Master's Degree Requirements

MA in Cinema and Media Studies

The MA degree may be earned in one of two ways:

  1. By completion of 8 half courses and a Major Research Paper of 40-50 pages (MRP). The majority of students in the Cinema and Media Studies MA will be expected to elect this option.
  2. By completion of 7 half courses and a Thesis (80-100 pages). MA Students will be granted permission by the Program to pursue a thesis option on the basis of a rigorous and well-structured thesis proposal.

Students should consult with the Cinema and Media Studies Graduate Program Director (CMS GPD) in order to determine which model best suits their interests and abilities. Students wishing to complete the degree under option 2 must make certain that they have the supervision in place as well as the research tools to complete a thesis.

Please see the full list of Graduate Program in Film course offerings. Note that the list of courses offered varies each year.

Required Courses for MA in Cinema and Media Studies

  • Film 6220 3.0 Methods and Research in Film Studies
  • Film 6230 3.0 Contemporary Cinema & Media Studies Theory
  • Film 5400 3.0 Graduate Seminar

Graduate Seminar (FILM 5400): All first-year students in the Cinema and Media Studies, Production, and Screenwriting graduate programs are required to attend Grad Seminar. The Seminar presents opportunities for interdisciplinary discussion, gathering students for workshops on professional development (e.g., grant writing, applying to conferences and festivals), and screenings and presentations by faculty and visiting artists, filmmakers, and scholars (including events in our Norman Jewison Independents series). All second-year students will present a detailed and developed synopsis of their Thesis/MRP project at a Graduate Symposium to be held during the fall term of their second year of study.

MA students may take up to a total of two half courses from outside the Graduate Program in Film. Students should consult the York University website for cognate departments such as Communication and Culture, Humanities, Social and Political Thought, English, Visual Arts, Anthropology, Environmental Studies, among others. Permission of the instructor and Graduate Program Director is required.

The MA requires full-time residency of FIVE terms or part-time residency of TEN terms.

MFA in Production

Our graduate production area features a team of award-winning  faculty members whose expertise, and on-going research/practice spans Fiction, Alternative and Documentary filmmaking. We are dedicated to helping our students achieve their highest creative potential.

The principal goal of our program is to immerse students in a program of study that best meets their overall academic, creative and professional goals. The required courses are intended to enhance the range and depth of a student’s skills and knowledge. The program is committed to providing the opportunity for students to enhance their experience by choosing from a selection of elective courses.

All those earning an MFA Degree must complete 7 half courses and a Thesis, consisting of a creative work on film, video, digital and a written component.

Please see the full list of Graduate Program in Film course offerings. Note that the list of courses offered varies each year.

Production students must complete at least one Cinema and Media Studies 3.0 credit course. This course may include Film 6230 Contemporary Film Theory or Film 6210 Theoretical Issues.

Required Courses for MFA in Production

  • FILM 5010 3.0 — Production
  • FILM 5400 3.0 — Graduate Seminar

Graduate Seminar (FILM 5400)
All first-year students in the Cinema and Media Studies, Production, and Screenwriting graduate programs are required to attend Grad Seminar. The Seminar presents opportunities for interdisciplinary discussion, gathering students for workshops on professional development (e.g., grant writing, applying to conferences and festivals), and screenings and presentations by faculty and visiting artists, filmmakers, and scholars (including events in our Norman Jewison Independents series). All second-year students will present a detailed and developed synopsis of their Thesis/MRP project at a Graduate Symposium to be held during the fall term of their second year of study.

MFA students may take up to a total of two half-courses from outside the Graduate Program in Film. Students should consult the York University website for cognate departments such as Communication and Culture, Humanities, Social and Political Thought, English, Visual Arts, Anthropology, Environmental Studies, among others. Permission of the instructor and Graduate Program Director is required.

The MFA requires full-time residency of five terms or part-time residency to a maximum of twelve terms.

Directed Reading (FILM 5800)
Students may design a particular course of study with a faculty member provided it is not available in the current curriculum and does not overlap significantly with a course previously taken. Students are normally allowed two 3.0 credit Directed Reading courses during their Master’s tenure in the Film Program. All directed reading courses must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Student-Initiated Collaborative Inquiry (FILM 5700)
Similar to a Directed Reading, if a group of students wish to undertake a course of study collectively and collaboratively, this option is also available.

MFA in Screenwriting

Our highly motivated and award-winning Screenwriting faculty (whose awards range from the Governor General’s Award to multiple Gemini nominations for both writing and directing, a Canadian Screenwriting Award) have an industry profile and guide students through an intensive immersion in the craft and art of writing dramatic screenplays. York Film interacts with the vibrant Canadian Film and Television industry in Toronto, the recognized centre of the film industry in Canada.

All those earning an MFA Degree must complete 7 half courses and a Thesis, consisting of a feature screenplay and a contextualizing support document.

Please see the full list of Graduate Program in Film course offerings. Note that the list of courses offered varies each year.

Screenwriting students must complete at least one Cinema and Media Studies 3.0 credit course. This course may include Film 6230 Contemporary Film Theory or Film 6210 Theoretical Issues.

Required Courses for MFA in Screenwriting

  • Film 5110 3.0 — Graduate Screenwriting
  • Film 5130A 3.0 — Selected Topics in Screenwriting
  • Film 5400 3.0 — Graduate Seminar
  • Film 6000 — Thesis

Graduate Seminar (FILM 5400)
All first-year students in the Cinema and Media Studies, Production, and Screenwriting graduate programs are required to attend Grad Seminar. The Seminar presents opportunities for interdisciplinary discussion, gathering students for workshops on professional development (e.g., grant writing, applying to conferences and festivals), and screenings and presentations by faculty and visiting artists, filmmakers, and scholars (including events in our Norman Jewison Independents series). All second-year students will present a detailed and developed synopsis of their Thesis/MRP project at a Graduate Symposium to be held during the fall term of their second year of study.

MFA students may take up to a total of two half courses from outside the Graduate Program in Film. Students should consult the York University website for cognate departments such as Communication and Culture, Humanities, Social and Political Thought, English, Visual Arts, Anthropology, Environmental Studies, among others. Permission of the instructor and Graduate Program Director is required.

The MFA requires full-time residency of five terms or part-time residency to a maximum of twelve terms.

Directed Reading (Film 5800)
Students may design a particular course of study with a faculty member provided it is not available in the current curriculum and does not overlap significantly with a course previously taken. Students are normally allowed two 3.0 credit Directed Reading courses during their Master’s tenure in the Film Program. All directed reading courses must be approved by the Graduate Program Director.

Student–Initiated Collaborative Inquiry (Film 5700)
Similar to a Directed Reading, if a group of students wish to undertake a course of study collectively and collaboratively, this option is also available.