Graduate Certificate in Film Studies

Michigan State University offers a Graduate Certificate in Film Studies that is open to all graduate students enrolled at the University. The certificate provides an in-depth grounding in current methodologies, practices, and disciplinary concerns relevant for conducting advanced research and teaching in film studies. Courses in the certificate examine the history, theory, and criticism of cinema and study the medium of film as a global art, business, and technology of representation deeply informed by social dynamics of race, gender, sexuality, ability, and nation.

To enroll in the certificate students must first be admitted into a graduate program at Michigan State University. Once admitted, fill out this form and contact the director of Film Studies to set up an appointment.

The certificate is managed by the Film Studies Program and the Department of English, in collaboration with the Department of History and the French Program in Romance & Classical Studies.

Certificate brochure.

Students in the certificate must complete 9 credits from the following:

1. Both of the following courses (6 credits total):

  • FLM 800 Methods in Film Studies (3 cr.)
  • FLM 810 Seminar in Film Studies (3cr.)

2. One of the following courses (3 credits total):

  • FLM 810 Seminar in Film Studies (3cr.)
  • FLM 820 Topics in Film Studies (3cr.)
  • FLM 855 Interdisciplinary Topics in Film Studies (3cr.)

Students who reenroll in FLM 810 must select a different topic to meet this requirement. Students who wish to take a graduate-level film studies related course in another department in substitution of FLM 820 or 855 must request formal approval from the Director of the Film Studies Program. Only one substitution request (3 credits) will be accepted. 

Upcoming Courses

FALL 2020

Films rarely disappear after they leave the theater. They are continually reissued, rediscovered, and remade. This course tracks films with particularly rich and interesting afterlives in the Global South. We will examine three primary ways that film history is reprocessed and remade. First, we will explore how documentary and experimental filmmakers have established an important tradition of critical filmmaking by directly borrowing and reediting found footage. Second, we will consider how the widespread global practice of remaking celebrated films creates another important site where a film’s meaning can be recontextualized. Third, we will follow formations of archival and curatorial practice in different regional contexts as archivist-curators have preserved and presented technological transformations in the history of moving images and have altered the canon of world cinema. Each of these dimensions of recycled cinema have shaped the way that film history has been written, and students will use the case studies in the course to reflect on their own practice of writing cinema and media history.

Professor Kaveh Askari 
Monday 4:10-7:00, Wednesday 4:10-6:00, 307 Bessey


Popular culture media objects–film, television, radio–are not isolated entities, but instead, exist as part of a complex network of media ecologies. Not only is each medium imbricated in transactions with other mediums, but each medium negotiates a web of formats, transfers, and exchange within itself. This course asks students to engage with these media negotiations. The course will cover a wide array of exchanges that occupy a spectrum of legality: including songbooks, celebrity posters, film trailers, bootlegged media and fan-made media objects, to name a few. The goal of the course is to study these networks and exchanges and to evaluate their role in engendering popular media as we understand it.


Professor Kuhu Tanvir 
Tuesday 4:10-7:00, Thursday 4:10-6:00, 307 Bessey

FALL 2021


Professor Lyn Goeringer 
Monday 4:10–7:00, Wednesday 4:10–6:00, EBH 307


This course offers an introduction to methods of interpreting, writing on, and teaching film. It is designed to help graduate students to develop a research and teaching trajectory in cinema and media studies for their work at MSU and beyond. Students will begin by engaging with tools of close analysis and basic concepts of film form. They will move from there to categories of genre, authorship and other critical traditions, central to the formation of the discipline of cinema studies, that discuss aspects of the medium as a social institution, psycho-sexual apparatus, and cultural practice. The course will introduce students to subfields of film history and theory, race cinema, and of studies of media infrastructures as they pertain to cinema as a medium in global circulation. We will have ongoing discussions of teaching and syllabi development throughout the semester. Screenings will include work by filmmakers such as Burnett, Deren, Eisenstein, Hitchcock, Jia, Mambéty, Rohrwacher, and Weber.

For more information, contact:

Professor Kaveh Askari
Director of Film Studies

Certificate enrollment form.

Certificate Brochure.