Cinema Studies (PhD)

Department Website

Program Description

The Cinema Studies Ph.D. program prepares students to develop teaching competence and to pursue research in cinema and media studies. The curriculum draws on the methods of a number of disciplines, including art history, cultural studies, American studies, psychoanalytic theory, and philosophy and involves intensive seminar-level study in film theory, history, and research methods. Graduates of the program have gone onto positions of academic leadership in the field. The Doctor of Philosophy degree is conferred for advanced studies in which the student demonstrates outstanding original scholarship. It signifies the student can conduct independent research and has both a broad basic knowledge of all areas of his or her field and a comprehensive knowledge of one field in particular. A doctoral candidate must complete all requirements no later than ten years from matriculation or seven years from the time of his or her matriculation if the candidate holds a master’s degree.


A previously earned master’s degree is required for applicants wishing to enter directly into the doctoral program.  A completed MA or MS is generally required for consideration.

In addition to the general Tisch Graduate Application, please prepare the following:

  1. professional résumé listing academic background, work experience, honors, affiliations with professional organizations, papers presented at conferences, published work, language ability, etc.

  2. statement of purpose (two to three double-spaced pages) outlining your academic and professional background, goals, and what you hope to gain from the program.

  3. writing sample (15-20 double-spaced pages) that reflects your ability to carry out sustained critical, theoretical, and/or historical thinking on film, television, video, and/or new media. In the absence of a moving image–related topic, a piece of writing on a subject in the arts or humanities is acceptable.

Please attach the documents to the online application, including copies of academic transcripts (both undergraduate and masters) and two letters of recommendation.  

Note: The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is no longer a required component for admission to this program.