Regulations for the PhD in Film and Media Studies/American Studies

Program of courses

Fourteen term-courses will be the norm, taken over a two year period. In some cases a candidate may be allowed to take up to two courses in the third year of study while preparing for the oral examination.

A.  Requirements in Film and Media Studies: Six courses

  1. FILM 601 Films and Their Study (offered every other Fall term)
  2. Four additional seminars in Film Studies

B.  Requirements in American Studies: Eight courses total

  1. AMST 600 American Scholars (Satisfactory grade)
  2. Seven other courses in AMST or with AMST crosslist
  3. Additional third year prospectus workshop AMST 902


A.  Fluency in English upon admission

B.  One Foreign language chosen for research potential. Satisfied by:

  1. Demonstrated substantial research in the foreign language for any seminar paper written at Yale
  2. Translation test offered by the pertinent foreign language department
  3. A grade of B or higher in an intermediate “language for reading” course offered at Yale

Qualifying Oral Examinations

The candidate will meet with the DGS of each unit in the third semester to agree on the rubrics of four examination areas, generally two in each discipline. By the end of the fifth semester this examination will be administered by a faculty member designated as chair of the orals committee and that committee will include at least one member representing each unit.

Dissertation Prospectus

By the end of the sixth term a student will have submitted a draft of a prospectus acknowledged by an advisor from either FMS or American Studies. The prospectus is approved that term (occasionally early in the seventh semester) in a colloquium involving the dissertation committee, which must include at least one member from Film and Media Studies and one member of the American Studies Faculty. The full FMS executive committee receives the finalized prospectus for ratification. It is presumed that the dissertation will give evidence of methods and materials important to both disciplines. 

A Defense of Method

Occurs in the semester preceding submission of the dissertation. Of the three official readers of the dissertation mandated by the Graduate School, at least one will be member of American Studies and one other will a member of Film and Media Studies. See the “Defense of Method” section on the page “Applying to and Going Through the FMS Program.”