Department History

The Yale Film and Media Studies Program (FMS) came into existence as an undergraduate major in 1986, although courses in the production and critical study of film and audio-visual media had been offered since at least 1943-44, through the School of Drama and (later) the School of Art. Over the years, Yale’s distinguished scholars and practitioners of film have included such luminaries as filmmaker and historian Jay Leyda; scholar and experimental filmmaker Standish Lawder; animator and designer Faith Hubley; and author, screenwriter and filmmaker Michael Roemer, who is still very active and teaching in the School of Art. 

The graduate program, which offers a combined PhD with Film and Media Studies and another program or department, began in 2002, with the first full class of graduate students entering in 2004. The Program added “media” to its name in 2014, to reflect the growing importance of non-film moving image and sound media to our research and teaching and to the broader discipline.