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Frequently Asked Questions

About Our Program

Does the Department of Film, Television, and Media offer a master's degree?

No. The department does not offer a master's program. All applicants are considered for admission to the Ph.D. program.

What is the typical course load for a first-year student?

Most students take three courses per term (9 credits). Graduate Student Instructors are required to enroll for a minimum of two courses (6 credits).

What are the opportunities for FTVM grad students to teach?

FTVM graduate students will have the opportunity to teach as a Graduate Student Instructor (GSI) after their first year in the program. Typically, graduate students will teach as a GSI, leading discussion sections of our introductory courses, in years 2-4, and into the 5th year of study. The department also offers graduate students the opportunity to teach a course of their own design in the spring/summer months, once candidacy is achieved.

May I visit FTVM?

We do not have a formal visit day in the fall, but we will be happy to set up
appointments for you with our Director of Graduate Studies and Student Services
Coordinator should you choose to visit on your own.

About Your Application

When is the application deadline?

Applications are due no later than December 15th.

What role does Rackham have in the admissions process?

All applicants admitted to the Department of Film, Television, and Media PhD program are students of the Rackham Graduate School and the College of Literature, Science and Arts (LSA). Rackham plays a key role in the administration of the admissions process. The online application is managed by Rackham as is the interface between the vendor handling the application and the information technology staff at the university. In addition, Rackham analyzes all transcripts and certifies the information on them including the GPA. Rackham sets many of the standards applied to admissions including the minimum requirements and level of required English proficiency. Rackham prepares the I-20 documentation for international students. For a complete picture, please review Rackham’s website.

What is the minimum GPA requirement for admission to the graduate program?

The Department of Film, Television, and Media faculty take all parts of an application into consideration. The selection process is very competitive. Applicants are expected to be well-prepared for graduate study. The department does not have an official minimum GPA. 

Do I have to send a copy of my transcript directly to the Department of Film, Television, and Media?

No. Applicants do not have to send a copy of their transcripts to the Department of Film, Television, and Media. Official electronic or paper transcripts are only required if a student is admitted, and these must be submitted by the end of the first term of enrollment. Applicants should upload official copies of their transcripts and self-reported GPA, where indicated, within the CollegeNet application.

What kind of writing samples are required in my application?

When applying to our program you will need to submit a research statement/personal
statement, as well as two writing samples. You may submit the same document for
both or write a separate personal statement in addition to the research
statement. You will not be penalized for providing one statement for both. Your
personal statement simply provides additional information about you for your
file. For your writing samples, you should upload both samples as a single PDF

How many pages should my writing samples be, and how should they be uploaded into the application?

Your writing samples should not exceed 20 pages per sample. You should combine the documents into a single PDF to be uploaded into the application.

How will I know if my application and supporting documents have been received?

When you submit your online application and pay the application fee, Rackham will contact you with instructions for checking the status of your registration materials via Wolverine Access. That way you will be able to verify the data submitted, update contact information, view what test scores and transcripts have been received by Rackham, confirm that your letters have been received, accept or decline an offer of admission, and pay an enrollment deposit.

When will admissions decisions be made?

The Graduate Committee strives to review all applications as quickly as possible, while ensuring that each file is read with all appropriate care and deliberation. This can be a time-consuming process, and we appreciate your patience. All applicants will typically be notified of our decision during the month of March at the latest.

In General...

How long does it take to get a Ph.D. at Michigan?

Students are expected to complete course work as pre-candidates in the first two or three, years of study. The preliminary examination, which qualifies students to write the dissertation, must be taken before the end of the third year of study. After advancing to candidacy, students are encouraged to complete dissertation research and writing in accord with the demands of their research topics. Ideally, students will complete all requirements for the Ph.D. within five to six years.

May I visit campus?

Any applicant interested in visiting campus is welcome to contact the department to schedule a visit. Applicants are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.

After the admissions process is completed, all admitted applicants will be invited to attend a campus visit, at the department's expense. This weekend is scheduled prior to the April 15th notification deadline, when admitted applicants announce their decisions, and it is designed to give admitted applicants a better sense of the people, program, and resources at U-M.

Does the University have a graduate student union?

Yes. Our Graduate Employees Organization (GEO) is the second-oldest graduate employees' union in the nation. GEO represents approximately 1,600 Graduate Student Instructors (GSIs) and Graduate Student Staff Assistants (GSSAs) at the University of Michigan. They negotiate the contract that determines wages, working conditions, health benefits, and tuition waivers.

Are international students eligible for fellowship aid?

Yes, all students admitted to our program will receive a five-year funding package.

Where can I find information on housing?

Housing information is available here.