Culture and Media (Advanced Certificate)

Department Website

Program Description

The Departments of Anthropology and Cinema Studies offer a specialized joint course of study leading to a New York State Certificate in Culture and Media for NYU graduate students who are also pursuing their PhD degrees in Anthropology, Cinema Studies, Comparative Literature, Italian Studies, or Spanish and Portuguese. It is also offered to students pursuing an MA in Cinema Studies or XE: Experimental Humanities and Social Engagement. The program’s philosophy takes a broad approach to the relationships between culture and media in a number of domains including: ethnographic film’s significance for the fields of anthropology and cinema/media studies; problems in representation of cultures through media; the development of media in indigenous, Diaspora, and non-Western communities with a particular focus on Indigenous Media; the emerging social and cultural formations shaped by new media practices; the political economy shaping the production, distribution and consumption of media worldwide; and the impact of new media technologies on these processes.

This graduate program provides a focused course of studies integrating production with theory and research. Training in this program will enable students to pursue the following:

  • Production work in state-of-the-art digital video based on their own research, resulting in a twenty-thirty minute documentary. Student works have shown in festivals worldwide, won multiple awards, and are in distribution. For a list of recent student documentaries click here.
  • Ethnographic research into the social practice of media in a range of communities and cultures. Students from the program have done PhD research on the development of media in diverse settings from Bollywood to the Amazon to Indigenous Australia.
  • Teaching the history, theory, and production of ethnographic documentary and related issues.
  • A career in media requiring an understanding of anthropology, such as specialized programming and distribution of ethnographic film and video, community-based documentary production, management of ethnographic film/video libraries and archives, or work in new media.

Each year, many of our student works are chosen to screen at prestigious film festivals.


All applicants to the Graduate School of Arts and Science (GSAS) are required to submit the general application requirements, which include:

See Anthropology for admission requirements and instructions specific to this program.