• MA Film Studies Chapman University
Dodge College of Film & Media Arts

M.A. in Film Studies

» A comprehensive program focused in film and media studies with a Master’s thesis project

In the two-year M.A. Film Studies program, students take courses that establish the key academic methods in the fields of film and media studies, with the opportunity to personalize their degree with a choice of electives. In the second year, students work with faculty to write their Master’s thesis. At the end of the M.A. program, students present an oral defense of their thesis.

This program is unique because it is a research based Master’s degree where students develop an original thesis with strong support from faculty. Faculty have mentored student theses on such topics as film and television theory, politics and film, women in film, American cinema, Asian cinema, media historiography, film archiving and preservation, archival and primary research, psychoanalysis and cinema, transnational cinema, and new media studies. Graduates of the program have continued on to pursue the following: teaching positions in community colleges and high schools, enrollment in PhD programs, film criticism and journalism, film festival programming, film archiving and preservation.

Students have the opportunity to apply for conference funding and research support, which can be connected to the workshop of their M.A. thesis. In addition, students can apply for competitive research assistantships.

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+ - Learning Outcomes

In mastering the curriculum of the M.A. in Film Studies, students will:

  • Identify different theoretical approaches to film studies and apply them to analyze film(s)
  • Compare different filmmaking traditions of national/regional cinemas in a global context
  • Apply primary research skills at archives and libraries for a historical analysis paper
  • Construct a thesis project that engages with major research/analytical tools of the discipline 

+ - Degree Requirements

Requirements for the degree

  1. Complete 36 credits at the 500 or 600 level.
  2. Successfully complete the thesis project.
  3. Pass an oral defense of the thesis project.

Recommended twoyear plan

first year (18 credits)

fall requirements (9 credits)

FS 545

Film Theory and Criticism


FS 552

Survey of American Cinema





spring requirements (9 credits)

FS 553

Survey of World Cinema


FS 594

Film Historiography






First year review


second year (18 credits)

fall requirements (9 credits)

FS 697

Film Studies Thesis Workshop I








spring requirements (9 credits)

FS 585

Film Reviewing


FS 698

Film Studies Thesis Workshop II






Thesis completion and oral defense



total credits




at least one from each of the following

FS 542

Seminar in Film Studies: Genre and Auteurs


FS 543

Advanced Topics World Cinema


FS 544

Advanced Topics in Film Studies


optional elective

FP 531

Production Workshop I


FTV 361

Structure of an International Film Festival


+ - Faculty

For a complete list of Dodge College faculty, view our faculty directory.

Dr. Emily Carman - Areas of Research Interest: American cinema, emphasis on the studio system, historiography, film stardom and screen labor, women in Hollywood, film censorship, moving image archive studies, and media industries

Dr. Kelli Fuery - Areas of Research Interest: film and media theory, psychoanalysis (classical and contemporary) and film, gender and sexuality studies, cultural memory, and creative industries.

Dr. Nam Lee - Areas of Research Interest: Asian cinema with emphasis on Korean cinema; Director studies; Women Filmmakers; Cinema and Politics; Cinema and Social Change; 1980s in Korean Cinema


+ - Career & Internship Opportunities

Our film studies alumni work as professors, film critics, festival programmers, Ph.D. candidates. 

Our proximity to Los Angeles enables access to world-class research libraries and resources, such as:

  • The Mary Pickford Foundation
  • Margaret Herrick Library
  • Warner Bros. Archives
  • Academy Film Archive
  • UCLA Performing Arts Special Collections
  • USC Cinema Arts Special Collections
  • The upcoming Academy Film Museum

Students are actively encouraged to apply to a wide range of internships at these well-known institutions, incorporating their work into their classes.

+ - Application Requirements

In order to apply to the Film Studies graduate program, you must submit the required application materials, as well as a Creative Supplement. 


  • Statement of Intent
  • Resume
  • 2 letters of recommendation
  • Creative Supplement

 Other Required Materials:

  • Official copy of your undergraduate transcript from your degree granting institution

No additional information should be sent to Dodge College or the Office of Admissions outside of what is required on the application. Any outside work sent to either office will not be reviewed as part of the admission process. 

View additional application details

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Phone: (714) 997-6996


Info Sessions

Dodge College is hosting both in-person and online informational sessions for prospective graduate students.

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