The graduate program in Film and Media Studies is designed to be coherently structured, interdisciplinary, and international. The program emphasizes the study of film and media history, theory, analysis, aesthetics, and criticism from a humanistic perspective, within the context of global media culture. Students are encouraged to incorporate intensive site-specific study as part of their dissertation research. Eighteen core faculty and fifteen affiliated faculty members span a wide range of areas and specializations. In addition, several major scholarly publication projects are based in the department.

Mailing Address

Department of Film and Media Studies
University of California, Santa Barbara
2433 Social Sciences and Media Studies
Santa Barbara, CA 93106-4010

Degree icon Degrees Offered

Address iconDeadlines

Fall Only:

  • December 1, 2023 (by 11:59 PM PST)

Requirements Icon


  • Online application:
  • Statement of Purpose, Personal History and Diversity Statement, and Resume or CV (submitted in the online application)
  • Three Letters of Recommendation (submitted online)
  • Official transcripts from all post-secondary institutions attended (submitted online)
  • TOEFL scores 600 Paper-Based Test (PBT), 100 Internet-Based Test (IBT) or IELTS (International English Language Testing System) Overall Band Score of 7 or higher (if applicable)
  • English Language Exam Scores (if applicable): TOEFL Internet-Based Test (IBT) total score of 100, or TOEFL Paper-Based Test (PBT) total score of 600, or IELTS Overall Band score of 7, or Duolingo English Test total score of 120, or higher
  • A Writing Sample must be submitted in the online application and should demonstrate excellent written ability in an address to film and media studies or a related field that relies on analogous critical, historical and theoretical methods. It should be a coherent, completed essay with references that is 15-20 double-spaced pages in length.
  • Final/Official transcripts will be required for all applicants who are admitted and have indicated their intent to enroll at UC Santa Barbara by submitting a Statement of Intent to Register (SIR). UC Santa Barbara reserves the right to require official transcripts at any time during the admissions process, and rescind any offer of admission made if discrepancies between uploaded and official transcript(s) are found.

Environment and Society; Feminist Studies; Global Studies; Technology and Society (All Ph.D. only)