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Film/media Studies Masters Uchicago vs USC vs LSE


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Hi all,


I'm looking to go into masters in film/media studies to eventually continue onto Phd. I have a BA in film, but was hoping to explore more into media/cultural studies than just focusing on film.


As of now, these are the schools that I have gotten into, and I have no idea which program would be the best at preparing for me for my Phd:


U Chicago: MAPH 1 year $40,000+

USC: Critical Studies MA 1 year $40,000 + 1 year of TAship

LSE: Media and Communications MA 1 year $30,000+ but London is an expensive city to live in..

Emory: Film Studies MA 2 years $20,000+


So in terms of money, I feel like they will all be similar... does anyone know people who have done these programs? or has anyone done these programs themselves? Does TA experience help in getting into Phd programs?


USC wants me to decide before next monday, and I really need some insight into these programs. Any comments will be appreciated!



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Hey kilene. I'm about to start a grad program in Cinema/Media Studies this fall at UChicago, and since I haven't gotten to the other side of it yet, I surely won't be the best person to answer this question. But since we have some overlap in programs we applied to (Chicago and USC, and I also seriously considered but didn't end up applying to Emory due to running out of $$ during application season), I thought I'd say hi!


Congrats on your acceptances! All of the programs you got into are highly-regarded in our field, and since the cost is pretty similar, I would guess that the school that can make you the most competitive would ultimately be the one that aligns the best with your Ph.D. research interests. What aspects of media studies do you want to focus on?


Another thing I think it might be good to keep in mind is that, from what I can remember while applying, USC and Emory's programs looked like they definitely fit within a traditional "Film Studies" curriculum as far as course offerings. I don't think the same is true at all for MAPH and LSE's M.A. program--it sounds like you can make your coursework much more interdisciplinary there, which might open some doors if you decide to apply to interdisciplinary Ph.D. programs later on (Rhetoric at Berkeley, History of Consciousness at UCSC, etc.) instead of a Ph.D. in Film.


Hope that helps, in some small way! As I mentioned, I haven't had direct experience with any of these programs, so a lot of this is based on (hopefully not-too-misguided) conjecture--hope you get more helpful responses from other people before your deadline!

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