UNCW Announces New Master's Program in Film Studies

Friday, March 23, 2018

A new master’s program in film studies is scheduled to begin in the fall semester of 2019. At its March meeting held on the UNCW campus, the UNC Board of Governors approved the new program, which will be the only M.A. in film studies program in the state.

The program is designed to provide students with comprehensive knowledge of the field, teaching skills from filmmaking and critical thinking to research and publishing. Students will graduate with a strong foundation for careers as educators, journalists, researchers, film professionals, curators, and preservation and arts managers.

National occupational and industry projections from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggest industry growth and increased job opportunities within the field, and current enrollment trends indicate that there is a great deal of student interest in this area of study.

“Student demand for film studies in North Carolina is evidenced in part by the popularity of the undergraduate program at UNCW,” said Mariana Johnson, film studies chair and associate professor. “With 330 students drawn from various states and countries, film studies is a vibrant and growing department at UNCW.”

UNCW will offer students training that is distinct from other film studies M.A. programs nationally. Unlike other programs, the M.A. at UNCW will require that students take courses in film production. These applied learning experiences will prepare students for an even wider range of jobs that require knowledge of all aspects of media content production.

In 2015, an M.F.A. in filmmaking was approved for implementation, and the new master’s program in film studies will work as an excellent complement, sharing essential resources and offering a unique opportunity for cross-program participation. Fostering collaborative campus partnerships and enhanced applied learning opportunities are key objectives of the university’s Strategic Plan.

The two graduate programs have been designed to work in collaboration to maximize learning and career opportunities. Curriculum will offer workshop-style courses in film production as well as selected critical studies courses and an applied learning experience, all of which will be available to both M.A. and M.F.A. students in the department.

 -- Christina Schechtman