PhD in Cinema and Media Studies

an animated gif showing some of our faculty member's book coversThe PhD in Cinema and Media Studies is a broadly humanities-based, interdisciplinary program in which students acquire a comprehensive knowledge of cinema and media through theoretical, historical and critical frameworks. We welcome applicants with educational backgrounds in Film Studies, Media Studies, Communications, Cultural Studies, Art History, English, Women’s Studies, Queer and Sexuality Studies, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Area Studies, and other disciplines that nurture research in sound and moving image media.

The PhD offers three fields of specialization:

  1. Cinema and Cultural Theory
  2. National and Transnational Cinemas
  3. Cinema and Technologies of the Image

In addition to these areas of expertise, faculty members pursue wide-ranging research in documentary and experimental film and media, emerging media, and film history.

Each year the program selects a small group of exceptional students who will join a lively intellectual community, attending innovative seminars, and receiving close attention from faculty supervisors.

Teaching, publication, and professional academic development are key components of this minimum four-year degree. After completing course work and comprehensive exams, students write a research dissertation that makes a decisive intervention in the discipline.

The PhD prepares students for academic and research careers in cinema and media studies and related fields like cultural and visual studies and communications research. Students’ highly developed historical and contemporary knowledge of cinema and media work is applicable to careers in the arts, entertainment and other media-related research areas.

Students are mentored by faculty supervisors who number among Canada’s finest cinema and media studies researchers and practioners including two former Canada Research Chairs  in the areas of digital media and globalization. PhD students directly participate in the many research-intensive initiatives and media labs housed in the School of Arts, Performance, Media and Design: the Augmented Reality Lab, the Future Cinema Lab, the Stereoscopic 3D Lab, the Mobile Media Lab, the Canada Foundation for Innovation 3 Space Project, and the newly established Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology Research.

York Film is the largest film department in Canada, and is situated in the centre of film culture in English Canada. Toronto provides students with exceptional exposure to film screenings (from TIFF Bell Lightbox to numerous repertory cinemas), festivals (more than 100 film festivals occur each year, including the Toronto International Film Festival, Hot Docs, and Images Festival), and resources (research collections, studios, and industry offices).