Minor in Cinema & Media Studies (CIMS)

The Minor in Cinema & Media Studies (CIMS) is designed to equip undergraduates in all BU schools and colleges with sophisticated knowledge and understanding of film and other moving-image media as art forms and products of mass or popular culture. Like the corresponding CIMS major, the minor takes advantage of BU’s distinctive strengths in global humanities, and keeps the academic study of cinema and media closely connected to the crafts of filmmaking and screenwriting through dual anchorage in the College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) and the College of Communication (COM). Required introductions to global film history and film aesthetics lay a strong foundation for individualized pathways to completion of the minor.

Students who complete the minor are able to:

  1. Demonstrate familiarity with a substantial body of films and other media productions from the silent era forward, and with the multilayered history of how that material has been created and received.
  2. Use concepts and frameworks from cinema and media studies to relate individual films, filmmakers, movements, etc., to broader artistic and sociocultural contexts, including national, regional, and global contexts beyond the US.
  3. Demonstrate visual and verbal literacy by analyzing and writing with clarity and terminological precision about various kinds of moving images.
  4. Conduct research on a topic in cinema and media studies, formulating apt questions, identifying sources, and using them appropriately to support an argument or interpretation.
  5. Discuss the applicability of scholarship from cinema and media studies to general understanding of intersections among art, technology, culture, commerce, and politics.


Six (4-credit) courses are required, all completed with a grade of C or higher. Of these six courses, a minimum of three must be taken at Boston University. Specifically required are the following:

  • One course in Film History: CAS/COM CI 101 History of Global Cinema 1: Origins through the 1950s
  • One course in Film Aesthetics: CAS CI 201 Literature and the Art of Film or COM CI 202 Understanding Film
  • Four CIMS electives, chosen in consultation with the advisor, from courses approved for the CIMS major

At least one of these electives for the minor must be taken at the advanced undergraduate (400 or 500) level.