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Art, Art History and Film

Major in Film Studies

art, art history, and film

The Film Studies major applies the liberal arts tradition to the present-day culture of images and technologies. Courses in film history, theory, and criticism enable students to become active, selective, and ethical participants in a world progressively more dominated by the media of visual communication.

Research-based studies in American and world cinema explore the mutual influence of the films and their respective diverse cultures and historic periods. Familiarity with several of the great films and filmmakers provides a basis for understanding the relationship between contemporary artists and industrial society. Each student will have an opportunity to apply this theoretical knowledge to the experience of film making and exhibition both through programs in scripting, photography, production, and digital editing; and through an extensive internship program in the Boston area.

Students are encouraged to widen and deepen their understanding of the medium through additional courses in Art History, Studio Art, Theater, and Communication. While this Film Studies major provides a solid foundation for further studies and professional involvement in the industry, it also offers the liberal arts student a broad-based preparation for other career options.

Major Requirements

For the major in Film Studies there is a requirement of 12 courses, eight of which must be at the 200 level or above:

FM 202 - Introduction to Film Art

At least two courses in American Film History

FM 280 - Early Years
FM 281 - Studio Era
FM 292 - Post-Classical Period
FM 389 - American Directors Series
FM 393 - Hollywood's Golden Age

At least two production courses

FM 161 - Photography I
FM 261 - Photography II
FM 171 - Filmmaking I
FM 273 - Filmmaking II
FM 274 - Digital Non-Linear Editing
FM 276 - Art and Digital Technology

Six electives, at least two at 300 or 400 level

FM 277 - Russian Cinema
FM 282 - Political Fiction Cinema
FM 283 - History of European Film
FM 284 - Eastern European Film
FM 391 - American Film Genres
FM 301 - Screenwriting
FM 312 - World Cinema
FM 380 - Latin American Cinema
FM 381 - Propaganda Film
FM 382 - Documentary Film
FM 482 - Film Criticism and Theory

Senior year

FM 400+ Senior Project

The Undergraduate Film Studies Major: Learning Goals

A student completing a Film Major in the context of Liberal Arts will be evaluated prior to graduation on the following points before a panel of two or three faculty members:

General View of Film: Based on the initial course in Introduction to Film Art

Film Production: Intermediate grasp of sound, lighting, composition

Film Editing: Digital editing for a film production (Final Cut Pro or Avid non-linear)

History: Solid grasp of American film( feature and documentary), basic knowledge of foreign film (European, Mid-East, Latin American, or World Cinema)

Criticism: Ability to grasp nuances in script, characterization, camera work, etc.

Written Expression: Clarity and proper grammar for essay writing; structure, for screenwriting, with a focus on narrative.

Research: Ability to do scholarly research and documentation

At the same time, as part of the requirement, the Film Major necessitates a student writing a thesis, completing a screenplay, or producing a short film (feature or documentary) under close supervision of an advisor.


Film Studies Assessment

Student Learning Goals
Measurement Process
Review/revision mechanism
Develop an understanding of the history of film and the major themes and filmmakers who have shaped it Panel evaluates historical essays from senior seminar Undergrad committee assembles ratings and reports program recommendations to department annually.
Ability to critique technical and plot elements of a film Panel evaluates critical review from senior seminar
Ability to create, script, shoot, edit and produce a film Panel rates individual components of senior film projects