Major Program Requirements for Film & Media Studies

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a woman films actors performing on a stage set

The primary course of study in the FAMS major includes work in three different kinds of classes: foundations courses (200-level), electives (300-level), and advanced workshops and seminars (400-level).

Each student is required to take two foundations course in Critical Studies (including “Coming to Terms: Cinema,” “Introduction to Film Studies,” “Television Narratives,” and “Coming to Terms: Media”) and one “foundations” course in Production (such as “Foundations in Video Production”). Such classes provide the groundwork in those methods and tools of Film and Media Studies that will prepare you both for electives and advanced seminars or workshops. Ideally, you will take these 200-level courses in your first and second years at the college.

FAMS electives are designed to help you develop a breadth of study in the major. They include courses in national cinemas (such as “Japan on Screen,” “Weimar Cinema,” “US Films of the 1970s,” and “Representation and Reality in Spanish Cinema”), in film/media theory (including “Cinema and Everyday Life,” “Intimate Film Cultures,” and “Documentary Impulse”), particular artists (such as Andy Warhol and Sergei Eisenstein), approaches to media production (such as “Experiments in 16mm Film” and “Solo Performance: Movement, Text, Sound, Video”), and an array of courses that connect film to other artistic forms (like “Jazz Cinema,” “Victorian Sensations,” and “Women, Gender, and Popular Culture”). These are courses that you will take throughout your years as a major, and some may even be the courses that introduce you to the possibilities of studying in FAMS. Students may apply up to two courses taken during study abroad as electives toward the FAMS major. 

In your junior and senior years, you will primarily focus your coursework on advanced seminars and workshops. We recommend that you begin your advanced course of study in your junior year with one of your primary requirements: the 410-level class in “Integrated Practices” or one of the 410-level courses that fulfill this requirement (such as “The Film Essay” or “The Essay Film”). To fulfill your coursework in the major, you are required to take one or two additional 400-level classes (one if you do a thesis; two if you don't); these range from advanced production workshops to historiographical inquiries to rigorous studies of film/media theory.  

Finally, for their capstone requirement, all seniors are required to (a) complete the Film & Media Studies Comprehensive Exam and (b) either a two-semester thesis that reflects their individual academic and creative interests or an additional 400-level course. Seniors who opt to complete a thesis will only be required to take one 400-level seminar/workshop besides the 410-level course, and those who do not pursue a thesis will be required to take two 400-level seminars/workshops besides the 410-level course. 

Please find a worksheet below that you can download to keep track of your completed requirements. Doing so will be helpful as you plan your trajectory of coursework with your advisor in the major.