The Master of Advanced Study in Film and Media Studies at ASU offers working professionals and lifelong learners a dynamic education in US film, television, and digital media. Taught exclusively online by outstanding media scholars, critics, and filmmakers, the program explores the artistic, economic, and cultural dimensions of media production through small classes in aesthetics, history, theory, and screenwriting.
Providing a comprehensive analysis of US film, television, and digital media across a range of texts and platforms, the MAS in Film and Media Studies at ASU develops students into more critically informed writers, storytellers, consumers, and evaluators of popular culture. The program's unique strength is its location at the intersection of a traditional humanities education and an emergent technological one; ASU's reputation as a leader in both access and innovation supports this approach. MAS alumni work in a variety of artistic and professional settings including Hollywood, academia, film festivals, journalism, and more.
This 30-hour program requires 30 hours of coursework and a written exam for the culminating experience. The ideal candidate will have an interest in innovative approaches to the study of film, television, new media, and screenwriting, using historic methods, critical theory, and creative expression as modes of analysis. The GRE is not required for the application.
How to apply
To apply for the MAS degree, visit the online application. Be sure to select ASU online (not Tempe campus).
Fall, session A: July 22 • Fall, session B: September 15
Spring, session A: December 14 • Spring, session B: February 15
Summer, session A: April 19 • Summer, session B: June 2
Note: Complete applications will be reviewed within 14 days of receipt. The application must be complete with all supporting documents before review. This is the applicant's responsibility. Please plan accordingly when submitting an application.
- Applicants must apply online
- A nonrefundable application fee is required. Official transcripts must be sent to the ASU Graduate College Admissions Office.
More information on how to apply.
The following supporting documents must be uploaded into the online application (please do not send hard copies or email attachments):
- Applicants must submit a two-page Statement of Purpose that describes their past academic work, reasons for pursuing the MAS and the skills that prepare them for this degree.
- Application Essay:
- A three-page essay that assesses their knowledge of media theory and critical analysis skills.
- Applicants should demonstrate the ability to write well and construct a persuasive critical argument.
- Appropriate secondary sources should be used in this essay.
- A resume. This document should convey important experiences for degree success.
- While letters of recommendation are optional, applicants may include two or three letters in their application. Recommenders should be former professors or supervisors, addressing the applicant's academic performance, motivation and character.
- An interview via Skype may be requested before final admission decisions are made.
*The GRE is not required for this program.
*International students must have an official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or IELTS score report sent to the Graduate College. English Proficiency Score requirements.
Tuition and Fees: Students whose campus is online will be charged the graduate tuition online rate. All students pay a program fee of $250.00 per course. This fee supports the development, construction and maintenance of the online courses. Each session students will also pay a FA Trust fee and a tech fee. For a breakdown of the tuition and fees, please see ASU Online What it Costs. Take a look at our Fund Your Graduate Education webpage for funding details.
The MAS program has broadened my understanding of media industries. I’ve become more sensitive to how I introduce, identify, and explain people in my stories. I want my stories to empower, educate, and move people!
—Nadine Arroyo Rodriguez, Former NPR reporter and currently residential faculty in journalism at Mesa Community College
The program requires students to complete 30 credits. Due to the nature of the program, it is recommended that students limit their classes to two or three courses in each fall and spring semester. The program may be completed in two years.
A minimum of 30 credit hours is required.
Requirements and electives
Total hours required
Courses and electives
The culminating experience will be a written exam taken in the final semester of the program while registered for other courses. Questions about the degree requirements can be directed to your academic advisor.
FMS 504 Film Analysis*
- FMS 510 Digital Media Studies
FMS 520 Cultural History of US Television: Theory and Method
*Please note, this course cannot be substituted with MLS 504.
**These are the core courses starting Fall 2021. Students admitted prior to Fall 2021 have the option to keep FMS 502 as a core course as previously offered OR take FMS 510 instead.
- FMS 502 Film Historiography
- FMS 503 Media Industries
- FMS 508 Race, Gender, and Sexuality in Media
- FMS 523 Authorship in Film and Media
- FMS 567 WWII in Film (crosslisted as an ENG/WWS subject prefix)
- FMS 598 Sci-Fi Cinema
- FMS 598 Media Stardom and Celebrity
- FMS 598 Media, Technology, and Society
- ENG 598 Studies in Environmental Humanities
*Outside the department electives may be approved on a case-by-case basis. Please contact your advisor for approval before taking the course.
Written Exam* - Students must be registered for at least one graduate level credit the semester they are taking the exam.
*The recommendation is to take the exam in the last semester of the program when registered for other courses.
The written exam is a pass/fail exam and will consist of three essay questions. Students will choose two of the three questions to write their essays on. The questions will include assigned material from the three required courses. Students should keep all materials from these courses in order to be better prepared for the exam. **Required core courses will change starting Fall 2021. Students admitted prior to Fall 2021 have the option to take the exam based on the original core courses (FMS 502, FMS 504, and FMS 520) OR the new core courses (FMS 504, FMS 510, FMS 520).
Students will be expected to write 5 page essays for each of their answers. These essays need to be submitted via Word attachments and need to be written in 12 pt. font, double spaced, using MLA format for citations.
Fall Exam Dates:
- November 1: Students will email the MAS Program Director Julia Himberg by November 1 to indicate they will be taking the written exam fall semester.
- November 8: Students will receive an email with their questions. They will have 7 days to complete their essay answers (due by November 15, 11:59 p.m. Arizona time).
- November 15: Students will email a Word attachment of the exam back to Dr. Himberg by 11:59 p.m. Arizona time. FMS faculty will return comments to the student along with the determination of Pass or Fail.
Spring Exam Dates:
- April 1: Students will email the MAS Program Director Julia Himberg by April 1 to indicate they will be taking the written exam spring semester.
- April 8: Students will receive an email with their questions. They will have 7 days to complete their essay answers (due by April 15, 11:59 p.m. Arizona time).
- April 15: Students will email a Word attachment of the exam back to Dr. Himberg by 11:59 p.m. Arizona time. FMS faculty will return comments to the student along with the determination of Pass or Fail.
MAS students who do not pass the exam can retake it the following semester.
Summer Graduates: The exam is only offered in fall and spring. Students graduating in summer will take the exam in spring.
Once exams results are received, please email firstname.lastname@example.org to update your iPOS.
For questions about this program, please use the Get Program Details form at our page on ASU Online.