Bachelor of Arts

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinematic Arts Critical Studies is granted by the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences in conjunction with the School of Cinematic Arts. This comprehensive curriculum includes courses which analyze the power and responsibility of American and international film and television and new media technologies from formal/aesthetic, historical, economic and ideological perspectives. The division is committed to understanding film and television texts in relation to the world they represent; it studies not only the meanings of these texts but also the processes by which these meanings are constructed.

Filmmaker Judd Apatow speaks to students during a Q&A session in Leonard Maltin's popular Film Symposium class

Undergraduate students take their pre-professional courses in the Dornsife College of Letters, Arts & Sciences, including the general education requirements. Major courses are selected from the curriculum of the School of Cinematic Arts. The degree requires 128 units, including 28 lower-division and 24 upper-division units in cinematic arts.

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Master of Arts

The Master of Arts degree in Cinematic Arts with a track in Critical Studies consists of a comprehensive curriculum that includes courses which analyze the power and responsibility of American and international film and television and new media technologies from formal/aesthetic, historical, economic and ideological perspectives. The division is committed to understanding film and television texts in relation to the world they represent; it studies not only the meanings of these texts but also the processes by which these meanings are constructed.

The M.A. degree is administered through the USC Graduate School and candidates for the degree are subject to the general requirements of the Graduate School. Thirty-six units are required at the 400 level or higher, including a comprehensive examination taken in the final spring semester of course work. At least two-thirds of these units must be at the 500 level or higher. There is no thesis option.

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Doctor of Philosophy - Critical Studies

In 1959, USC became the nation's first university to offer a Ph.D. in Critical Studies, and as such the School of Cinematic Arts has a long history of preparing some of the leading scholars in the discipline. The writings of SCA scholars appear in all the major publications in the field, and their books have become instrumental in educating and inspiring future generations of cinematic artists and theorists.

The range of interests and expertise reflected in the department is broad and diverse, stretching from the study of American cinema, to international topics, to issues of race and gender, to understanding the impact of technology on society and much more. The school encourages even greater intellectual expansion by enabling applicants to tailor their program to their individual needs and interests. The overall course of study for the Doctor of Philosophy will be designed by the student, the student's designated advisor and, following the screening procedure, the student's guidance committee chair.

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