Degree Programs

Majoring in Cinema and Media Studies

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Cinema & Media Studies students will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in Philosophical Inquiry and Life’s Meanings, Aesthetic Exploration, Historical Consciousness, Individual in Community, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Ethical Reasoning, Digital/Multimedia Expression, Critical Thinking, Writing-Intensive Course, Research & Information Literacy. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of available courses outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences.

The major requires a total of 11 courses (44 credits), all completed with a minimum grade of C. At least three of those 11 courses must be taken at the advanced (CI 400/500) level; and each student’s program of CIMS electives must include courses in at least three of the following national/regional cinemas: Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, Latin America, Mideast and North Africa, US.

For students who declare the CIMS major in fall 2020 or after:

Requirements are distributed as follows:

  • A four-course CIMS core, comprising two courses in film history, one in the aesthetics of film and media, one in film and media theory;
  • One course in auteur studies (intensive study of one or several filmmakers or major figures in the creation and production of other moving-image media: showrunners, writers, producers, etc.);
  • Two focused CIMS electives chosen from offerings which focus on a film genre, a film movement, or non-narrative film; and
  • Four unrestricted CIMS electives (students should, however, consider how they will meet requirements in national/regional cinemas and advanced coursework)

Specifically required are the following:

  • 1, 2. Two courses in Film History:
    CAS CI 101 History of Global Cinema I: Origins through the 1950s (fall)
    CAS CI 102 History of Global Cinema II: 1960s to the Present (spring)
    These two courses may be taken in either order. CI 101 is not a prerequisite for CI 102.
  • 3. One course in Aesthetics of Film and Media:
    CAS CI 200 Introduction to Film and Media Aesthetics/Literature and the Art of Film
  • 4. One course in Film and Media Theory:
    CAS CI 512 Film and Media Theory or with prior approval of student’s CIMS advisor, another course focusing on film theory
  • 5, 6. Two courses in a film genre (the western, the musical, film noir, the horror film, etc.) or movement (Italian neo-realism, the French New Wave, etc.) or in non-narrative film (the documentary, avant-garde cinema, and experimental media) chosen from CAS CI 320-339, 420-439, or 520-539.
  • 7. One course focused on one, two, or several directors (or writers, cinematographers, producers, actors, etc.), taught with an auteur approach and numbered CAS CI 340-59, 440-59. or 540-559.
  • 8, 9, 10, 11. Four cinema and media studies electives, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor from the following:
    • CI courses in theory, auteur cinema, genres, movements, or non-narrative film not used to fulfill requirements 5-7 above, or CI courses in film and media history and aesthetics beyond CAS CI 101-102 and CI 201-202
    • Other cinema & media studies courses taken, with advisor’s prior approval, including as part of Boston University Study Abroad (BUSA) or other external programs
    • Courses approved for the major that examine film in relation to other arts or humanities disciplines
    • Maximum of one approved 4-credit academic internship (CAS CI 493 or 494) or directed study (CAS CI 491 or 492) in cinema and media studies
    • For qualified CAS students: one or two semesters of Senior Honors Work (CAS
      CI 497 or 498) required for graduation with Honors in the Major

The following courses, in addition to those listed in 6-7 above, may be taken as electives toward the major’s requirement of four:

  • CAS CI 260-299
  • CAS CI 360-399
  • CAS CI 460-499
  • CAS CI 560-599

Some courses offered in the College of Communications (in film and television studies, screenwriting, and/or production) may, with approval of the student’s advisor and pending seat availability, be taken as Cinema and Media Studies electives, including: COM FT 303, 353, 404, 411, 457, 500, 520, 532, 536, 549, 554, 556, and 557.

Honors in the Major

CAS students with a GPA of 3.30, overall and in CI courses, may apply to pursue Honors in the Major. Required are a total of 12 CIMS courses, with five at the 400-level or above, including two semesters of mentored senior honors work (CAS CI 497/498) that result in an original research paper (thesis) and defense of the paper in an oral examination with a committee of faculty readers. A grade of B+ or higher in both semesters of senior honors work is required for graduation with Honors in Cinema & Media Studies. Qualified students who are interested in this option should discuss it with their academic advisor no later than March of the junior year.

Students who declared the CIMS Major before fall 2020 may complete the major according to the requirements outlined in the Bulletin year of their declaration.

Minoring in Cinema and Media Studies

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:

  1. CI 101: The History of Global Cinema I (origins through the 1950s)
  2. One course in Film Aesthetics: CAS CI 200 Literature and the Art of Film or CAS CI 202 Understanding Film.
  3. Four CIMS electives, chosen in consultation with the advisor, from courses approved for the CIMS major

CIMS electives, chosen in consultation with the advisor, are from courses approved for the CIMS major.

At least one of the four elective courses must be taken at the advanced (400-500) level.

Major Code / Minor Code

The code number to declare the Cinema and Media Studies major is 0622A. The code number for the minor is 0622B.