BS in Film & Television

The Undergraduate Program, leading to the BS in Film & Television, provides a comprehensive exploration of Film, TV, and new media while ensuring that students receive a strong liberal arts education. The program focuses on four critical areas:

  • studies
  • screenwriting
  • production
  • management/producing

Students learn from those who came before them, practice the art of storytelling through their writing courses, and apply what they have learned in their production courses.


Students may begin taking courses in the Department­ of Film & Television as early as their freshman year, upon successfully completing COM CO 101 The World of Communication (with a C or higher). Film & Television students do not have to take the secondary introductory COM course, COM CO 201, and can move directly on to take COM FT 201. However, COM CO 201 is still available for Film & TV students to take as an elective, and is useful as a prerequisite for COM courses in other departments.

COM Film & Television students:

  • prepare for a variety of career opportunities in film, television, and related industries
  • develop a foundation for graduate study
  • follow their interests and career goals by taking advantage of flexible programming
  • gain support from an active alumni community

Courses are taught by a diverse faculty of accomplished filmmakers, scholars, and writers representing a wide range of approaches and backgrounds who have earned national and international distinction in their areas.

Both undergraduate and graduate students may participate in our Los Angeles Internship Programs to enhance their education and gain professional experience.

Students usually declare their major in the Film & Television Department in the spring of their sophomore year.

Although there are certain department courses required of all majors, students have options for tailoring a curriculum that fits their individual interests and career goals. Students may take additional hands-on production, screenwriting, or critical studies courses beyond the required minimum, as well as take electives from the rest of the University.

The College of Communication provides state-of-the-art facilities and equipment for instruction in studio and field production in both high-definition video and film and extensive digital post-production editing suites.

CAS Focus

Students must also complete a meaningful sequence of at least three courses at the 300 level or above in the College of Arts & Sciences to satisfy the major’s CAS focus. For a foreign language focus, lower-level courses may be accepted for the three course requirement. Students pursuing a minor in CAS may also use lower-level courses toward the CAS focus.

Core Courses

  • COM FT 201 Screen Language (instead of COM CO 201, required of all other COM majors)
  • COM FT 250 Understanding Film or COM FT 303 Understanding Television
  • COM FT 310 Writing for Film & Television

If you take FT 250 (but not FT 303):

Choose one additional core film studies course with an international focus from a list of currently available international film studies courses updated each semester on the department website.

If you take FT 303 (but not FT 250):

Choose one additional core Television studies courses from a list of currently available courses updated each semester on the department website.

** Students who choose to take both FT 303 AND FT 250 do not need to select an additional studies course.

Principal Courses Offered in the Film & Television Program

Students in the Film & Television Program take, in addition to the four core courses, a minimum of five courses from the following list of electives:

Studies: (please see the Department website for a complete list of current offerings including Special Topics courses)

  • COM FT 457 American Masterworks
  • COM FT 458 International Masterworks
  • COM FT 520 TV Theory and Criticism
  • COM FT 524 Golden Age of Television
  • COM FT 533 American Independent Film
  • COM FT 543 Television Comedy
  • COM FT 545 Television and Childhood
  • COM FT 549 The Profane
  • COM FT 535 Film Analysis
  • COM FT 536 Film Theory and Criticism
  • COM FT 550 Scandinavian Cinema
  • COM FT 551 Designing the Short Film
  • COM FT 553 Special Topic**
  • COM FT 554 Special Topic**
  • COM FT 560 The Documentary
  • COM FT 561 Television Drama
  • COM FT 563 French New Wave
  • COM FT 569 Holocaust on Film 


  • COM FT 353 Production I (prerequisite for further production work)
  • COM FT 402 Production II—Digital
  • COM FT 403 Production II—Film
  • COM FT 468 Production III (application required)
  • COM FT 502 Sound Design
  • COM FT 504 Post-Production FX Editing
  • COM FT 505 Hothouse Productions
  • COM FT 507 TV Studio Production
  • COM FT 526 Advanced Directing (application required)
  • COM FT 527 Lighting
  • COM FT 544 Documentary Production
  • COM FT 552 Special Topic**
  • COM FT 555 Narrative Documentary Practicum
  • COM FT 565 Motion Picture Editing
  • COM FT 593 Cinematography


  • COM FT 304 Film Industry
  • COM FT 325 Creative Producing I
  • COM FT 428 Transmedia Producing
  • COM FT 517 Television Management
  • COM FT 525 Creative Producing II
  • COM FT 566A Business of Hollywood (LA)
  • COM FT 566B Careers in Hollywood (LA)


  • COM FT 411 Screenwriting II
  • COM FT 412 Screenwriting III
  • COM FT 512 Episodic Drama
  • COM FT 514 Writing the Television Pilot
  • COM FT 522 Situation Comedy
  • COM FT 542 Screenwriting IV
  • COM FT 552 Special Topics**

General Electives/Directed Studies/Internships

  • COM FT 456 Acting for Directors and Writers
  • COM FT 493/494 Internship
  • COM FT 491 Directed Study
  • COM FT 573/574 BUTV I and II

**Course topics change each semester.


In addition to the nine courses required in the Film Program and the three CAS focus courses, students elect at least four other courses chosen from any program at Boston University, including television and film courses, broadcast journalism, photography, advertising, and corporate communications. Directed studies, internships, butv10, and 2-credit courses also fall into this category.

A maximum of four internship credits can count as one Film & Television program elective. Students are limited to four total credits of internship domestically though the Film & Television Department’s internship coordinator and an additional four credits through a Boston University Study Abroad program. No more than 8 Film & Television internship credits can ever count toward a student’s degree.