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Ph.D. in Film Studies Programs


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I am applying for the Ph.D. in Film Studies programs at various universities for Fall 2012, and wanted to see if anyone had applied before and can give me my chances of being accepted.

Here's my academic background:

GRE: 160 Verbal (86%), 5.5 Writing (96%), 151 Quantitative (51%)

B.A. in Anthropology from UC Berkeley, G.P.A. 3.00

B.F.A. in Film from California College of the Arts, GPA 3.69

M.F.A. in Film from Art Center College of Design, GPA 3.70

I wrote a Masters Thesis on the Films of Oliver Stone, and took many film seminars and theory courses for my B.F.A and M.F.A. degrees, and wrote many research papers on topics like Jean Luc Godard, Stanley Kubrick, French New Wave, etc.

I have three very strong letters of recommendations from professors who know my research interests very well, and I even got an A+ in one of their seminars.

Also, I have worked as a Film/Video Specialist for the County of Los Angeles for three years, directing, writing, and editing documentaries, PSAs, and commercials.

I have emailed several professors already, and have gotten positive responses mostly from UC Santa Barbara and USC professors, who have said my research interests are interesting and also match their research interests. My main research interests are the new wave of modern Asian films, and also films from the French New Wave period of the 1960s.

Here are the schools I'm applying to:

UC Santa Barbara


UC Irvine




These are all for Ph.D. in Film Studies and/or Visual/Media Studies programs.

Anyone can give me advice on my chances, or have had experience applying to these schools already?

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  • 1 month later...

Well, it sounds like you answered your own question! :) I was looking into the same schools as you for film studies (have since decided to pursue an MFA first), and one's chances of getting in seem to be significantly correlated to the general thrust of the department...for instance, Berkeley has people that are quite interested in Slavic film, early cinema, American Studies (Kristen Whissel), and they just picked up the fantastic theorist Mary Ann Doane from Brown (she started Brown's MCM prog, so you know Berkeley's is going to really begin to shine even more so). They also have significant interests in "new media"...

So, point being, if your interests seem to jive with the faculty research descriptions, you know you'll at least get a look, right?

Best of luck!

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