PhD Program Requirements

Revised in 2019

  • The student's program of study must be approved by the Cinema Studies Institute (CSI).

    • Coursework. For graduate courses, please see Curriculum & Course Information. Students must complete 4.0 full-course equivalents (FCEs) as follows:

      • 1.0 FCE required courses (CIN 2100H History and Historiography of Cinematic Media and CIN 2101H Pressures on the Cinematic); students who have already taken these courses, or their equivalent, will be required to enrol in alternate course selections, with the approval of the Associate Director, Graduate Studies.

      • 1.5 FCEs offered in cinema studies.

      • 1.0 FCE elective courses offered in cinema studies or by other graduate units and chosen in consultation with the student's faculty advisor.

      • 0.5 FCE (CIN 2999H Research Seminar in Cinema Studies), a credit/non-credit course.

    • All coursework is normally completed by December of Year 2 of study, except for CIN 2999H which may extend beyond that date.

    • Completion of one Qualifying Examination. Students generally undertake the Qualifying Examination after the completion of coursework in Year 2 of study.

      • The Qualifying Examination covers two special fields and has two components: a written examination and an oral examination. These exams are scheduled by the student’s supervisor and committee members. Examinations are marked on a pass/fail basis. (Should the committee deem their work exceptional, students may pass with distinction.) Students are allowed two attempts to pass the written examination and two attempts to pass the oral examination.

    • Students must have completed all requirements for the degree, exclusive of thesis research, by the end of Year 3 of study in order to remain in good academic standing and in order to achieve candidacy.

    • Completion of a PhD dissertation based on original research conducted by the candidate on an approved topic in cinema studies. The dissertation proposal should be approved by the supervisor no later than May of Year 2 of PhD studies. Each student is required to meet at least annually with a supervisory committee, which includes the supervisor and two faculty members, to review academic progress, and to consult about future directions.

    • The thesis must be presented within six years of first enrolment in the PhD program. Successful defence at the SGS Doctoral Final Oral Examination.


Program Length: 4 years (full-time)

Time Limit: 6 years (full-time)