Call for Applications: 2024 Graduate Degrees in Film/Cinema & Media Studies at York University

Call for Applications:
Graduate Degrees in Film/Cinema & Media Studies at York University

We are inviting applications by Canadian citizens or Permanent Residents to the Graduate Program in Film/Cinema & Media Studies at York University for:

Applications will be reviewed as they are received in Winter 2024.
Apply Now.

About the Program

Since our inception in 1980 as Canada’s first Graduate Program in Film, our community of award-winning faculty, supportive staff, outstanding students, and successful alums has stimulated comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and rigorous engagement with moving image and sound in all its forms. Building on York’s longstanding commitment to deliver innovative and accessible post-graduate training, the Graduate Program in Film/Cinema & Media Studies offers a curriculum that encourages dynamic and collaborative interactions between creative artists and scholarly researchers. Students benefit from York University’s rich tradition of being at the vanguard of social justice, knowledge mobilization and emerging technology, and directly participate in the many research-intensive initiatives and media labs housed in the School of Arts, Performance, Media and Design (AMPD) and across campus, including Sensorium: Centre for Digital Arts and Technology Research and Archive/Counter-Archive.

Outstanding faculty are leaders in their fields: three are current or former Canada Research Chairs and three hold the Governor-General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts. All faculty participate actively in international and Canadian festivals, conferences, and publish widely. Many of our faculty pursue interdisciplinary research methodologies, including research creation, an increasingly popular option in the MA and PhD programs.

Each year the program selects a small group of exceptional students to join its stimulating intellectual community, where students attend small seminars and receive training for careers in academic, research, and government organizations and arts and entertainment industries (television, film, new media, festivals), and in jobs in producing, programming and curation, teaching, critical writing and publishing, publicity, among others. Recent MFA program alums have won Student Academy Awards and premiered films at the Berlinale and TIFF. Recent MA alums have gone on to careers in media industries or doctoral programs in Canada and the US. Three CMS PhD students hold Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarships, Canada’s top award for graduate student academic and leadership excellence.

MFA, MA & PhD Programs

In our two-year MA and MFA programs, a flexible, interdisciplinary, student-centred curriculum invites students to fulfill their unique academic, creative, and professional aspirations with ample time to benefit from York University’s rich tradition at the vanguard of interdisciplinary research, media creation, knowledge mobilization, and dedication to social justice, diversity, equity, and sustainability. Teaching, publication, and professional academic development are key components of the PhD, a minimum four-year degree with guaranteed funding for five years.

Canada’s most respected graduate MFA in Film Production and Screenwriting leads students to confront the challenges posed by the fast-changing worlds of digital cinema and transmedia platforms. The MA and PhD in Cinema & Media Studies emphasize the critical study of a broad range of film and media in twenty-first century contexts. Each student creates an individually tailored program from our dynamic range of courses, workshops, partnerships, internships, and research labs. Together, students engage evolving theories and practices of global and local cinema and media, including new directions in post-colonial, feminist, queer, Indigenous, and experimental expression, and media forms like film, television, games, and XR (expanded reality, including augmented and virtual reality). Expertly guided by chosen faculty, the MFA program culminates in the creation of an original Thesis project, while the MA program has a Major Research Paper as its capstone with options for Research-Creation and Field Placement Major Research projects.

All domestic MA and MFA students receive base funding of $10,000/year + York’s $1000 FGS Healthcare Bursary. With York University’s emphasis on access in higher education, our graduate students pay the lowest graduate tuition in Ontario. Domestic PhD students receive more than $24,000/year in base funding along with the best healthcare benefits in Canada. All students can access research support, including generous York Academic Excellence Funds. Admission scholarships and awards are also available.

In recent years, three out of four MA & MFA students have received additional funding through awards like CGS-M ($17,500/year) and OGS ($15,000/year), usually in their second year, in part due to the Program’s emphasis on strong professional development, including grant writing. MFA students are provided with in-kind equipment/services grants from a wide range of Toronto co-ops, equipment houses and post-production facilities, and production grants from donors. In recent years, most Cinema & Media Studies (CMS) PhD students have received additional funding through awards like SSHRC Doctoral Awards ($20K & $35K/year), Elia Scholars Award ($30K/year), Graduate Fellowships for Academic Distinction ($20K/year), Ontario Graduate Scholarship ($15K/year), and Susan Crocker and John Hunkin Scholarships in the Fine Arts ($12.5K/year).

The MA & PhD programs welcome applicants with educational backgrounds in Cinema/Film Studies, Media Studies, Communications, Cultural Studies, Digital Media, Art History, English, Women’s Studies, Queer and Sexuality Studies, History, Comparative Literature, Philosophy, Education, Urban Studies, and other disciplines that nurture research in sound and moving image media. The MFA film production and screenwriting program is catered mainly towards mid-career filmmakers or writers with a track record in making and producing media.

For students preparing for a future in the media industries, we also offer a 3-year joint MA/MBA or MFA/MBA degree with the world-renowned Schulich School of Business. Most students undertaking the joint degree take their first year in the Graduate Program in Film/Cinema & Media Studies, and start the MBA portion in their second year.

  • Applicants interested in the MA and PhD program are encouraged to contact Prof. Mike Zryd, CMS Graduate Program Director,
  • Applicants interested in the MFA program are encouraged to contact Prof. Manfred Becker, MFA Graduate Program Director,
  • For questions related to the application process please contact Aishah Rashid, Graduate Program Assistant,

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Graduate Program in Film, Department of Cinema and Media Arts
School of the Arts, Media, Performance and Design, York University
Centre for Film and Theatre 224, 4700 Keele St., Toronto, ON M3J 1P3 CANADA
Tel: 416-736-2100 x 22174

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