The Master of Arts program in film studies requires 36 s.h. of graduate credit, typically earned with 12 graduate-level courses spanning two years. The program's focus is on advanced film theory and film history in an international context, with required distributions of course work in U.S. cinema, European cinema, world cinemas, and at least one of the following areas: film production, documentary film, animation, or experimental film. Students meet formal degree requirements through course work and a written examination in their second year on key areas within film theory and film history, followed by an oral examination.
More information on the program is available on the Department of Cinematic Arts website.
A faculty committee chaired by the head of film studies evaluates applications to the M.A. program. Application materials should include undergraduate and/or graduate transcripts, a personal statement, a writing sample, three letters of recommendation, test scores, and samples of creative work when relevant. Admission decisions are based on the full range of an applicant's accomplishments and evidence that the applicant will fit the elements of the program and will thrive in the department. Previous experience in the area of film studies is desirable but not required.
All applicants must meet the admission requirements of the Graduate College; see the Manual of Rules and Regulations of the Graduate College. Information about the application process is available on the Department of Cinematic Arts website and the Graduate Admissions website.
The Master of Arts degree typically prepares students for continued, advanced graduate work in film studies at the University of Iowa or elsewhere. However, students also have used their M.A. training in film theory and history to seek careers in other areas, including film criticism or positions at film archives or film festivals, or within various facets of the film industry.
The Graduate College also is prepared to help graduates explore careers related to or that build upon their training. In conjunction with the Graduate College, the Department of Cinematic Arts also is committed to helping graduate students explore a range of alternative careers that take advantage of their specific training. In addition, the Pomerantz Career Center offers multiple resources to help students find internships and jobs.