Undergraduate Program

The School of Cinema provides its undergraduate majors with a broad liberal arts education focused on three core values: creative expression, critical thinking and social engagement. Students interested in the major are welcome to visit the School and meet with faculty and students.

Cinema Students

Students are required to complete at least 45 upper-division units for the major; up to 12 of these units may be in related disciplines outside of Cinema, subject to an adviser’s approval. A minor is not required.

The B.A. in Cinema’s learning objectives strive to enable students to:

  • Acquire basic skills in the critical analysis of films, focused by the analysis of representative film texts from a range of periods and cultures.
  • Relate cinema to the production, distribution and exhibition industries, the other arts and to society.
  • Identify contemporary technological, artistic and industrial trends in the cinematic arts.
  • Acquire the basic technical skills necessary for cinematic expression (animation, filmmaking and screenwriting).
  • Locate personal voice in the creation of the cinematic arts.
  • Produce competent and sustained research papers evidencing knowledge of major topics, theories and methods.

Core and Foundation

All Cinema majors must complete the following 13-unit core with a grade of “C” or higher in each course before taking upper-division courses:

  • CINE 200: Intro to Cinema Studies
  • CINE 202: Intro to Filmmaking
  • CINE 204: Intro to Filmmaking Lab
  • CINE 211: Film History I
  • CINE 212: Film History II

After completing the core, all Cinema majors must take the following foundation courses:

  • CINE 340: Critical Studies
  • CINE 341: Critical Studies Discussion

These courses should be completed in the first semester of the junior year.

The faculty strongly recommends that all majors complete the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR) by taking a CINE GWAR course. Cinema offers several options. Check the class schedule for more information.

Prior to 2012 Bulletin

  • General Education Segment I and II or Transfer Equivalency
  • CINE 200: Introduction to Cinema
  • CINE 202: Introduction to Filmmaking

CINE 301, Introduction to Film Studies and Production, satisfies both CINE 200 and CINE 202 requirements. Hence, unless you’re a transfer student who has already taken the equivalent of 200 and 202 at another institution, you should take CINE 301 to satisfy your CINE core requirement.

Once the core is completed, students must complete the Cinema Foundation with a grade of “C” or higher. Foundation courses prepare students for advance work in the major.

  • CINE 311: Film History I (now CINE 211, Film History I)
  • CINE 312: Film History II (now CINE 212, Film History II)
  • CINE 340: Critical Studies
  • CINE 341: Critical Studies Discussion Group

Students must earn a grade of "C" or higher in all core and foundation courses.

View the Cinema discipline courses.

Emphasis Areas

Beginning in bulletin year 2012 - 2013, the Cinema major includes the option of an “emphasis.” Emphases are designed to support Cinema students in establishing a focus for their studies; students may also design an individualized emphasis in consultation with an adviser. Upper-division standing and completion of all Core courses with a “C” or better is a prerequisite for enrolling in emphasis courses. Completion of the courses in an emphasis (other than an individualized emphasis) will be noted on students’ DARS reports.

Find out more about AnimationFilmmakingMedia and Culture, and Screenwriting.

Individualized Emphasis

Students may propose an individualized (or “advising”) pathway.  Examples include:

  • Critical Theory
  • Cinematography
  • Experimental Filmmaking
  • National Cinema
  • Producing
  • Production Crafts
  • Sound Design

Students interested in proposing an individualized area of emphasis should meet with an adviser late in their sophomore year or early in their junior year.  The student and adviser will propose a sequence of courses to the chair of the School of Cinema for final approval.