Academic advising on degree requirements and related matters is done by staff and faculty advisors from the Departments of Film, Television, and Digital Media and Information Studies. All academic actions and petitions are considered by the appropriate standing faculty and program committees. Students meet with their advisor for program planning prior to the beginning of each quarter. Matters that cannot be resolved by the individual faculty advisor are reviewed by the Committee to Administer the Interdepartmental Degree Program (CAIDP). Advising on professional matters such as employment and internships, and general counseling are provided by the director and coordinator of the MIAS Program and relevant professional staff from the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Areas of Study

Consult the program for specialized areas of study.

Foreign Language Requirement

Not required. Some students may be required to demonstrate competence in a foreign language to their committee if it is needed to support research in their area of specialization.

Course Requirements

A total of 72 units of coursework are required, including a minimum 48 units of graduate (200- and 500-series) courses. A maximum 16 units of 500-series courses may be counted toward the overall and graduate course requirement. The remaining six courses may be either in the graduate (200) or professional (400) series. Students must complete six Moving Image Archive Studies seminars (in history and philosophy of moving image archiving, moving image preservation and restoration, archaeology of the media, moving image cataloging, archival administration, and access to moving image collections); three Film, Television, and Digital Media seminars: 200, and two 200-level courses in film and or television history, theory, or criticism from an approved list of courses; two Information Studies seminars: 260 and 431; and 16 units of elective courses that are chosen by the student with approval by the student’s adviser. View Course Requirements

Teaching Experience

Not required.

Field Experience

Not required. Students are encouraged through their directed studies and practica to gain direct, hands-on experience in a moving image archive, library, or laboratory.

Comprehensive Examination Plan

Students are required to write a research based essay addressing a topic in the field and to submit a portfolio assessment of their work in the program. The portfolio is a presentation of the author’s professional self, as developed in the MIAS program. The student presents the recorded form of the portfolio in advance, and then gives an in-person presentation to the Portfolio Committee, which is composed of two ladder faculty members and one representative from the professional community. Detailed examples of the portfolio are available upon request.

Thesis Plan

The M.A. thesis is a research based, written work addressing a significant issue in the field. A thesis option is available upon approval of a proposal by Program Director and supervising committee. The membership of the supervising committee is proposed by the student and will consist of three faculty members–at least one from each of the departments participating in MIAS, with the option for the third member to be from either department or from another department at UCLA as appropriate.


Students normally complete degree requirements within two years, with a minimum enrollment of 36 units each year. Students who require additional time must submit a petition for consideration to the M.I.A.S. committee.

Termination of Graduate Study and Appeal of Termination

University Policy

A student who fails to meet the above requirements may be recommended for termination of graduate study. A graduate student may be disqualified from continuing in the graduate program for a variety of reasons. The most common is failure to maintain the minimum cumulative grade point average (3.00) required by the Academic Senate to remain in good standing (some programs require a higher grade point average). Other examples include failure of examinations, lack of timely progress toward the degree and poor performance in core courses. Probationary students (those with cumulative grade point averages below 3.00) are subject to immediate dismissal upon the recommendation of their department. University guidelines governing termination of graduate students, including the appeal procedure, are outlined in Standards and Procedures for Graduate Study at UCLA.

Special Departmental or Program Policy

A recommendation for termination of graduate study is first made by the graduate adviser to the Committee to Administer the Interdepartmental Degree Program (CAIDP). If the Committee concurs with the recommendation, the student is immediately placed in program probation status. The student’s progress in the subsequent quarter is reviewed by the Committee, based on the written concerns outlined by the graduate adviser, in order to make a final recommendation on whether the student should be allowed to continue or to be recommended to the Graduate Division for termination of graduate study.

The MIAS program requires completion of these core courses:
  • MIAS 200 – History and Philosophy of Moving Image Archiving
  • MIAS 210 – Preservation and Restoration
  • MIAS 220 – Archeology of the Media
  • MIAS 230 – Cataloging Moving Images
  • MIAS 240 – Collection Development
  • MIAS 250 – Access to Moving Image Collections
  • FTVD 200 – Research Methods
  • Two 200-level courses in film and/or television history, theory, or criticism from an approved  departmental list.
  • IS 260 – Information Structures
  • IS 431– American Archives and Manuscripts

Students have the option to choose as their Culminating Requirements to complete a Comprehensive Exam and Portfolio, or a Thesis.

Comprehensive Examination

Students choose one question from a set provided and write a journal-quality paper addressing the question they select. The questions are designed to assess the student’s knowledge, their demonstrated mastery of what they have learned across all aspects of the degree program (MIAS seminars, IS and CMS courses, practicum and so on), as well as their ability to integrate and apply their ideas to a chosen problem or issue.


The MIAS Portfolio allows the student to demonstrate mastery of moving image archive studies, their ability to synthesize and apply that knowledge in depth in a chosen area of interest or specialty within MIAS, and their sense of competence, identity, leadership skills, and future development as professionals. The candidate makes a presentation of the portfolio to a committee consisting of faculty and practitioners.


Students will have an option to complete a thesis as their Culminating Requirement. The thesis will provide an opportunity for advanced research and scholarship in the field of moving image archiving. The program intends to create an enhanced environment for research in a field inclined to be practical. The program intends in this way to cultivate and deepen the knowledge base for the field of moving image archiving.