Love your major. Love your career.
BA in Cinema & Media Studies

If you love film, television and other media, turn your passion into studies and, ultimately, a job you’ll love even more. Conceived to prepare liberal arts students for a career in a rapidly changing world, the BA in Cinema & Media Studies (CIMS) provides excellent opportunities for you to broaden your education and prepare for a career in many fields. It is a degree for the 21st century.

Just what kinds of careers? CIMS prepares you to excel at:

  • curating, archiving and preservation at prestigious institutions
  • film criticism
  • arts journalism
  • education
  • communication
  • entertainment law
  • film and media programming and exhibition in the industry in museums, cultural institutions and the booming national and international film festival scene
  • film acquisition, film project development and film promotion for major studios and distributors

The BA in CIMS is a joint degree you can pursue as a student in either our College of Arts & Sciences (CAS) or College of Communication (COM). Our CIMS program draws on a combined CAS/COM faculty with expertise in American film and television as well as the national and regional cinemas of Europe, Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Asia.


What you’ll study.

You’ll learn to identify the major trends and turning points in cinema and media history within a broad cultural context, including global, national and regional contexts beyond the United States. You’ll analyze and write about traditional and emerging forms of media and mainstream and alternative kinds of moving images. You’ll learn to describe the major genres popular in film and television, old and new Hollywood, art cinema, avant-garde film and media, documentary film, and classic and contemporary television and digital media platforms such as YouTube. As you become an expert in the work of individual directors and writers, you’ll come to understand the many facets of film and television authorship. And you’ll develop the ability to describe a number of theoretical approaches to film, television and new media, which you can apply to analyzing a film or a television series, making films and/or writing a screenplay. You may even choose to take a course in film production or screenwriting.


Majors, minors and honors.

The CIMS major requires you to complete 11 courses (44 credits) with a minimum grade of C. At least three must be taken at the advanced (CI400/500) level. Course work must include courses in the cinema of at least three of these regions: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa and the United States.

A CIMS minor is available to all undergraduates in all BU schools and colleges. For this program, you’ll take six courses, including The History of Global Cinema I and an introductory course on film aesthetics. Courses will be chosen in consultation with your advisor and must include at least one advanced level elective.

If you have a GPA of 3.30, overall and in CIMS courses, you may apply to pursue Honors in CIMS. The program requires 12 CIMS courses (five at the advanced level), including a B+ or higher in two semesters of mentored senior honors work leading to the writing and defense of an original research paper. If you are interested, you should discuss the honors program with your academic advisor no later than March of your junior year.


Be a part of something special.

Whether you enroll in CAS or COM, you’ll join a close-knit community of talented students and faculty. Both schools enjoy top rankings and sterling reputations. In fact, BU as a whole is recognized worldwide for academic and research excellence. The University attracts a diverse, international student body to study everything from art to engineering to zoology. Studies are challenging, social lives active, and relationships rewarding. You’ll never have an excuse to be bored.

Your even greater community is Boston. What better place to study? Boston is a leading international city and the seventh-largest media market in the country. Much of American history took place here. There are vibrant cultural and social scenes. Fenway Park is practically in BU’s backyard. And, as a major high-tech center, the city is at the forefront of communications innovation.


Be in demand.

CIMS coursework is tied to BU’s Study Abroad program, one of the most extensive of any university. Our internship programs place students at leading international firms and cultural institutions for hands-on experience.

Whatever opportunities you choose, upon completion you’ll join a network of thousands of BU alumni who reach right to the very top of almost every field of business and academics. And you’ll be poised for a lifetime in media.

Turn your passion into a successful career.

Apply