The Film Studies major instructs students on the history and development of cinema as an art form and as cultural expression. Graduates develop an informed, analytical understanding of the medium’s aesthetics and impact on society and culture, while also acquiring career-relevant technical proficiency on various film, video and digital formats, post-production, screenwriting, and visual and media literacy. Film Studies offers knowledge of the major technical and artistic landmarks in the evolution of the cinema, a broad perspective including international cinemas, and exploration of the relationship of film to the other arts and other disciplines in the humanities such as photography, literature, art history, and philosophy. Students gain an awareness of the general outlines of world film history, of national cinemas of Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and of the Classical Hollywood cinema history and mode of production. The Program also offers multiple approaches to narrative, animation, documentary, mobile and new media formats, and experimental cinema practices.

Undergraduate Opportunities

The Film Studies Program offers two separate undergraduate majors that lead to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in critical studies or production emphasis. A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in filmmaking is also available, via a competitive application, to a select cohort of students. The BFA requires more extensive work (developing both practice and aesthetics) and is targeted to highly talented students who aspire to professional careers in the film and TV industries, or to continue graduate studies towards an MFA in a different institution. All students enter the major under a BA plan, and may choose to complete the requirements for the BA in critical studies (history, theory, aesthetics, genres, principles of criticism) and/or a production emphasis (introductory and advanced courses on screenwriting, cinema production, editing, sound design, animation, digital media). A concurrent Bachelor of Arts/Master of Arts (BA/MA) track is available to a few, select and highly motivated students from the critical studies track.

Graduates of the Film Studies Program have realized career opportunities in all aspects of the film and television industries, in film festivals and media organizations, in print and online publications, museums, schools and other educational outlets, local and national media companies, journalism, advertising, law, and arts organizations across the nation.

The Film Studies Program is housed in the state-or-the-art Alliance for Technology, Learning & Society (ATLAS) building in the center of campus. Our Program has one of the largest collections of 16mm film prints anywhere in the country, exclusively for classroom use as well as a vast array of cameras, editing equipment, and optical printers. The Program also enjoys a dedicated teaching theatre with 35mm, 16mm, and HD projection, and a large private collection of rare, classical, historic and foreign films on Blu-ray and DVD formats for the exclusive classroom and research use of Film Studies.

Film Studies is also home to the International Film Series, the First Person Cinema Program, the Brakhage Center for Media Arts, and the annual Brakhage Symposium. All these activities and venues are free and open to Film Studies majors and minors as parts of an academic program that fosters a comprehensive immersion in cinema studies.

Students graduating with the B.A. degree in film studies offer employers a well-rounded background including analytical and communication skills. Writing reviews, journalism, advertising, education, management, and public relations are just a few of the fields that may be of interest to film studies majors. Students completing the B.F.A. degree may additionally choose to seek experience as film editors, art directors, cinematographers, or as members of a film production team.

Career Services (www.colorado.edu/career) helps students discover who they are, what they want to do, and how to get there. They are the bridge between academics and the world of work.

Career Services offers free services for all CU-Boulder degree-seeking students, and alumni up to one year after graduation. Meet individually the staff to discuss major and career exploration, internship or job searching, and graduate school preparation.

You can find the Film Studies Department on the third floor of the ATLAS Institute. ATLAS (Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society) is a campus-wide institute that integrates information technology with a wide variety of disciplines and people, both inside and outside the university. ATLAS houses Film’s 75-seat screening auditorium/classroom as well as film and computer labs.

Through the programming and management of the International Film Series and First Person Cinema, staff of the Film Studies Program are able to lead the university community toward an appreciation of international and American film. 

The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) offers students a chance to work alongside a faculty sponsor on original research. Learn to write proposals, conduct research, pursue creative work, analyze data and present the results. For more information, call UROP at 303-492-2596, http://enrichment.colorado.edu/urop/.

The experience of studying abroad can prove invaluable for you as a film studies major. Your first-hand experience abroad can provide you with new insights into the study of film as an art form. The university offers more than 100 programs throughout the world that offer credit, in some cases fulfilling major and core requirements. You may spend a few weeks to a full academic year abroad, depending on the program you select. 

Prior language study or other prerequisites are necessary for some programs, so early planning for study abroad is essential. Further information about study abroad is available from the Office of International Education in the Center for Community, 303-492-7741, or visit: http://studyabroad.colorado.edu/

Four Year Plans

Please speak with your advisor for specific recommendations; the following is intended to be a general outline only and there may be flexibility to this plan.
 

Film Studies - Critical Studies Emphasis, 4-Year Plan
Average 30 credits per year.

 

First Year – Fall Semester
FILM 1502
(3): Intro to Film Studies
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Quantitative Reasoning & Mathematic Skills)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Lower Division Written Communication)
Elective/MAPS (3)
Elective/MAPS (3)

First Year – Spring Semester
FILM
(3): Lit&Arts requirement (Lower division, see Degree Audit for non-film course choices)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Historical Context)
CORE (3): Natural Science (http://www.colorado.edu/artsandsciences/student-resources/core-curriculum/natural-science)
Elective/MAPS (3)
Elective/MAPS (3)


Second Year – Fall Semester
FILM
(3): Critical Studies Elective (Lower or Upper division, see Degree Audit for choices)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: US Context)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Lower Division Literature and Arts)
CORE (3): Natural Science
Elective/MAPS (3)   

Second Year – Spring Semester
FILM
 Critical Studies Elective (3) (Lower or Upper-division, see Degree Audit for choices)
FILM (3): Upper-Division or Lower-Division (major elective)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Human Diversity)
CORE (4): Natural Science and Lab
Elective/MAPS (3)


Third Year – Fall Semester
FILM 3051
(4): Film History 1
FILM Critical Studies Elective (3) (Upper-division, see Degree Audit for choices)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper Division Literature and Arts)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Upper-Division Written Communication)
Elective (3):

Third Year – Spring Semester
FILM 3061
(3): Film History 2
FILM (3): Critical Studies Elective (Upper division, see Degree Audit for choices)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Ideals and Values)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Contemporary Societies)
Elective (3): Upper-Division


Fourth Year – Fall Semester
FILM 3104
(3) Film Criticism and Theory
FILM (3): Critical Studies Elective (Upper division, see Degree Audit for choices)
FILM (3): Lit&Arts requirement (Upper-Division, see Degree Audit for non-film course choices)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3)

Fourth Year – Spring Semester
FILM
(3): Critical Studies Elective (Upper division, see Degree Audit for choices)
FILM (3): Upper-Division or Lower-Division (major elective)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3)


Please speak with your advisor for specific recommendations; the following is intended to be a general outline only and there may be flexibility to this plan.
 

Film Studies - Production Emphasis, 4-Year Plan
Average 30 credits per semester.

First Year – Fall Semester
FILM 1502
(3): Intro to Film Studies
FILM Lit&Arts requirement (3) (Lower division, see Degree Audit for non-film course choices)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Quantitative Reasoning & Mathematic Skills)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Lower Division Written Communication)
Elective/MAPS (3)

First Year – Spring Semester
FILM 2005 or 2105
(3) Form, Structure and Narrative Analysis OR Intro to Screenplay
FILM 2000 (3) Moving Image Foundations 1
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Historical Context)
CORE (3): Natural Science (http://www.colorado.edu/artsandsciences/student-resources/core-curriculum/natural-science)
Elective/MAPS (3)


Second Year – Fall Semester
FILM 2500
(3) Moving Image Foundations 2
FILM: Critical Studies Elective (3) (Lower or Upper division, see Degree Audit for choices)
FILM 3990 (1) Film Studies Practicum (http://www.colorado.edu/filmstudies/current-students/bulletin-board)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Lower Division Literature and Arts)
CORE (3): Natural Science
Elective/MAPS (3)

Second Year – Spring Semester
FILM
: Lit&Arts requirement (3) (Upper Division, see Degree Audit for non-film course choices)
FILM 2010, 2300, 2610, 2900, or 3030 (3): Foundation Elective Course
CORE (4): Natural Science and Lab
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Human Diversity)
Elective/MAPS (3)


Third Year – Fall Semester
FILM 3051
(4): Film History 1
CORE (3): Natural Science
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Upper-Division Written Communication)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3):

Third Year – Spring Semester
FILM 3061
(4): Film History 2
FILM: (3) Critical Studies Elective (Upper division, see Degree Audit for choices)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper Division Literature and Arts)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3):


Fourth Year – Fall Semester
FILM 3400
(3) Cinema Production 1
FILM 3515 (3) Camera Techniques
FILM 3525 (3) Editing Techniques
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: US Context)
Elective (3): Upper-Division

Fourth Year – Spring Semester
FILM 3010, 3940, 4005, 4010, or 4021
(3) Production Elective Course
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Contemporary Societies)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Ideals and Values)
Elective (3): Upper-Division
Elective (3):


Please speak with your advisor for specific recommendations; the following is intended to be a general outline only and there may be flexibility to this plan.
 

Film Studies - Production BFA, 4-Year Plan
Average 30 credits per year.

 

First Year – Fall Semester
FILM 1502
(3): Intro to Film Studies
FILM Lit&Arts requirement (3) (Lower division, see Degree Audit for non-film course choices)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Quantitative Reasoning & Mathematic Skills)
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Lower Division Written Communication)
Elective/MAPS (3)

First Year – Spring Semester
FILM 2005 or 2105
(3) Form, Structure and Narrative Analysis OR Intro to Screenplay
FILM 2000 (3) Moving Image Foundations 1
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Historical Context)
CORE (3): Natural Science (http://www.colorado.edu/artsandsciences/student-resources/core-curriculum/natural-science)
Elective/MAPS (3)


Second Year – Fall Semester
FILM 2500
(3) Moving Image Foundations 2
FILM: Critical Studies Elective (3) (Lower or Upper division, see Degree Audit for choices)
FILM 3990 (1) Film Studies Practicum (http://www.colorado.edu/filmstudies/current-students/bulletin-board)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Lower Division Literature and Arts)
CORE (3): Natural Science
Elective/MAPS (3)

Second Year – Spring Semester
FILM
: Lit&Arts requirement (3) (Upper Division, see Degree Audit for non-film course choices)
FILM 2010, 2300, 2610, 2900, or 3030 (3): Foundation Elective Course
CORE (4): Natural Science and Lab
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Human Diversity)
Elective/MAPS (3)

APPLY TO BFA PROGRAM AFTER SOPHOMORE YEAR


Third Year – Fall Semester
FILM 3051
(4): Film History 1
FILM 3400 (3) Cinema Production 1
FILM 3515 (3) Camera Techniques
FILM 3525 (3) Editing Techniques
CORE (3): Natural Science

Third Year – Spring Semester
FILM 3061
(4): Film History 2
FILM 3620, 3700, or 4400 (3): Digital Elective course
FILM 3010, 3940, 4005, 4010, or 4021 (3) Production Elective Course
CORE (3): Skills Acquisition (example: Upper-Division Written Communication)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Upper Division Literature and Arts)


Fourth Year – Fall Semester
FILM 4500
(3) Cinema Production 2 Part 1
FILM 4604: (3) (Upper division, see Degree Audit for choices)
FILM 4000, 4010, 4105 or 4600 (3): BFA Production Elective
FILM 3990 (1): Film Studies Practicum
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: US Context)

Fourth Year – Spring Semester
FILM 4500
(3) Cinema Production 2 Part 2
FILM: (3) Critical Studies Elective (Upper division, see Degree Audit for choices)
FILM 3990 (1): Film Studies Practicum
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Contemporary Societies)
CORE (3): Content Area of Study (example: Ideals and Values)