Frequently Asked Questions

Top 14 Questions:

1) Does the certificate interest me?

The program offers classes in general and specialized filmmaking, screenwriting, film theory, film criticism, and other subjects. The certificate will allow you to compete for admission to prestigious film schools and graduate programs; for positions in film and video production; for employment in film and video distribution and exhibition, digital and new media, and as editors, producers, actors and independent filmmakers.

2) How long will it take to complete the certificate?

You can complete the certificate program at your own pace and earn the certificate as soon as you have finished the requirements. It is certainly possible to complete the requirements in one academic year, but most working professionals take one and a half to two years to complete the required courses, taking breaks when they have a busy season. We offer classes all year, including summer (six- week courses) and winter (four-week courses). A minimum of two courses is offered each semester

3) How many classes are required for the certificate?

The certificate consists of six classes of 3 credits or more.

4) What are the course requirements?

Film Studies Certificate requirements

5) What order should I take courses in?

There is not a required order.

6) Is there a residency requirement?

No, there is not a residency requirement

7) I am not a UMass Amherst student. Do students need to be matriculated at UMass Amherst to take classes?

No, admission in all classes is open and anyone can enroll. You do not have to be a matriculated UMass Amherst student to do this certificate.

8) Is there an admission procedure?

There is no admission procedure. Students may register for courses up until the course begins, but we strongly suggest you enroll at least two weeks before the class starts because many classes fill up quickly.

9) How much will it cost to earn the certificate?

The fee is $404/credit, which makes it $1,212 for a 3-credit course. There is an additional non-refundable registration fee of $47 per term. The registration fee is paid only once each term, regardless of how many courses a student enrolls in. Summer counts as one term. Please note that CPE limits number of credits in Summer to a maximum of 15.

The total cost for the entire Certificate depends on which courses you take and how many terms you take to complete the courses. If you were to take the 6 courses (18 credits) over 2 terms (for instance Summer and Fall), you would have to pay a total of $7,366.

Continuing and Professional Education course costs and class information

10) Is Financial Aid available?

There is no financial aid for classes taken through Online Education (formerly Continuing and Professional Education). However, many students who do receive financial aid do so through outside resources such as scholarships, grants, or tuition waivers from their employers.

Eligible employees of the University of Massachusetts, their spouse and dependent children may receive up to a 50% for any CPE course taken. There is also funding available for military personnel through the GI Bill. We encourage you to visit the Veteran Educational Benefits page for more information. You can also contact or 413-545-5792 for more information.

11) How do I register?

If you are currently enrolled student at UMass Amherst, you can register through SPIRE. If you are enrolling for the first time, or you are not a UMass student, contact Lori Knapp for assistance with enrollment.

12) I do not live in the United States and English is not my first language. Do I have to take the TOEFL exam or any other exam to prove my proficiency in English?

No, you do not need to take the TOEFL or any other English L2 exam.

13) I have a very busy schedule. Do I need to schedule my time around the predetermined plan of the classes?

No. There is complete flexibility with asynchronous training, which comes in two forms, facilitated and self-paced. Asynchronous e-learning makes it possible for learners to log on to an e-learning environment at any time and download documents or send messages to teachers or peers. In other words, participants communicate at different times from different places using the same communication tool.

14) I live in a different time zone. Will I have to log on at night?

No, our asynchronous te aching tools enable communication and collaboration over a period of time through a "different time-different place" mode. These tools allow people to connect at each person's own convenience and schedule. Asynchronous tools possess the advantage of being able to involve people from multiple time zones.