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Film Studies M.A. - New York, Western Ontario, Ohio


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New York 

Merits:

Resources

Proximity to good conferences

POIs (one with a very close fit, two other who hold expertise in the more general field I'm interested in)

Prestige

 

Demerit:

The expenses. I have been offered a 16 credit scholarship, but even with the scholarship, that still means roughly $30,000 a year for tuition and living expenses. I'm not sure that a M.A. education in New York is worth that much debt, especially considering that the M.A. program has been viewed as not that competitive these years.

In order to graduate, the department requires the passing of a comprehensive exam, not the writing of a dissertation.

 

 

Western Ontario

Merits:

Great funding (the highest among all my accepted schools)

Smaller program (the professors are more likely to pay more attention to each individual student)

Big emphasis of the program is the devotion to writing the dissertation

POI who strove to get me an admission into the program and who seems really excited about my potential project

 

Demerits:

Western Ontario seems to be less well-known outside of Canada (I could be wrong, so feel free to correct me), and for personal reasons, I would like to pursue a Ph.D. or work in the States after I graduate. From the placement records, it seems that it's more likely for me to stay in Canada if I go to Western.

Perhaps less resources compared to NYU

Not known for its film events and city life, compared to Toronto, which is a 2 hour drive away

 

 

Ohio

Merits:

Like Western, a smaller program than NYU

Funding (less than Western)

More "core courses" than any other university (a lot of emphasis put into building the foundations of film theory and film history)

 

Demerits:

Not really known for its prestige (I actually am not very sure how Ohio is placed in comparison with other Film Studies school in the U.S.)

A very small number of professors (3), all of which hold research interests that are not very related to mine.

To earn a bigger stipend in the second year, M.A. students usually teach independent courses, which translates into a higher workload.

 

 

I think basically I'm deciding between New York and Western Ontario. I believe NYU has more resources, in terms of faculty, conference discussions, and audiovisual materials, but the expenses undercuts the charm of its resources. Western perhaps has less, but I've talked to the professors and if I wanted to attend more conferences, I could drive to Toronto, I guess. I think that the earnestness of the professors and the time allotted to writing a good dissertation is perhaps more important, and that is where Western wins. However, I still would like to hear more opinions on this matter.

 

 

Also, since I'm undecided about whether I am going to pursue a Ph.D. afterwards, people have been telling me that a M.A. degree from NYU would be more recognized than a M.A. from Western. (Mainly because the people from my home country aren't that familiar with the academic system of Canada.) I would be glad to hear some more opinions regarding this matter and whether the advice would differ if I weren't going to pursue a Ph.D. afterwards.

 

 

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