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UC Santa Barbara General CatalogUniversity of California, Santa Barbara

Film and Media Studies

Division of Humanities and Fine Arts
Social Sciences & Media Studies 2433
Telephone: (805) 893-2347
Department Chair: Peter Bloom

Graduate Program

The graduate curriculum in film and media studies is composed of a set of six core courses together with supplemental/elective courses designed to make the program strongly disciplinary, interdisciplinary, and international.


In addition to departmental requirements for graduate admission, applicants must fulfill university requirements described in the “Graduate Education” section of the UCSB online catalog. The postmarked deadline for applications is December 1.

To be considered for admission to the Film and Media Studies M.A./Ph.D. or Ph.D.-only graduate programs, a student must show a strong aptitude for scholarly work and demonstrate intellectual maturity. Students who are admitted will be required to attain a basic level of competence in the discipline in conjunction with their specific programs of study. Many of the students admitted to the program will have achieved such a base level of competence by having completed an undergraduate major in film and media studies or taken film and media studies courses while majoring in a closely related humanities, arts, or social science discipline (such as literature, dramatic arts, philosophy, history, or women’s studies) with an emphasis on critical thinking and writing.

Admission to the program is based on five criteria: (1) a writing sample that demonstrates a high level of ability to write theory, criticism, or historical narrative; (2) a statement of purpose describing reasons for wishing to earn a Ph.D. in film and media studies; (3) three letters of recommendation; (4) GRE scores; and (5) two sets of official transcripts. In addition, departmental policy mandates that international students whose native language is not English obtain a minimum score of 600 on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) prior to admission. An exception to the TOEFL requirement will be considered for those students who have earned an undergraduate or graduate degree at an institution whose primary language of instruction is English.

Master of Arts – Film and Media Studies (Requirements - PDF)

Doctor of Philosophy – Film and Media Studies (Requirements - PDF)

Doctor of Philosophy – Film and Media Studies, Continuing M.A. (Requirements - PDF)

Optional Interdisciplinary Emphases

Students pursuing a doctoral degree in Film and Media Studies may petition to add the following Optional Interdisciplinary Ph.D. Emphases: Environment and Society, Feminist Studies, Global Studies, Information Technology and Society.

Requirement sheets for each emphasis may be found on this page.