtually a perfect fit--so I'm hoping all goes well!

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I'm applying to/have applied to the following programs:

UT-Austin

Northwestern

Penn (Annenberg)

UW-Madison

Chicago

Brown

MIT

Syracuse

NYU (Steinhardt)

The New School

I've applied to the Media & Cultural Studies PhD track at UW-Madison, and received an e-mail recently to schedule an interview for this week. It is my top choice--and virtually a perfect fit--so I'm hoping all goes well!

Looks like a great list. What is your background/any stats you care to 'fess up to? :)

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I'm applying to/have applied to the following programs:

UT-Austin

Northwestern

Penn (Annenberg)

UW-Madison

Chicago

Brown

MIT

Syracuse

NYU (Steinhardt)

The New School

I've applied to the Media & Cultural Studies PhD track at UW-Madison, and received an e-mail recently to schedule an interview for this week. It is my top choice--and virtually a perfect fit--so I'm hoping all goes well!

I also received an offer to interview with someone in the Media and Cultural Studies program this week. PM me if you want to share thoughts.

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I've applied to the following PhD programs:

Berkeley

Chicago

Concordia

Indiana

Iowa

Michigan

Northwestern

NYU

Pittsburgh

Texas - Austin

UCSB

University of Florida

USC

Wayne State

Wisconsin-Madison

Haven't heard a peep yet, but it is early judging by last year's results.

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Hi! I've applied to the following programs:

UCLA

UCSB

UT Austin

UW Madison

Brown University

University of Rochester

Northwestern

All of them related to film and media studies. I have not heard anything from UW…still waiting.

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I've applied to the following PhD programs:

Berkeley

Chicago

Concordia

Indiana

Iowa

Michigan

Northwestern

NYU

Pittsburgh

Texas - Austin

UCSB

University of Florida

USC

Wayne State

Wisconsin-Madison

Haven't heard a peep yet, but it is early judging by last year's results.

Hello there, it looks like we have many overlap targets. What is your background and projected research interests, if you don't mind sharing?

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I applied broadly. I can't imagine there are many folks in the field who I don't have some overlap with!

Let's see... undergrad business degree, just finished my MA in Film Studies this Fall. Have a good GPA, GRE, strong LORs, etc... Have one publication, and a few conference presentations. I would think stats-wise, I'm solid, but I imagine most are. It's really going to come down to demonstrating fit for any of us, I imagine. My focus is on exploitation film.

I did an unscientific search through the Results Database on this site, and it looks like realistically we won't be hearing any decision until about Feb. 1, with some coming as late as the end of March.

Edited by nyfilmfest

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Your timeframe sounds about right. Exploitation film...sounds awesome. Big fan of Jeff Sconce's work. nyfilmfest you have applied to a TON of schools. It seems smart seeing how competitive these programs are, but it must have cost so much time/money.

MGJR, it's awesome that you did TFA, and I bet that looks great on your app. I was accepted and plan to do it if I do not get into graduate programs this year.

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I applied broadly. I can't imagine there are many folks in the field who I don't have some overlap with!

Let's see... undergrad business degree, just finished my MA in Film Studies this Fall. Have a good GPA, GRE, strong LORs, etc... Have one publication, and a few conference presentations. I would think stats-wise, I'm solid, but I imagine most are. It's really going to come down to demonstrating fit for any of us, I imagine. My focus is on exploitation film.

I did an unscientific search through the Results Database on this site, and it looks like realistically we won't be hearing any decision until about Feb. 1, with some coming as late as the end of March.

I agree, it sounds as though you'd ostensibly be as competitive as any other reasonable applicant. Is it just me, or is it the case in recent years that the top programs are admitting almost exclusively from MA-holders? I had an English BA when I applied for the first round, which probably didn't help much--took advantage of a year at Chicago to get an MA--and now I'm awaiting the results of my second (hopefully much improved) effort. UChicago and Berkeley seem the earliest to respond, with others following through February, and some coming in around early March.

I'd like to work on 19th. century visual technology+critical/philosophical discourse surrounding the emergence of that 'new' media, and pursue a comparative course of study by exploring contemporary 'new media' in context. The anchor point would be Modernist theoretical considerations, especially that of the Frankfurt School and some newer--and somewhat overlooked--figures (Deleuze, Lyotard, Bergson, et al.).

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I agree, it sounds as though you'd ostensibly be as competitive as any other reasonable applicant. Is it just me, or is it the case in recent years that the top programs are admitting almost exclusively from MA-holders? I had an English BA when I applied for the first round, which probably didn't help much--took advantage of a year at Chicago to get an MA--and now I'm awaiting the results of my second (hopefully much improved) effort.

Most admits have MAs, to be sure, but I know that people do get admitted directly out of undergrad as well, even into top PhD programs. My hunch is that admissions decision is based more on your project and perceived enthusiasm than any other factor.

That being said, there's no doubt that having done your MA has made you a stronger candidate.

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I know I should not make assumptions about this but this is my first time with the process of PhD applications. I got an email today with financial aid information for the UW-Madison. It's there anyone else who applied to this university? Did you get the email? I know it's still early to receive notifications but I can't help but wonder...

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I know I should not make assumptions about this but this is my first time with the process of PhD applications. I got an email today with financial aid information for the UW-Madison. It's there anyone else who applied to this university? Did you get the email? I know it's still early to receive notifications but I can't help but wonder...

What kind of information is this? It is, I think, a bit odd to receive financial aid information before receiving any intimation about admissions. By reading the email, can you determine if this is a "general information"-type letter, or does it contain specifics related to you? My guess is that it may simply be an informational letter, but if you are in doubt, you can always reach out to the department.

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I know I should not make assumptions about this but this is my first time with the process of PhD applications. I got an email today with financial aid information for the UW-Madison. It's there anyone else who applied to this university? Did you get the email? I know it's still early to receive notifications but I can't help but wonder...

The deadline for FASFA comes earlier than the April 15 deadline for Grad School acceptances, so schools will send out notes of this sort, even before an admissions decision is made. I received this same note (despite not getting an interview request from Wisconsin, as others on this forum have) and I received a similar one from USC back in December. I wouldn't read very much into it at all, although I would take it at face value, as a reminder to complete Financial Aid paperwork.

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Hi Everyone,

I applied to:

Berkeley, Yale, Brown, Stanford (Art History), UCI, UCSB, UCLA, NYU, UWisc, WashU (Comp. Lit/Chinese + American Culture Graduate Certificate), Duke (Comp. Lit), UChicago, and the U Hong Kong.

I specialize in contemporary Chinese-language cinema as well as East Asian cinema. I am currently completing an MA in Literary and Cultural Studies from HKU, but I'm American and did my undergrad at Cal.

I've received an interview from Stanford.

My original recommender pulled out at the last minute for my apps to Berkeley, Yale and Brown, so it looks like those will be rejections barring a miracle.

Has anyone heard anything from any schools?

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