Screen Studies, M.A.

School of Visual, Media and Performing Arts

Program Overview

No longer is cinema simply projected images in a darkened room. Filmmakers create work for multiple devices and platforms, from TV screens to smartphones. The Master of Arts in Screen Studies Program prepares students to engage with the rapidly changing media landscape by providing a comprehensive education in cinema history, theory, criticism, and aesthetics. Because the program is housed in the same facility as the M.F.A. in Cinema Arts Program, students deepen their knowledge within a larger community of filmmakers and cinema scholars. The program’s interrelationship with the M.F.A. and its connection to the film and media industries makes it truly unique.

Screen Studies, M.A.

Where You'll Go

With a master’s degree in screen studies you can enter any number of careers, including as a director, film and video editor, production designer, and show runner, among others.

Program Details

The program information listed here reflects the approved curriculum for the 2023-2024 academic year per the Brooklyn College Bulletin. Bulletins from past academic years can be found here.

Program Description

The Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema offers a Master of Arts degree in screen studies. The two-year, 36-credit program provides a comprehensive education in cinema and screen history, theory, criticism, and aesthetics, encompassing the scholarly exploration of motion pictures as a form of art and a means of social communication. The program may be pursued on either a full-time in two years basis or a part-time basis. Because the degree program is housed in the same facility as the M.F.A. in cinema arts (the Steiner Studios at the Brooklyn Navy Yard), students are able to deepen their knowledge within the context of a larger community of filmmaker and cinema scholars. This program’s interrelationship with the M.F.A. program is truly unique.

Matriculation Requirements

Applicants who have completed a bachelor’s degree with a minimum GPA of 3.00 satisfy the undergraduate requirements of this program.

General matriculation and admission requirements of Graduate Studies are in the section “Admission.”

Program Requirements (36 Credits)

Thirty-six credits are required for this degree.

Students must complete: FILM 7001G, 7002G, 7003G, and one of the following: FILM 7801G, 7014G, 7301G, 7302G, or 7431G.

Students must also complete 21 credits from the following list of electives: FILM 7011G, 7012G, 7015G, 7021G, 7022G, 7031G, 7032G, 7033G, 7034G, 7035G, 7036G, 7037G, 7038G, 7141G, 7513G, 7901G, 7902G, 7903G, 7911G, 7912G, 7913G. Note: Topics for electives will change every semester so that students can take a particular course more than once.

Students must also complete the following course: FILM 7050G: Thesis Project.

Student Learning Outcomes

The goal of the program is to provide a comprehensive education in cinema history, theory, criticism, and aesthetics, and to encourage the scholarly exploration of motion pictures as a form of art and a means of social communication. Because the degree program is housed in the same facility (the Steiner Film Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard) as the M.F.A. in cinema arts, it encourages students to deepen their knowledge within the context of a larger community of filmmakers, entertainment management practitioners, and cinema scholars. This program’s interrelationship with the M.F.A. program makes it truly unique. Students benefit from the depth of M.F.A. electives, while interacting with professional filmmakers at the Steiner site.

Today, the very idea of cinema is in flux. No longer does it exclusively involve projected images in a darkened auditorium. Now, filmmakers create work that is viewed on televisions, computers, hand-held devices, and even cellular phones. The purpose of the M.A. in cinema studies is not merely to invest in its students a specific body of facts; rather, it is to prepare them to engage with the changing cinematic landscape and to understand its broadest aesthetic and cultural implications across media.

To do this, the program provides a solid foundation in those areas traditionally associated with advanced study in the discipline: cinema history, theory, criticism, and aesthetics. At the same time, it fosters intellectual independence and ask its students to pursue research that deepens understanding of the cinematic past while contextualizing present and future cinematic forms.

Initiation of the proposed branch campus is consistent with the institution’s mission and goal of the university’s commitment to access and excellence. The program seeks to attract students who reflect the rich cultural diversity of the United States and beyond, and thus invite into the scholarly discussion of cinema voices that would not otherwise be heard.

Admissions Requirements

  • Fall Application Deadline: January 15
  • Spring Application Deadline: December 15

Supporting Documents for Matriculation

Submit the following documents to the Office of Graduate Admissions:

  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended. Applicants who earned a bachelor’s degree outside the United States need to submit a course-by-course international transcript evaluation. See Graduate Admissions for more information.
  • Résumé
  • Statement of purpose. Write a three- to four-page (double-spaced, 12-point font) statement explaining your purpose in undertaking a graduate program in cinema studies. This is your opportunity to define your goals, interests, and career plans as they relate to your proposed course of study. We are trying to gain a sense of who you are and the distinctive experiences and interests that have motivated you to pursue this degree.
  • Writing sample. Write a 12- to 15-page (double-spaced, 12-point font) sample essay that best exemplifies your research interests, your skills at conducting scholarly analysis (including the use of primary and secondary materials), and your ability to write critically about cinema, television, or other media; or submit a published article that fulfills these requirements. In the absence of either, an essay that critically examines a topic in the arts or humanities may be submitted provided that it meets the criteria listed above.
  • Two letters of recommendation

Submit résumé, statement of purpose, and writing sample via e-mail.

Required Tests

  • F-1 or J-1 international students must submit English Proficiency Exam. TOEFL–79, IELTS–6.5, PTE—58–63, Duolingo—105–160.

Refer to the instructions at Graduate Admissions.

Contact

Paula J. Massood

pmassood@brooklyn.cuny.edu
718.237.3410 x1003
Barry R. Feirstein Graduate School of Cinema, 25 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205

Or contact:

Office of Graduate Admissions

222 West Quad Center
2900 Bedford Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11210
P: 718.951.4536
E: grads@brooklyn.cuny.edu

Office Hours

Mondays–Fridays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

To make an appointment with a graduate admissions counselor, visit:

BC Admissions Appointment Tool

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Brooklyn. All in.

Brooklyn. All in.