The Division of Critical Studies of the School of Cinema-Television offers programs leading to the Bachelor of Arts, Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. 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.
Applicants for the B.A. or M.A. or Ph.D. degrees must submit the supplemental application and materials to the Critical Studies Program. For specific instructions, contact the Cinema-Television Office of Admission, University Park, Los Angeles, CA 90089-2211, (213) 740-2911, or online at www-cntv.usc.edu.
Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Arts, Cinema-Television: Critical StudiesThe Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema-Television with a track in Critical Studies is granted by the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in conjunction with the School of Cinema-Television. Undergraduate students take their pre-professional courses in the College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, including the general education requirements. Major courses are selected from the curriculum of the School of Cinema-Television. The degree requires 128 units, including 22 lower division and 24 upper division units in cinema-television. A maximum of 40 CNTV upper division units will apply to the B.A. degree. Before graduating, critical studies majors are encouraged to take at least one small non-lecture class that emphasizes student critical writing or research papers. This category may include (but is not limited to): CTCS 402, sections of CTCS 464 or CTCS 469 that require a D clearance, CTCS 494, CTCS 495 and CTCS 499.
General Education RequirementsThe university's general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program requires six courses in different categories, plus writing, foreign language and diversity requirements, which are described in detail in the General Education Program section.
Required Production CoursesUndergraduates admitted to the Critical Studies Program are required to take CTPR 241 Fundamentals of Cinema Technique and CTPR 290 Cinematic Communication. These introductory production courses are taken concurrently during the junior year (see description below).
CTPR 241 is an experiential course dealing with the technical and aesthetic principles of directing, cinematography, editing and the development of ideas through a cinematic vocabulary.
In CTPR 290 students are taught the principles of filmmaking through demonstrations, hands-on production and critical analysis. Each student makes five digital video non-dialogue projects using equipment supplied by the school. Approximately $1,000 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees.
|CTCS 190||Introduction to Cinema||4|
|CTCS 191||Introduction to Television and Video||4|
|CTCS 192||Race, Class and Gender in American Film||4|
|CTCS 200||History of the International Cinema I||2|
|CTCS 201||History of the International Cinema II||2|
|CTCS 473||Film Theories||4|
|CTPR 241||Fundamentals of Cinema Technique (taken concurrently with CTPR 290)||2|
|CTPR 290||Cinematic Communication (taken concurrently with CTPR 241)||4|
One course from the following:
|CTCS 392||History of the American Film, 1925-1950||4|
|CTCS 393||History of the American Film, 1946-1975||4|
|CTCS 394||History of the American Film, 1977-present||4|
Four different courses from the following:
|CTCS 367||Global Television and Media||4|
|CTCS 400||Non-Fiction Film and Television||4|
|CTCS 402||Practicum in Film/ Television Criticism||4|
|CTCS 403||Studies in National and Regional Media||4|
|CTCS 404||Television Criticism and Theory||4|
|CTCS 406||History of American Television||4|
|CTCS 407||African-American Cinema||4|
|CTCS 409||Censorship in Cinema||4|
|CTCS 411||Film, Television and Cultural Studies||4|
|CTCS 412||Gender, Sexuality and Media||4|
|CTCS 464||Film and/or Television Genres||4|
|CTCS 469||Film and/or Television Style Analysis||4|
|CTCS 478||Culture, Technology and Communications||4|
|CTCS 494||Senior Seminar||4|
|CTCS 495*||Honors Seminar||4|
|CTCS 499**||Special Topics||4|
*Honors students only.
**Major credit with departmental approval.
Grade Point Average RequirementsA minimum grade of C (2.0) must be earned in all required and prerequisite courses. A grade of C- (1.7) or lower will not satisfy a major requirement.
Honors ProgramCritical Studies offers an honors track for advanced students. Admission to the honors track is made at the end of the junior year and requires a 3.75 GPA for courses in the major (and a 3.5 GPA overall). Completion of the honors track is dependent upon successful completion of a designated honors section of CTCS 495 during the senior year. In this course, students will work with faculty in a seminar environment and produce an advanced term paper based on original research and analysis.
Limitations on EnrollmentNo more than 40 upper division units can be taken within the major without prior approval of the Dean, College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.
Registration in graduate level courses (numbered 500) for undergraduate credit requires prior approval of the School of Cinema-Television.
Curriculum ReviewCinema-Television majors are expected to meet with an academic advisor every semester to review their progress. Contact the Student Affairs Office, Carson Television Center, Garden Level, Room G-130, (213) 740-8358, for appointments.
Master of Arts
The Master of Arts degree in Cinema-Television with a track in Critical Studies is administered through the Graduate School. Candidates for the degree are subject to the general requirements of the Graduate School. Thirty-two units are required at the 400 level or higher, including a comprehensive examination. At least two-thirds of these units must be at the 500 level or higher.
Graduate Preparation Production CoursesEach graduate student must complete CTPR 507x with a minimum grade of C. This course provides a basic primer in production considered necessary for graduate studies in critical studies. This course does not count toward the total requirements for the M.A.
CTPR 507x Production I (6 units) introduces the fundamental principles of motion picture production, emphasizing visual and auditory communication. The course is organized in correlated production, acting and sound sections. Each student makes five non-dialogue projects, serving as a writer, producer, cinematographer, director, sound designer and editor. Projects are shot on digital cameras and edited on non-linear systems. Approximately $1,200 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees.
|CTCS 500||Seminar in Theory and Textual Analysis||4|
|CTCS 506||Critical Studies Colloquium/Professional Seminar (two semesters required)||1-1|
|CTCS 587||Graduate Television Seminar||4|
Three of the following:
|CTCS 501||History of the International Cinema Before World War II||2|
|CTCS 502||History of the International Cinema After World War II||2|
|CTCS 503||Survey History of the American Sound Film||2|
|CTCS 504||Television, New Media and Culture||2|
|CTCS 505||Survey of Interactive Media||2|
Two of the following:
|CTCS 510||Case Studies in National Media and/or Regional Media||4|
|CTCS 511||Seminar: Non-Fiction Film/Video||4|
|CTCS 518||Seminar: Avant-Garde Film/Video||4|
In addition, 8 units of cinema-television electives are required.
Comprehensive ExaminationAs the final requirement for the M.A. degree, the comprehensive examination, normally taken near the end of course work, will consist of questions in three fields.
The exam is given once a year in the spring semester. In consultation with their faculty advisor, students will choose three of the following fields:
(1) Theory and Criticism
(2) American Sound Film
(3) International Silent Film
(4) International Sound Film
(5) Documentary and Avant-Garde Film and Video
(6) Television and New Technologies
If the student has completed all course work and is only taking the comprehensive examination, he or she must register in GRSC 810 Studies for Master's Examination. Note: A GPA of 3.0 is required to take the comprehensive examination.
Grade Point Average RequirementsA grade point average of 3.0 must be maintained in all graduate level course work. Courses in which a grade of C- (1.7) or lower is earned will not apply toward a graduate degree.
Time LimitAlthough students are normally expected to complete the degree in two years, the degree must be completed within five years of the beginning of graduate work at USC.
Curriculum ReviewAt the beginning of their matriculation, and each semester thereafter, each M.A. candidate will confer with a designated faculty advisor who will monitor the student's progress.
Doctor of Philosophy
Doctor of Philosophy in Cinema-Television (Critical Studies)The degree of Doctor of Philosophy with an emphasis in Critical Studies is administered through the Graduate School. The Ph.D. program is tailored to the individual student's particular needs and interests. The overall course of study will be designed by the student, the student's designated advisor and, following the screening procedure, the student's guidance committee chair (see Screening Procedure under Graduate Preparation Production Courses).
AdmissionA bachelor's or master's degree in cinema-television, or a closely related field, is required for admission to the Ph.D. program. Applicants with only a bachelor's degree must successfully fulfill all of the USC Critical Studies M.A. degree requirements as part of the degree program (see Screening Procedure).
Course RequirementsEach Ph.D. candidate must complete 64 units (exclusive of the prerequisite -- see Graduate Preparation Production Course -- and dissertation units) beyond the bachelor's degree, 43 of which must be at the 500 level or higher. (Up to 30 units may be transferred from graduate work completed at other institutions.) The required units will include seven to 12 courses in cinema-television and eight to 16 units in the minor area. The minor will be chosen by the student in close consultation with the advisor and will be in an academic field which supports the student's dissertation topic. Each student must complete the following course work toward the 64 unit total:
(1) CTCS 500, CTCS 506 (2 semesters), CTCS 510 and CTCS 587. These courses should be taken before the screening procedure.
(2) Three of the following: CTCS 677, CTCS 678, CTCS 679, CTCS 688. These courses should be taken before the qualifying examination.
Graduate Preparation Production CourseEach candidate for the Ph.D. must complete CTPR 507x with a minimum grade of C. This course is equal to 6 units of undergraduate work and does not count toward the total unit requirement for the Ph.D. If the student enters the program with a master's degree in cinema-television and possesses production experience, the student may request a waiver of this requirement. The waiver requires passing a written examination and submission of films/videos to the production faculty for review.
CTPR 507x Production I (6 units) is designed to introduce the fundamental principles of motion picture production. The course also introduces students to visual and auditory communication and individual filmmaking. Each student makes five non-dialogue projects, serving as writer, producer, director, cinematographer, sound designer and editor. Projects are shot on digital cameras and edited on non-linear systems. Approximately $1,200 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees.
Screening ProcedureThe Graduate School requires that programs administer an examination or other procedure at a predetermined point in the student's studies as a prerequisite to continuation in the doctoral program. This procedure is designed to review the student's suitability for continuing in the chosen Ph.D. program. The School of Cinema-Television has determined that this procedure will occur no later than the end of the student's third semester of graduate course work at USC beyond the master's degree. The screening procedure process will include the following steps:
(1) If the faculty has determined during the admissions process that a comprehensive examination will be required as part of the screening procedure, an examination will be administered as appropriate. If the examination is passed to the faculty's satisfaction, the student may proceed to the next step in the screening procedure process. If the student fails to pass the examination, the faculty will determine if the student will be allowed to retake the examination the following semester before proceeding to the next step in the screening procedure process.
(2) The student will be interviewed and his or her progress in the program will be reviewed by the faculty to determine if the student will be approved for additional course work. If approved to continue, a guidance committee chair will be selected by the student, with the approval of the faculty, who will serve as the student's advisor. It is strongly recommended that full-time study be pursued following the successful completion of the screening procedure.
Guidance CommitteeFollowing a successful screening procedure, the student, in consultation with the guidance committee chair and the Critical Studies faculty, will formally establish a five-member guidance committee. The composition of the guidance committee will be as specified by the Graduate School. For the Ph.D. in Cinema-Television (Critical Studies), the committee is ordinarily composed of four Critical Studies faculty members and an outside member from the candidate's minor area.
Foreign Language RequirementThe Critical Studies faculty will advise each student as to whether or not a foreign language is required. This requirement is determined by the student's dissertation topic. The requirement must be met at least 60 days before the qualifying examination.
Dissertation Proposal PresentationWorking closely with the guidance committee chair, the student will prepare to present his or her dissertation proposal to the full faculty. This will be a formal written proposal which will include a statement of the proposed topic, four fields for examination derived from the general dissertation topic area (including a field from the minor area), a detailed bibliography, and an appropriate and comprehensive screening list of film/television titles. Formal presentation of the dissertation proposal will occur no later than the end of the semester prior to taking the qualifying examinations. The guidance committee must approve the dissertation topic. Once the dissertation topic has been approved, the student will complete the Request to Take the Ph.D. Qualifying Examination form available from the program coordinator.
Qualifying ExaminationsWritten and oral examinations for the Ph.D. are given twice a year, in November and April. Questions for the written portion of the examination will be drafted by members of the guidance committee who will also grade the examination. The qualifying examination comprises four examinations administered one each day for four days during a five-day period.
The oral examination will be scheduled within 30 days after the written examination. All guidance committee members must be present for the oral portion of the qualifying examination.