Note: Admission to this program is temporarily suspended.

Program goals

The cinema and language concentration in the M.I.S. broadens education and career options and is designed to help develop the crucial analytical and communication skills, knowledge base and international experiences needed to pursue a career in the global marketplace.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Students will demonstrate competencies to analyze cinema, as well as other visual media, as a means of cultural and artistic expression, as an audiovisual language and as a frame for complex cultural dynamics.
  2. Students will be able to analyze film and other visual media (e.g. Internet in general, social media, documentary films, etc.) from different cultures, drawing on a general frame of intercultural communication.
  3. Students will achieve fluency in English, Spanish and Italian, especially in their professional field.
  4. Students will prepare for international careers through engaged learning and transatlantic team-building experiences with internships in cultural events such as the Taormina Film Festival, the French Film Festival and the Filmoteca de Andalusia.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Note: Admission to this program is temporarily suspended.

Admission requirements

Degree: Semester(s) of entry: Deadline dates: Test requirements:
M.I.S. Fall May 1 GRE-General

Special requirements

  • It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the visas necessary to study in Europe and the United States. However, students accepted in the cinema and language concentration will receive assistance with visa applications.

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School, the following requirements represent the minimum acceptable standards for admission:

  1. For admission, domestic applicants must submit evidence of knowledge of Italian or Spanish at the “intermediate high” level according to American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages guidelines. Domestic students must submit evidence of knowledge of the second language at the “intermediate high” level according to ACTFL guidelines before beginning classes in Europe. Before departure for their first semester abroad (the fall semester at Cordoba begins on Oct. 15), domestic students must function on the following minimum level:
    1. Italian: PLIDA (Progetto Lingua Italiana Dante Alighieri) or equivalent, B1 or similar level. The B1 level indicates the capacity to understand spoken and written texts on familiar topics and to interact in the language to express opinions and explanations in an elementary way.
    2. Spanish: DELE or equivalent, intermediate-mid/threshold level B1 or similar level. The “Certificado Inicial de Español” proves candidates have sufficient knowledge of the language to handle situations which require an elementary use of the language.
  2. The achievement of superior language proficiency in their field is one of the most important aims of this concentration. VCU students’ proficiency in Spanish and Italian will be assessed by School of World Studies’ foreign language faculty according to the guidelines of the ACTFL. (The proficiency guidelines are available on the ACTFL website.)
  3. For admission, European students must submit transcripts showing that they have received satisfactory grades during their undergraduate studies (minimum GPA of 3.0) and in their first year of graduate study (with no grade lower than C). Students must also pass the TOEFL or the ELP administered by VCU (iBT score of 100; CBT score of 600; or IELTS academic band score of 6.5) and submit a satisfactory GRE score before beginning classes at VCU.
  4. Upon review of the application and all supporting documentation, the transatlantic curriculum in cinema and language program coordinator will contact applicants and provide further information.

Note: Admission to this program is temporarily suspended.

Degree requirements

In addition to general VCU Graduate School graduation requirements, students are required to complete course work in core and elective courses and to conduct significant research.

  1. Credit hour requirements: The cinema and language concentration requires 44 credits (semester hours) of course work, with 20 credits taken at the University of Cordoba in Spain and the University of Messina in Italy and 24 hours taken at VCU. At least one-half of the credit hours presented for graduation must be at the 600 level or higher. Each fall, cohorts of VCU and European students (from University of Messina and University of Cordoba) begin a two-year (four-semester) graduate program. Typically, European students spend the first semester of their first year at the University of Cordoba, second semester at the University of Messina and remaining two semesters at VCU. Domestic students spend their first and second semesters at VCU, third semester at the University of Cordoba and fourth semester at the University of Messina.
  2. Other requirements: The final requirement of the program is completion of a directed research project, during which the student is registered for GRAD 697. This is a capstone project culminating in a synthesis of the academic course work and internship experiences as outlined in the student’s curriculum plan. Before registration for GRAD 697, a student must have submitted a final project proposal, which has been approved by the concentration graduate program director and the M.I.S. graduate program director. The research project must be graded by a VCU graduate faculty member and a student must receive a grade of A or B in GRAD 697 in order to graduate from the program.
  3. Master’s-level candidacy: After receiving approval to begin the final directed research project, a student must submit and receive approval for degree candidacy. Approval of degree candidacy must be obtained before a student can begin the final semester of study. Because of the sequencing of cinema and language course work, approval for the final project and degree candidacy may need to occur simultaneously.

Curriculum requirements

Course Title Hours
Virginia Commonwealth University
FREN 511French Civilization1-4
GRAD 697Directed Research6
GSWS 602Feminist Research Epistemology and Methods 13
MATX 690Seminar in Media, Art, and Text6
WRLD 530Concepts in World Cinema3
WRLD 535World Filmmakers3
University of Cordoba, Spain
L-ART/06Theory and Analysis of Cinema2
L-ART/06Cinema and City2
L-LIN/05Dialogues between Cinema and Other Arts2
L-LIN/05Independent Research Project3
University of Messina, Italy
L-ART/06History of Cinema2
L-ART/06Internship at the Taormina Film Festival3
L-LIN/01Cinema Translation and Dubbing2
LFIL-LET/10Inter-semiotic Relationships: Literature, Theatre and Cinema2
M-DEA/01Sociology and Anthropology of Culture1
M-PED/03Intercultural Education and Pedagogy1
Total Hours44

Other graduate-level methods courses in the social sciences may be taken with prior permission 

Total graduate credit hours required (minimum) 44

Graduate program director
Angelina E. Overvold, Ph.D.
Associate director, School of World Studies
Phone: (804) 827-3416

Program website: