The Five College Film and Media Studies Major

The Five College Film and Media Studies major is in film and media studies as opposed to film production. While the film faculty believes that all students should be familiar with film and video production, the major is not designed to train students to enter the film industry without further training. As with all liberal arts majors, film is studied in relation to all the arts, humanities and social sciences and can lead to careers in teaching, arts administration, web design or freelance work in non-industry venues.

Each student must have an adviser on the home campus and the requirements for the major may vary slightly from campus to campus.

(New) Major Requirements

Note: Majors (students graduating in or before 2019) may consult with their advisers to discuss shifting to the new requirement structure. Majors graduating after 2019 will use the new requirements. To view the previous requirements, click here.

The Five College Film and Media Studies major comprises ten courses:

  1. Introduction to Film and Media Studies (normally taken on the home campus)
  2. Film History (survey course covering approximately 50 years of global film history)
  3. Film Theory (a survey course addressing the history and thematics of moving image theory)
  4. One film, video, digital production and/or screenwriting course (no more than three production courses may be used toward the major)
  5. Three courses in a focus designed by the student in consultation with the adviser (see below)
  6. Three additional electives

It is recommended that normally no fewer than two, and normally no more than five, courses will be taken on another campus.

No more than three courses in the major can be production courses, as noted above.

Four courses must be taken at the advanced level.

We strongly recommend that Introduction to Film and Media Studies, Film History and Film Theory be taken in sequence.

Only one component course may count for the major. (A core course is one in which the moving image is the primary object of study; a component course is one in which the moving image is significant but not the focus of the course). Component and core courses are noted in the course list prepared each semester by the Five College Film and Media Studies Major Steering Committee and published on the Five College website.

The Focus

The three-course focus allows the Five College Film and Media Studies major to concentrate in a particular area, as designed by the major in consultation with the adviser. Normally the focus should be chosen by the second semester of junior year. At least one course in the focus must be at the advanced level. Focus areas include, but are not limited to:

  • Theories of film and/or other media
  • Production
  • National/transnational cinemas
  • Intersectionality (emphasizing some meaningful conceptual combination of gender/sexuality, race/ethnicity, class, ability, age, and more)
  • Moving image audiences and cultures
  • Comparative genres
  • Avant-garde/experimental
  • Documentary/nonfiction
  • Media histories

For more information, contact the faculty adviser from your home campus.

Five College Film and Media Studies Majors, please view the Film Council's list of films to know.