Who We Are | Curriculum

The Department of Film and Media Studies offers programs in the production and critical analysis of film, mass media, and alternative media. It provides a wide range of courses in the production of film, video, print and broadcast journalism, radio, graphics, and new digital media. Analytical courses are offered on the theory, history, interpretation, structure, and criticism of contemporary media. Courses are designed to engage students analytically and creatively with social, cultural, and aesthetic issues in contemporary media practice.

Analytical courses provide students with a broad base in critical thinking. Courses deal with subjects such as the history and aesthetics of film, video, and television; genre studies; the production and distribution of print and broadcast news; the representation of race, class, and gender in various media; domestic and international policy and regulatory issues in print, broadcasting, telecommunications, and new media; Hollywood’s past and present configurations; and the intricate relationships between the mass media, popular culture, and society.

Production courses constitute a vital element of both the film and media studies majors. The production curriculum is designed to offer students in-depth understanding of applied aesthetics, creative concepts, and technical proficiency through a diverse range of rigorous practicum courses in film, video, television studio, newswriting, screenwriting, graphics, layout, and new digital media. Production offerings encourage students to produce original work in dramatic narrative, documentary and experimental forms, permitting them to cultivate a creative voice that can find expression across the range of contemporary media technologies.

The film major combines theoretical perspectives and practical production experience to provide students with a thorough understanding of the cinema and of their creative potential as filmmakers. The major is composed of required and elective courses in film and video production and film studies. Students are introduced to the aesthetics of filmmaking, the historical background of the film industry, alternative filmic practices, current critical theories, and various national and multicultural perspectives on cinema. Production courses include screenwriting, screen directing, producing the film, sound, editing, and cinematography.

Consonant with the department’s overall mission, the program in media studies fosters media literacy in the belief that the ability to understand and make use of the tools of the mass media is essential in a democratic society.

All film and media majors are encouraged to take both FILM 101, Introduction to Cinema, and MEDIA 180, Introduction to Media Studies.

In addition to classroom activities, majors and minors earn general elective credits through valuable internship placements in New York City’s vibrant media industries. Host institutions include film, television, radio, video and record companies; newspaper, magazine, and book publishers; public relations and advertising agencies; museums; and telecommunications and new media organizations.