Requirements and Offerings

Master's Certificate in Film Studies

The Film Studies Program provides an interdisciplinary curriculum, with courses (concerning cinema, television, video, and photography) offered on both the graduate and undergraduate levels. These classes treat the media as both artistic and cultural discourses, and address issues of history, theory, ideology, and aesthetics. Production courses in cinema, photography, and video are offered at the undergraduate level and, occasionally, through graduate Directed Study. The program draws on faculty from the Departments of English, Fine Arts, Slavic, German, French and Italian, Studio Arts, East Asian, and Psychology, among others. It offers an undergraduate major and minor (certificate), as well as two graduate certificates (master's and doctoral).

Course Work

Four film studies courses (12 credits) including:

  • Core Course: Film History/Theory (ENGLIT 2451)
  • Three Electives (one outside home department)

Research Paper

The master's certificate requires a research paper in the field of film studies (approx. 25–30 pp. in length) to be evaluated by a three-person committee comprising Film Studies Program faculty appointed by the director (including at least one person in and one person outside the student's home department). If the student has worked with a Film Studies faculty member on an earlier version of the paper, that faculty member should be on the committee. Guidelines will be provided for the research paper, and it is advised that students discuss this requirement with an advisor or the program director well in advance of submission.

Additional Conditions

  • Only one directed study courses (supervised by film studies faculty) can be counted toward the master's certificate.
  • All courses must be passed with a B or higher.
  • Students should notify the program director of their intention to file for graduation at the beginning of their final semester.


The film studies program director will advise students and keep records. A Graduate Steering Committee will be constituted to deal with ongoing curricular and administrative issues and to evaluate special students.

Film Studies Guide to Research: A guide to finding materials in the University Library System (.doc)

Interfolio: Graduate student job file service

Graduate Dean

Film in Pittsburgh

Original sign for John Harris’ historic nickelodeon (1905)

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