Master of Arts | Department of Media Arts
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Master of Arts

M.A. in Media Industries and Critical-Cultural Studies

The Master of Arts degree offers students individualized degree plans, small seminar classes, and personal academic attention from dedicated faculty members. Students may choose to focus their degree in one of two tracks: Critical-Cultural Studies or Industry Studies.

The Critical-Cultural Studies area encourages students to critically engage with current debates in historical, ideological, and cultural discourses in film, TV, and digital and social media. Students learn about various topics and theories such as: identity, critical race studies, feminism, sexuality, film studies, fandom, activism, and youth cultures.

The Industry Studies area is designed for students with interests in studying or working in media institutions including film, TV, video games, and digital and social media. Students learn about multiple aspects of media industries including: production cultures, management, distribution, globalization, entrepreneurship, law and regulation, programming, transmedia, economics, and audience research.

Each track requires the completion of at least 30 hours of graduate course work and takes approximately two years to complete. A student may elect 6-9 hours in a minor area. Depending on a student's interest and goals, they may choose to enroll in an independent study, practicum, or internship. Both pathways have a capstone option of either a written Thesis or a written Comprehensive Examination.


Several graduate assistantships, graduate fellowships, and scholarships are awarded each year to new and continuing students. Assistantship applications should be submitted with admissions material.


You must meet the requirements of both the Toulouse Graduate School and the Department of Media Arts. If applicants are accepted by the Graduate School, their files are forwarded to the Graduate Committee in the Department of Media Arts for further evaluation.

The department's minimum requirements include:

  • Completion of a Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution with an overall GPA of at least 3.0.
  • Completion of a minimum of 24 hours of undergraduate courses in Media Arts or related field of study.

To apply, the following materials should be sent directly to the Toulouse Graduate School:

  • Official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended.
  • Official GRE scores sent from the Educational Testing Service.
    • COVID-19 UPDATE: at-home testing options are available if testing centers remain closed in your area and/or you do not feel safe taking the exam at a testing center.
  • A completed Toulouse Graduate School application form.
  • Application fee.

In addition, the following items should be emailed directly to Dr. Xiaoqun Zhang, Media Arts Director of M.A. Graduate Studies:

  1. A statement of purpose. In addition to indicating the semester and year you would like to enter the program, the statement should:
    1. indicate your purpose in pursuing a graduate degree at UNT in Media Arts
    2. specifically address your research interests
    3. indicate your intended track (Critical/Cultural Studies or Industry Studies)
    4. identify academic and professional experiences that have served as a foundation for graduate work in Media Arts
    5. communicate how pursuing a graduate degree in our department will aid in your professional plans and/or career aspirations
  2. A minimum of two current letters of recommendation. For most applicants, the letters must be provided by current or former professors. An applicant who has worked professionally in media may submit one of these letters from a person who has supervised his or her work. If an applicant has been out of school for several years, both letters may be from people who can evaluate his or her work in these fields. Letter writers should send their recommendation letters directly to the Graduate Director via email.
  3. A writing sample representative of the applicant's best academic work in media studies or a related field. There is no page limit; however, we recommend 7-10 pages.
  4. An applicant from outside the United States must demonstrate proficiency in oral and written English prior to admittance. In addition to GRE scores, non-native speakers must submit TOEFL scores.


The admissions committee will not consider an application until all required materials have been submitted.

Admission for Fall semester: Submit all required materials by March 15, 2021.

Admission for Spring semester: Submit all required materials by October 15, 2021. Note: Spring 2022 is the last year we will admit students for the Spring semester. Starting Fall 2022, we will only accept and admit applicants for Fall admissions.

By virtue of submitting an application to the Master of Arts Program at UNT, I certify what follows:

  • I prepared, wrote, and submitted all of my own materials
  • The information supplied in this application is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge


UNT Graduate Catalog (You will need to choose Graduate Catalog from the dropdown menu.)
Toulouse Graduate School
Department of Media Arts Graduate Studies general information

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