Cinema Studies

Program Overview

The Cinema Studies Institute offers a program leading to the Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Cinema Studies. Faculty members have expertise in several areas, including film history, film theory, film analysis, and film and cultural practices. The course-based, one-year MA program offers students the option of a professional internship or a major research paper.

Launching in September 2013, the Doctor of Philosophy program in Cinema Studies addresses the changing role of moving image media within global culture. Past and present configurations of cinema are studied through a constellation of theoretical, textual, social, and historical rubrics. The core curricular offerings engage with debates and questions that persist within the scholarship while also examining how the field contends with emerging disciplinary issues and new intermedial formats. Throughout, the synthesis of history and theory, textual analysis, and cultural study is emphasized.


Quick Facts

Domestic International
Application payment deadline PhD:

TBA

PhD:

TBA

Supporting documents deadline MA, PhD:

TBA

MA, PhD:

TBA

Minimum admission average MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

B+ average in Master’s

MA:

B+ in final year of bachelor’s

PhD:

B+ average in Master’s

Is a supervisor identified before or after admission? PhD:

After

PhD:

After

If a supervisor is identified after admission (as per question above), is admission conditional upon securing a supervisor? PhD:

No

PhD:

No

Is a supervisor assigned by the graduate unit or secured by the applicant? PhD:

Applicant

PhD:

Applicant

Program length (full-time only) MA:

3 sessions

MA:

3 sessions

Program length (full-time only) PhD:

4 years

PhD:

4 years


Master of Arts​

Program Description

The course-based, one-year MA program offers students the option, during their third term, of pursuing either a professional internship or a major research paper of roughly 40–50 pages written under the supervision of a faculty advisor elected by the student. Students have the option to concurrently enrol in one of the collaborative specializations at U of T, such as Sexual Diversity Studies, Women and Gender Studies, or Transnational and Diaspora Studies, which entails also registering for their specific core courses. The MA in Cinema Studies is a full-time program.
 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Cinema Studies Institute's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Successful completion of an appropriate four-year University of Toronto bachelor's degree, or its equivalent from a recognized university.

  • Minimum B+ standing, demonstrated by an average grade in the final year, or over senior-level courses.

  • Successful completion of a minimum of 6.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) in cinema studies, or comparable program preparation.

  • A letter of intent addressing the academic goals an applicant wishes to pursue in the program.

  • Three letters of recommendation.

  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.

  • An academic writing sample of no more than 3,000 words.

Program Requirements

  • The MA is a coursework-only program and therefore does not require a thesis.

  • 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) over the course of an academic year, normally extending from September until August, as follows:

    • ​​​​​​​​1.0 FCE mandatory core courses: CIN 1101H and CIN 1102H.

    • 1.0 FCE devoted to either the writing of a major research paper (CIN 1006Y) or pursuing an internship (CIN 1007Y).

    • 2.0 FCEs may be completed in the following way:

      • from elective CIN courses chosen from rotating special topics courses, also under the CIN rubric, but possibly cross-listed with another department, depending on the instructor’s departmental home.

      • from film-related courses offered by other units (non-CIN designator) but approved as relevant to the Cinema Studies master's program curriculum.

Program Length

3 sessions full-time (typical registration sequence: F/W/S)

Time Limit

3 years full-time

​Doctor of Philosophy​

Program Description

Launched in September 2013, the Doctor of Philosophy program in Cinema Studies addresses the changing role of moving image media within global culture. Past and present configurations of cinema are studied through a constellation of theoretical, textual, social, and historical rubrics. The core curricular offerings engage with debates and questions that persist within the scholarship while also examining how the field contends with emerging disciplinary issues and intermedial formats today and at earlier historical junctures. Throughout the program of study, the synthesis of history and theory, textual analysis, and cultural study is emphasized.
 

Minimum Admission Requirements

  • Applicants are admitted under the General Regulations of the School of Graduate Studies. Applicants must also satisfy the Cinema Studies Institute's additional admission requirements stated below.

  • Letter of intent outlining the academic ambitions, including possible thesis topic, the applicant aims to pursue in the program.

  • Three letters of recommendation.

  • A writing sample.

  • Transcripts from all post-secondary institutions.

Program Requirements

  • The student's program of study must be approved by the Cinema Studies Institute (CSI).

  • Coursework. Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

    • 1.0 FCE required courses (CIN 2100H History and Historiography of Cinematic Media and CIN 2101H Pressures on the Cinematic); students who have already taken these courses, or their equivalent, will be required to enrol in alternate course selections, with the Graduate Coordinator's approval.

    • 1.5 FCEs offered in cinema studies.

    • 1.0 FCE elective courses offered in cinema studies or by other graduate units and chosen in consultation with the student's faculty advisor.

    • 0.5 FCE (CIN 2999H Research Seminar in Cinema Studies), a credit/non-credit course.

  • All coursework is normally completed by December of Year 2 of study, except for CIN 2999H which may extend beyond that date.

  • Completion of one Qualifying Examination. Students generally undertake the Qualifying Examination after the completion of coursework in Year 2 of study.

    • The Qualifying Examination covers two special fields and has two components: a written examination and an oral examination. These exams are scheduled by the student’s supervisor and committee members. Examinations are marked on a pass/fail basis. (Should the committee deem their work exceptional, students may pass with distinction.) Students are allowed two attempts to pass the written examination and two attempts to pass the oral examination.

  • Students must have completed all requirements for the degree, exclusive of thesis research, by the end of Year 3 of study in order to remain in good academic standing and in order to achieve candidacy.

  • Completion of a PhD dissertation based on original research conducted by the candidate on an approved topic in cinema studies. The dissertation proposal should be approved by the supervisor no later than May of Year 2 of PhD studies. Each student is required to meet at least annually with a supervisory committee, which includes the supervisor and two faculty members, to review academic progress, and to consult about future directions.

  • The thesis must be presented within six years of first enrolment in the PhD program. Successful defence at the SGS Doctoral Final Oral Examination.

Program Length

4 years full-time

Time Limit

6 years full-time​

Calvin Ke

“Strong mentorship is valuable in guiding you through your journey.”

Calvin Ke
PhD Candidate, Health Policy, Management & Evaluation
Full Profile