Combined Doctoral Program in Film and Media Studies and History of Art

Program of courses

15 courses will be the norm

A.  Requirements in Film and Media Studies: 6 courses. 

  1. FILM 601 (Films and their Study, offered every other Fall term)
  2. At least four additional seminars in FMS, two of which may carry a HSAR crosslist.

B.  Requirements in History of Art: 9 courses originating or crosslisted with HSAR

  1. Required course: “Introduction to the Study of Art History” 
  2. Students receive one course credit as Teaching Fellows within the HSAR department
  3. Students take at least one course in HSAR outside of their core areas.  

C.  Other courses: upon consultation with the DGS of both units, two courses may be taken in other departments when relevant to the student’s special interests, reducing the required number in HSAR.


Students must pass examinations in: French, in German (for students of western art), and, if necessary, in another language pertinent to their dissertation.

Qualifying Examination

After getting approval by the fourth semester from both DGSs concerning topics and faculty to oversee them, the candidate prepares for an examination in two parts to be taken no later than the end of the fifth semester.  Part 1 is a three hour closed-book written answer to one or two overview questions directed at the candidate’s major field of interest.  No more than a week later, Part 2 involves the oral examination of four lists in sections of 25-minutes per list. Two lists cover significant art forms, periods, or topics in the History of Art. One list covers a significant topic in Film and Media Studies. The fourth topic must involve Film and Media Studies but may also bring in History of Art (e.g., films about artworks or the question of the avant-garde in various art forms)

The Prospectus Colloquium

Following the History of Art rules, a prospectus must be submitted and approved in a colloquium by the end of the student’s sixth term. Of the four faculty members in the colloquium, two should be members of the Film and Media Studies faculty. The entire FMS faculty is asked to ratify the finalized prospectus.

The Defense of Method

A 60-90 minute oral is taken the semester before submission of the dissertation. The committee consists of one DGS and the three readers chosen to eventually assess the submitted dissertation, at least one from each unit. See the “Defense of Method” section on the page “Applying to and Going through the FMS Program.”