I wanted to mention another terminal degree in film
programs yet to be discussed which is an MFA. It is a
stand alone degree (which in some programs includes
film studies) not a touchstone. For example, no one
goes on to get Ph.D. in Fine Arts. I have also heard
it called a "teaching degree".
I am curious to hear from other MFA recepients about
their professional experiences in addition to programs
that offer MFAs in Film/Video/Media.
--- Tim Shary <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Hello everyone--
> I'd just like to reiterate what David Tetzlaff
> said in his message, if
> only as a fair warning to Kelly Shindler and others
> out there looking to
> move from the undergrad to grad level of film
> studies. The M.A. is not a
> terminal degree, and most programs want to see
> evidence of your commitment
> to their Ph.D. even if you are just coming out of a
> B.A. program.
> Personally, I got lucky in getting an M.A. and
> getting accepted into a
> different Ph.D. program elsewhere, however, I can
> tell you that many Ph.D.
> programs questioned why I did not originally pursue
> my grad studies in their
> One of the not-so-veiled secrets of the grad
> school business is that
> Masters degrees provide a lot of cash flow--
> especially at programs that
> invite many students to pursue an M.A. and then
> admit very few (if any)
> students to the Ph.D. Beware of schools like this.
> If you want to be a
> film academic, as David suggests, you must go for
> the Ph.D. anyway. If
> you're just going for the M.A., you may have a
> second chance later, but
> you're also taking a very big risk.
> At any rate, I would not be discouraged, since
> there are many ways to
> become involved in film studies that don't even
> require a Ph.D. Yet if you
> do want to be a film professor, the doctorate is an
> essential necessity (and
> lately it seems you also need a book contract and a
> half-dozen published
> articles, and an Oscar-winning film would help).
> Cast your application net
> wide and see what you find, and ask everyone you
> know in the film realm all
> the questions you can think of. Don't let anyone
> tell you that there's one
> finite solution to becoming involved in film
> studies-- after all, you can
> even be a film professor without a Ph.D. at
> community colleges, and slowly
> but surely some high schools are hiring film
> I'd be curious to hear the experiences of others
> on this list who can
> comment on the M.A. vs. Ph.D. issue.
> Dr. Timothy Shary
> Assistant Professor of Screen Studies
> Traina Center for the Arts
> Clark University
> Worcester, MA 01610
> Online resources for film/TV studies may be found at
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