Graduate Certificate in Cinema and Media Studies

Students admitted and already enrolled in graduate programs at Penn may apply to the Graduate Certificate in Cinema and Media Studies. Students cannot apply for the Graduate Certificate in Cinema and Media Studies without having first been admitted to a graduate degree program at Penn.

Programs in humanities around the country often seek job candidates from traditional fields who can also demonstrate pedagogical and scholarly strengths in cinema and media studies. Responding to these intellectual and professional currents, Penn's Graduate Certificate in Cinema and Media Studies aims to prepare students with the skills to research and teach film and media in order to advance their own work and to provide them with clear evidence of their training and abilities when they seek positions at other universities.

Students working in this area have a wide range of resources at their disposal, including Penn’s extensive Muybridge archive, the artists’ video collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the large film-related holdings of Penn’s libraries, as well as the important film archives that lie within easy reach of Philadelphia, such as the Library of Congress and MoMA. These students will also be eligible to apply for the paid, year-long internship in film programming at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, in which a graduate student programs a film series of films on or by artists, and does research for the museum in film archives such as MoMA. Along with regular appearances and presentations by filmmakers such as Stephen and Timothy Quay, Ross McElwee, Werner Herzog, Mira Nair, Alex Gibney, Frederic Wiseman, and others, Penn and Philadelphia offer graduate students a variety of ongoing intellectual and cultural opportunities to support their work in film and media studies, including those provided by the Philadelphia Film Festival, the Penn Humanities Forum, the Slought Foundation, and the International House film series, as well as the Cinema and Media Studies colloquium, where faculty and students exchange work-in-progress.

For more information, please contact Nicola M. Gentili.

Requirements for the Graduate Certificate in Cinema and Media Studies

Each student applying for the certificate will develop a program of study in conjunction with the director of Cinema and Media Studies. To complete the Graduate Certificate, students would fulfill the following requirements over the course of their Ph.D. work:

  • Four seminars in Cinema and Media Studies. These seminars will introduce students to the major issues and debates in film studies. (They will be listed as a Cinema and Media Studies graduate courses offering and cross-listed with other SAS departments.)

  • A research paper overseen by a faculty member affiliated with Cinema and Media Studies. Normally this paper would develop out of work in a graduate seminar. It might also be a version of a chapter of a dissertation.

  • Attendance at six Penn Cinema and Media Studies Colloquia over the course of graduate study. Colloquia are offered throughout the year, with papers by a film scholar from Penn or elsewhere.

  • Whenever possible, students should gain direct experience as teaching assistants in CINE 101, CINE 102, CINE 103, or other undergraduate film courses. Teaching assistants, supergraders, and graders for these courses will be mentored by faculty in areas of film scholarship and pedagogy. Please contact Nicola M. Gentili to join our roster of teaching assistants and graders.


Cinema Studies Program
209A Fisher-Bennett Hall ⋅ 3340 Walnut Street ⋅ Philadelphia, PA 19104 ⋅ (215) 898-8782