Masters Program

The Department of Film Studies at Emory University offers a free-standing M.A. Program in the methodologies of film theory, history, and criticism. The program trains its students to be astute and discriminating critics and analysts of film and media art; it strengthens their critical thinking through an awareness of the philosophical and aesthetic debates in film and media theory; and it provides students with a thorough knowledge of cinema and media history as a dynamic form of cultural expression.

Financial aid in the form of partial tuition waivers is available to M.A. candidates who study on campus.

Read the Graduate Student Handbook here.

Students must fulfill the basic requirments for the M.A. degree as set forth in the Graduate School catalog. In addition, M.A. candidates must either already have or be prepared to pursue training equivalent to the core course work of undergraduate majors in Film Studies (comprised of the Introduction to Film course [FILM270], the two-semester History of Film courses [FILM371 and 372], and Classical and Contemporary Film Theory [FILM381 and 382]). 

Course of Study

Master's Degree

Students typically take two years to complete an MA.


Eight courses are required.  FILM 500: Introduction to Graduate Film and Media Studies is required of all entering students.  Five must be taken in our core seminars-Authorship, Genre/Criticism, History/National Cinemas, Theory, and Methods in Film and Media Studies. The subject matter for each of these seminars grows out of the instructors' and students' interests.  Students may also require some leveling coursework (in, for example, Classical and Contemporary Film Theory).


The MA degree culminates in the writing and oral defense of a thesis.  The thesis demonstrates the ability to formulate and address an original research question in discipline-specific language.  It should display in-depth knowledge of at least one area of expertise; it must also indicate broad familiarity with the methods and discourse of film and media studies-primarily by showing how it is in dialogue with other work in the field and making the case for its own relevance.  Each thesis has three faculty readers, one of whom can be from a department other than Film and Media Studies.


TATTO (Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity)

Even if they do not wish to be Teaching Assistants during their time at Emory, students in the Film Studies M.A. program are required to participate in Emory University's Teaching Assistant Training and Teaching Opportunity (TATTO)program. It is also an essential part of the Film Studies M.A. program experience. Completion of the TATTO program requires participation in the three-day summer course offered by the Graduate School and attaining a passing grade.

Students are scheduled to take the course (TATT 600) in the summer before their second year of course work (the course is usually held in late August).

Graduate Course Work

Descriptions of all graduate courses offered by the film studies department can be found in the course catalog and the times that they are offered each semester can be found in the course schedules page.

The five core graduate seminars (all of which feature rotating topics) for the M.A. are:

  • FILM501: Seminar in Authorship
  • FILM502: Seminar in Genre/Criticism
  • FILM503: Seminar in History/National Cinemas
  • FILM 504: Seminar in Film Theory
  • FILM 506: Methods in Film and Media Studies

In addition, M.A. students are required to enroll in the following:

  • FILM 500: Introduction to Graduate Film and Media Studies (in their first semester)
  • FILM 598: Graduate Colloquium (in all four semesters)
  • FILM 599: Master's Thesis (in the spring of their second year)

In addition, students may enroll in any of the following courses offered during their matriculation:

  • FILM 401: Film and Media Criticism
  • FILM 402: Scriptwriting
  • FILM 403: The Biz
  • FILM 404: Women in Film and Media
  • FILM 405: Experimental/Avant Garde Cinema
  • FILM 407: Content Creation
  • FILM 500: Introduction to Graduate Film Studies
  • FILM 573: Special Topics in Film Studies
  • FILM 581: Classical Film Theory
  • FILM 582: Contemporary Film and Media Theory
  • FILM 589: Special Topics in Media
  • FILM 591: Studies in Major Figures
  • FILM 592: Studies in Film Genres
  • FILM 593: Non-Fiction Film
  • FILM 595: Studies in National Cinemas
  • FILM 597: Directed Study
At this time, the department is not accepting applications to its M.A. program.