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Major/Minor in Film Studies

Film Studies offers students the best of both worlds: our small department within a major research university provides our students with close mentoring and an individually tailored course of study. Our department’s mission is media literacy, the ability to think critically about the ways in which images and sounds create ideas. We train undergraduate and graduate students to be discerning viewers and thinkers about the most influential cultural forms of the 20th and 21st centuries, by grounding them in a thorough knowledge of American and international film history, the practices of film and television criticism, film and media theory. We also provide interested students with training in screenwriting and filmmaking.

Our students learn about film narratives, genres and styles from around the world. Our course offerings explore film history (and national cinemas), film criticism (authorship, genres, ideologies) and film theory (the relationship of film to the world, human comprehension and aesthetics. Our students gain essential skills: media literacy (the ability to analyze and interpret such texts). Finally, out students are trained to research and write on films to communicate their ideas and interpretations effectively.

Film Studies enhances its course curriculum with special screenings and guest speakers on campus, in addition to off-campus internships and film festivals. The department is very much a part of the film community in Atlanta and beyond. There are plenty of places in Atlanta to see films of every imaginable genre.

Why Study Film?

While the faculty teach their courses with great passion and enthusiasm, Film Studies is not about “fun” and “going to the movies.” In fact, Film Studies provides its majors with rigorous intellectual training comparable to that of other leading humanities fields. Many of our alumni to go on to careers in the entertainment industry (television networks, agencies, production companies). But an equal number of our former majors have used the critical thinking and communication skills we teach as a basis for successful careers in practicing medicine, the law, business, journalism and teaching.

Also, as a Film Studies major, you will be eligible to apply to our new, innovative Concentration in Film and Media Management, a small collaborative program with the Goizueta Business School that gives students the tools to negotiate a career in the media industries. Only ten students are accepted into the program each year.

The minor in Film Studies, which requires coursework in our core curriculum, complements a student’s chosen major in any department in the College. Some of our most successful minors have been pre-Med or have had majors in science. Our minors tell us that they welcome the opportunity to focus on non-science topics as a means of enhancing their work within their major film. It also provides them with a distinctive profile as future candidates in non-humanities fields.

The Media Studies minor is a new, interdisciplinary course of study which enables students to study various forms of mass media from photography through internet culture and video games, with an emphasis on critical analysis, technological innovation and social impact. Students may choose from a Humanities concentration or a Social Sciences concentration. Both foci draw upon faculty and courses in more than 13 departments, providing a wide array of perspectives and methodologies on the workings of media today.