Cinema Studies
For Students:


MIAP Handbook


The Department of Cinema Studies at Tisch School of the Arts offers the following degrees: BA in Cinema Studies, MA in Cinema Studies, Certificate in Culture and Media, PhD in Cinema Studies, and the MA in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation (MIAP). All degrees except for the MA in MIAP and the BA in Cinema Studies are conferred by GSAS. The MIAP degree is conferred by Tisch School of the Arts. Students in MIAP should refer to this handbook as well as the TSOA Policies and Procedures Handbook. Any questions not answered in these handbooks should be addressed to the director of the MIAP program as well as the Chair of the Cinema Studies Department.

The M.A. Program in Moving Image Archiving and Preservation is a 64-credit two-year (full-time) course of study that provides moving image archivists with an international, comprehensive education in the theories, methods, and practices of moving image archiving and preservation, and includes, in addition to film, the study of video and broadcast television, as well as digital media. The curriculum covers all aspects of moving image archiving, including: Film History/Historiography and Film Style; Conservation, Preservation and Storage; Legal Issues and Copyright; Laboratory Techniques; Moving Image Cataloging; Curatorial Work and Museum Studies; Programming; Use of New Digital Technologies; and Access to Archival Holdings.

This program takes full advantage of New York City area resources. Students work with archives, museums, libraries, labs, and arts organizations. They do internships and practica with New York City organizations during the academic year and with repositories either in New York or elsewhere during the summer. They also have the opportunity to engage with other departments at New York University, such as Museum Studies, the paper-based Archives Program in the History Department, and the Institute of Fine Arts.

Although the program trains students to deal with all types of moving image material in all settings, it also pays attention to problems posed by works that have no institutional stewardship (orphan, independent, avant-garde, documentary, non-institutional websites, etc.). The program also addresses the ties between the practices of moving image archiving and the practices of scholarly research.

Course of Study

Students must complete 64 points over two (full-time) or four (part-time) years. The required courses are:

  1. Introduction to Moving Image Archiving and Preservation
  2. Moving Image and Sound: Basic Issues and Training
  3. Metadata for Moving Image Collections
  4. Copyright, Legal Issues, and Policy
  5. Conservation and Preservation —Principles
  6. Collection Management
  7. Digital Literacy
  8. Culture of Museums, Archives, and Libraries
  9. Handling Complex Media
  10. Curating Moving Images
  11. Film Preservation
  12. Video Preservation 1
  13. Video Preservation 2
  14. Digital Preservation
  15. Film History/Historiography OR Television: History and Culture
  16. Elective or Independent Study
  17. MIAP Internship Workshop (Semesters 2 + 3)
  18. Advanced Topics in Preservation Studies
  19. Summer Internship

This degree must be completed within five years of matriculation into the program.


All students are required to take an Elective or Independent Study in order to explore more fully a topic of choice. Additional Electives or Independent Studies will be subsitututed if students are waived out of other courses. The Elective may be a media course, a course in cultural institutions and practices, or a course in preservation. The media course might be taken either inside the Department of Cinema Studies, or in various other departments (such as History, French, Italian, and German, American Studies, Africana Studies, etc.). The elective also might be a course in Museum Studies, the History Department's Archiving Program, or the Institute of Fine Arts' Conservation Program. Students who are not in good academic standing have more limited options. In all cases, the elective must be approved by the student's academic advisor.

Independent Study

A student wishing to conduct independent research and receive credit must obtain approval from a faculty member who will supervise an independent study for up to 4 credits. This semester-long study is a project of special interest to the student who, with the supervising faculty member, agrees on a course of study and requirements.

When registering for an independent study, a student must present a faculty approved 'MIAP independent study form' from the MIAP coordinator. This form should clearly detail the independent study project as well as have an approval signature from the faculty supervisor.

Independent study credits may not exceed 4 points in one semester or 8 points in two years.


Students are required to complete two semester-long internships and one full-time summer summer internship. Students are required to work approximately 15 hours a week for 14 weeks during their semester internships and 35 hours a week for 10 weeks during their summer internship. Of these internships:

  • At least one internship must involve with an aspect of collections management
  • At least one internship must involve with restoration/preservation and/or vendor relations
  • At least one internship must deal with video
  • At least one internship must deal with film

Please note that one internship can fulfill more than one requirement.

In addition to the internship, students will meet biweekly in an internship workshop.

For further instructions and policies/guidelines regarding internships (including ethics and professional practices), students should refer to:

The MIAP Internship Guide - Past Internships

Thesis / Portfolio / Preservation Project

Each student will be required to complete a capstone project in the form of either a well-developed thesis, a Portfolio, or a Preservation Project. The student is expected to work with their Adviser beginning in their second semester to make sure that their capstone project will reflect their learning experience in the program.

The Portfolio must include a written essay synthesizing the wide variety of topics learned during the program, as well as good examples of projects that the student has completed. (The Portfolio may serve as an example of what the student might present a potential employer.) Students are required to present their final project in a public lecture at the end of the spring semester of their second year.

A preservation project is based on a partnership with an archive, whereby the student performs specific tasks in collection assessment, management, planning, access, and/or funding. Typically the project's written component contains two parts: a deliverable to the archive, and a second part that reflects the student's analysis of the project in light of a particular issue in the field of moving image archiving or preservation.

Academic Policies, Procedures, and Services

MIAP students should refer to the Tisch Policies & Procedures Handbook for general Tisch guidelines regarding academic standards, grading policies, degree requirements, etc. The Tisch handbook is available through the Office of Student Affairs or on the Academic Services website

Grading Policies

A A- B+ B B- C+ C C- D+ D F
4.0 3.7 3.3 3.0 2.7 2.3 2.0 1.7 1.3 1.0 0

Grades are assigned the following "weights":

Graduate students are required to maintain a Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.0 and must have successfully completed 66 percent of credits attempted while at NYU (not including the current semester) to remain in good standing. Courses with grades of I, N, W, and F are not considered successfully completed. Except for "W' and "Pass," all grades for courses taken for credit at any division of NYU are computed in your GPA, beginning with those earned during your first term of registration. Grades for courses taken at other colleges and universities are not computed in your cumulative GPA.

At the graduate level, only a grade of B- or higher is considered a passing grade. A student who receives a grade below B- in a required MIAP course is required to repeat the course. S/he should consult with the MIAP coordinator and/or an academic advisor for further instructions.

If you repeat a course with a passing grade and it has not been designated as a course that can be repeated for credit, only the first grade will be computed in your GPA. If you fail a course and wish to repeat it, only the second grade will be computed, although the first grade will continue to appear on your transcript. Notation will be made on your transcript indicating that the course was repeated. Transcripts cannot be changed for any reason after the student has graduated.

Grades of Incomplete ("I")

The assignment of an incomplete grade is at the discretion of the instructor. If for a valid reason (such as illness, family emergency), a student cannot finish the required work by the instructor's deadline s/he may request a grade of Incomplete (I). Instructors are under no obligation to allow the option of Incomplete. A grade of Incomplete is not automatically granted. Students must always ask the instructor for permission to take an Incomplete and must do so in advance of any deadlines for course work. If a student does not complete his/her work by the instructor's deadline and/or is not approved for a grade of Incomplete before the last day of classes, the instructor will submit a final grade based on the coursework completed to that point. The grade of Incomplete is only a temporary grade that indicates a student has not completed the course requirements but there is a good chance the student will pass the course when the work is completed. It is not appropriate for students who have missed a lot of classes (since it is not possible to make up classes), or for situations where it is not possible the student will receive a passing grade. The student and instructor must agree on the terms of the Incomplete (deliverables and deadlines) well before the last day of classes. The request for a grade of incomplete must be made in writing by completing a Request for an Incomplete form (you can download a pdf version HERE) and submitting it to the instructor for approval. The request is considered granted once the instructor has reviewed and signed the form. The Incomplete grade will lapse into an F if it is not changed the following semester.

Grades of Withdrawal ("W")

The letter W represents official withdrawal from the course. A student may withdraw from a course up to 24 hours prior to the scheduled final examination. Any tuition refund will be in accordance with the refund schedule for that semester.

Change of Grade

A change of grade is only granted to students who have either made up previous coursework or successfully appealed a permanent grade (a permanent grade cannot be changed unless it is a result of a clerical error). The student must make arrangements for the instructor to fill out and submit a Change of Grade form and submit it to the MIAP Coordinator or the Cinema Studies Department Administrator. STUDENTS CANNOT PICK-UP OR SUBMIT CHANGE OF GRADE FORMS. If the Change of Grade is approved by both the Chair of the department and the Dean of Student Affairs, it is then sent to University Registrar.

Academic Probation

Graduate students are required to maintain a grade point average of 3.0 or above to remain in good standing. Any student whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. In addition, students whose records indicate that they are not making normal progress toward their degrees (i.e., are completing less than 32 points during the academic year) may be placed on probation. Students placed on academic probation will be informed of their probationary status by letter. If the student's GPA falls under 3.0 in more than one semester, the student is placed on terminal probation. Graduate students must have a cumulate GPA of 3.0 or above in order to graduate. Students whose records fail to meet the school minimum standards or departmental requirements for good standing are subject to dismissal.

Maintenance of Matriculation

If the student has completed all coursework and credits required for the degree, the student can register for maintenance of matriculation during each Fall and Spring semester until the degree is conferred.

Leave Of Absence

A student in good standing who is obliged to withdraw temporarily for national service, serious illness, or compelling personal reasons may request a Leave of Absence that, if granted, maintains matriculation and assures readmission at the end of the leave. A leave of absence (except for national service) does not change any time limits fixed by TSOA or the department for completion of the degree. Students requesting a leave of absence must see the MIAP Coordinator for rules/regulations governing a leave and the procedures involved.

Student Folders and Faculty Mailboxes

Each MIAP student will have a designated student folder available next to the MIAP coordinator's office rm. 637 at 665 Broadway. The student folder will be used to deliver important information from MIAP faculty/staff to MIAP students (such as graded papers, registration instructions, etc.) MIAP faculty have mailboxes at 721 Broadway and 665 Broadway. Please check in with your professor regarding specific instructions for the delivery and return of coursework and papers.

Transcripts and Final Grades

The Student Services Office, 25 W. 4th Street, issues all official transcripts and records address and name changes.

Students should always notify both the Cinema Studies department and Student Services of any change in your mailing address and telephone number. A student can also update his/her address and telephone number via ALBERT; yet, in this case, still needs to contact the department with his/her change.

A student should receive a copy of his/her transcript approximately four weeks after the close of each semester for which s/he is officially registered. Additional official copies of the transcript can be obtained by completing the appropriate form in the Student Services Office or online. There is no charge per transcript.

Students can check ALBERT (http://albert.nyu.edu) for final grades at the conclusion of each semester. Due to University procedure, final grades are usually posted within fifteen (15) days from the conclusion of the semester.

Tisch School of the Arts Policy on Plagiarism

Plagiarism is presenting someone else's work as though it were your own. More specifically, plagiarism is to present as your own:

  • A sequence of words quoted without quotation marks from another writer
  • A paraphrased passage from another writer's work
  • Facts, ideas or images composed by someone else

When you take notes, summarize, rather than paraphrase. If you quote anything, use quotation marks in your notes and take down the page number of the quotation to use in your footnote. All electronic sources of information must be properly cited. Students are expected, often required, to build their own work on that of other people, just as professional researchers and writers do. Giving credit to someone whose work has helped one is courteous and honest. Plagiarism, on the other hand, is a form of fraud. Proper acknowledgment and correct citation constitute the difference. To publish plagiarized work is against the law. People in the professions and in business who pass off other people's work as their own are liable to be discredited and ostracized. University students guilty of plagiarism are subject to disciplinary action ranging from failure in the course for which plagiarized work was submitted to expulsion from the University. It is crucial that acknowledgment of sources be accurate and complete. To avoid unintentional plagiarism:

  • See a writing handbook or other standard guide for accepted forms of documentation.
  • Use more than one source for information, if at all possible.
  • Point out agreements and disagreements between sources on important points.
  • Work out your own organization of material gleaned from research.
  • When in doubt whether your acknowledgment is proper and adequate, consult your instructor. If possible, show the instructor both the sources and a draft of the paper in which you are using them.

Plagiarism is a breach of academic honesty and integrity; it is considered among the most serious of offenses. When an instructor suspects plagiarism, s/he has several options. In most cases, the instructor will require the student to totally redo the assignment. The instructor may also consult the chair of the department regarding disciplinary action and assign a grade of F for the work or, if the work is the main basis of the grade for the course, a grade of F for the course. All cases of plagiarism will be reported to the Associate Dean for Student Affairs. Repeat cases of plagiarism may result in dismissal from school.

MIAP Digital Archive Protocol

As part of MIAP's ongoing efforts to enrich the wider field of archiving and preservation, all student projects are to be collected and made accessible on the MIAP Resources Page. Certain types of assignments will be password protected and made accessible only to MIAP faculty.

Students are required to submit all of their work for each class to their professor in a digital format (.rtf is encouraged for cross-platform compatibility, but other formats will be accepted) via email. The professor will then email all the files to the Digital Archive Manager (Rufus de Rham). Professors will consider issues of privacy (especially in the case of collection assessments and other sorts of projects involving proprietary information), and indicate any issues or concerns they may have regarding posting the files.

All internship summaries and thesis proposals will be kept out of public sight, to be placed in a special restricted folder that is not listed on the main page of student works.

Electronic File Format Guidelines:

When electronic files are submitted, the file names must conform to the standard format:

year semester_class number_author"s last name_assignment number.extension

Example: 13s_1800_Smith_a1.doc

For multiple authors, the two initials of each author will be used, separated from each other by underscores. An underscore and the assignment number will follow this. Assignment numbers are determined by the order in which the assignments are given.

They begin with an "a," followed by a number between one and ten. For assignments with multiple files, a letter can be added after the number. Thus, one could have "a1b," meaning that this is the second of multiple files from one student for one particular assignment.

As the goal of MIAP is to be useful to the archival field the default status of student works will be public. Students, in consultation with the course professor, can make a case for why their paper should be restricted. Proprietary information, confidential information or copyright issues may lead to this decision, not a general unwillingness to make work public. In this case the student would add a "_x" to the end of the file name indicating the file's restricted status.

Example: 13s_1800_smith_a1_x.doc

Otherwise, permission shall be implicitly granted for the student's work to be posted on the digital archive website.

Graduation Procedures

Degrees are conferred in September, January and May of each academic year. A student is eligible for graduation at the conclusion of the semester in which they satisfy all degree requirements.


Students are not automatically graduated upon completion of degree requirements. At the beginning of the semester in which s/he plans to graduate, s/he must call TORCHTONE (212-995-4747) to apply for graduation. Application periods will be posted in the departments at the beginning of each semester. If a student does not apply within the scheduled period, s/he can apply for the next semester's graduation list.

Salute, Convocation And Commencement

In March of each academic year, information will be sent regarding TSOA Salute, NYU Commencement, and University-wide graduation festivities to: A) students who have had their degrees conferred the previous September and January and B) students who have applied for May graduation. These ceremonies take place at the conclusion of each Spring semester throughout the University. PLEASE NOTE: All require the strict application of deadlines for tickets, academic attire and other graduation materials. We ask that all students meet these deadlines because extensions are rarely given.

All materials are sent to the student's local address on file with the Registrar. Students who have not received this information may not have: A) changed their address with Student Services; or B) applied for graduation within the application period.

Students who have applied for May graduation, yet cannot complete all degree requirements, may still have the opportunity to take part in May graduation exercises. These students should contact the MIAP Coordinator for information.


If the Registrar finds that you have not met all criteria for graduation, you will be sent a letter stating that you have been deleted from graduation and the reason for your deletion. The letter is sent after the actual day of graduation because of the strict schedule that the registrar must adhere to; grades are submitted only days before graduation, and the final evaluation of the completion of all degree requirements occurs at the same time as graduation. All correspondence regarding your degree requirements are sent to the address indicated with the Registrar. If you are deleted from graduation, your name will automatically be submitted by your department for the next two graduation cycles. However, if you are deleted a third time, you must apply on Torchtone in order to be considered for graduation again. You must also contact the Registrar if you change your address at any point during the graduation process.

Financial Aid

If you have questions about MIAP Financial Aid please contact the MIAP Coordinator or John Brown, Coordinator for Graduate Admissions & Financial Aid in the Tisch Student Affairs office.

For information regarding Federal Financial Aid for United States Citizens and Resident Aliens, please contact the NYU Office of Financial Aid to obtain a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form.

Student Travel & Budget Policies

As part of the MIAP program, you may be going on MIAP-funded trips to collections, archives, and conferences. Some expenses will be paid directly by the department while others will be paid up front by you and reimbursed later. For all expenses, you need to collect receipts and submit to the Cinema Studies budget coordinator. Airline/train receipts must be accompanied by boarding passes. Food receipts have to be itemized (credit card receipts alone are not acceptable). All receipts must be arranged chronologically and taped to a piece of paper that includes your name, mailing address, and social security number.

Please be aware that for any local travel such as transportation to/from airports, you will need to use the NYU-contracted car service. For more details, please contact the Cinema Studies budget coordinator.

Important Forms for MIAP students

Miscellaneous Informational Documents

Important Contacts


Dan Streible
212-998-1521, dan.streible@nyu.edu

Howard Besser
Associate Director
212-992-9399, howard@nyu.edu

Mona Jimenez
Associate Director
212-998-2692, mona.jimenez@nyu.edu

Scott Statland
Associate Director
212-998-1618, scott.statland@nyu.edu

Kathy Short
Archive Administrative Aide
212-998-1619, kathy.short@nyu.edu

Ethan Gates
Moving Image Archiving and Preservation Technician
212-998-1732, ethan.gates@nyu.edu

Cinema Studies

The Cinema Studies main offices are open Monday – Friday 9 – 5. The offices are located on the 6th floor of 721 Broadway. The main telephone line for inquiry is 212-998-1600. Department staff is available during office hours to assist you.

Liza Greenfield, Administrative Assistant
For assistance with budget policies and reimbursements, and general questions.

Melanie Daly, Department Administrator
For assistance with grades, transfer of credit, graduation, leave of absence, registration, and general questions.

Kenneth Sweeney, Program Coordinator
For assistance with Cinema Studies MA and PhD fellowships and financial aid, admissions, internships, advisement, registration, and general questions.

Gordon Leary, Administrative Aide
For assistance with the Cinema Studies BA program, registration, internships, advisement

Ann Harris, Film Study Manager/Archivist
For assistance regarding the Study Center or MIAP lab

Antonia Lant, Chair
The department chair has office hours each semester to meet with students who have academic concerns. Consultation hours will be posted at the start of each semester. Students should call 212-998-1600 to make an appointment with Professor Lant.

Faculty Office Hours
All Cinema Studies faculty members have consultation hours for their students each week. Please consult the department main office for the listing of individual faculty office hours at the start of each semester.

General Contacts

Cinema Studies Department Special Events Information Line
Cinema Studies Front Desk
TSOA Office of Student Affairs
Office of Financial Aid
Office of International Students and Scholars (OISS)
NYU General Information
NYU Snow/Class cancellation line