What Is Cinema & Media Studies?

From its invention in the late 19th-century, film has grown into one of the most complex art forms, popular entertainments, and powerful social forces in contemporary life.  Everywhere we turn, we are surrounded by hybrid versions of the cinema: viral videos and YouTube uploads; home movies and reality television; advertisements and video games; surveillance footage and video conferences; and, of course, the masterpieces of global cinema and the expensive entertainments of the film and television industries.  The most vital dimensions of our culture, our thought and our expression have been shaped decisively by the language of the moving-image, with its unique aesthetic codes and traditions, and with its many cultural and technological histories.

The undergraduate program in Cinema & Media Studies (CIMS) offers students a comprehensive education in the history, culture, aesthetics and theory of moving-image media.  Our course offerings are global in range and interdisciplinary in orientation.  The CIMS program draws on affiliated faculty from departments across the college, from English and World Languages and Literatures to Sociology and Art History. We offer courses on a variety of film movements and genres, individual filmmakers, and a range of media, as well as courses devoted to national cinemas in Asia, Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

Students graduating with a degree in Cinema & Media Studies will have acquired a rich humanities-based background in a field with growing cultural and economic relevance, as well as enduring artistic significance and political urgency.  Our students develop critical skills needed to navigate today’s media landscape with technical knowledge, historical perspective, creativity and imagination.  Recent graduates have used their degrees to pursue a range of careers, including: film programming, publishing, arts journalism and film criticism, filmmaking, art making, creative writing, education, business, marketing, advertising and brand consulting.

“Films make people look at what they've forgotten.” – Spike Lee