Declare a CIMS Major

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. 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.

CIMS students also have the opportunity to pursue an honors in the major and/or a dual-degree with COM.

Course numbers and course topics shift every semester, please consult your advisor before finalizing your schedule.

CIMS Major Requirements

  • Two Courses in Film History:
    • CAS CI 101 History of Global Cinema: Origins through 1950s, and
    • CAS CI 102 History of Global Cinema 2: 1960s to Present
  • One Course in Film Aesthetics
    • CAS CI 200 Introduction to Film & Media Aesthetics
  • One course in Film and Media theory

    • CAS CI 512 Film & Media Theory (or another approved theory course)
  • One course taught with an auteur approach, focusing either on important filmmakers or on problems of film authorship
  • One course in a film genre, movement, or non-narrative film
  • One course in the study of non-cinematic media, i.e. digital technologies, video games, televisual media, etc.
  • Four unrestricted cinema and media studies electives, chosen in consultation with the student’s advisor. Students should keep in mind the requirement to take classes from at least three regional cinemas (see above for details).

The requirements outlined above apply to students who declare the major in Fall 2020 or later. Students who declared the CIMS Major before fall 2020 may complete the major either based on the requirements as above or according to the policy described in the University Bulletin year of their declaration.

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. A total of 12 CIMS courses are required, with five at the 400-level or above, including two semesters of mentored senior honors work (CAS CI 497/498) that results 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.

Dual-Degree in CAS and COM

A dual degree in CAS Cinema & Media Studies and COM’s Film & TV program gives students a strong theory-based education while immersing them in the skills related to filmmaking.

The DDP requires completion of at least 40 classes (160 credits), three semesters of enrollment in the Dual Degree Program, good academic standing, and a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.0. Only eight courses of summer work may be applied.

For more information on this program, visit the BU Bulletin and discuss this with your academic advisor.


Internships are available to CIMS students through stipend-supported programs at Boston University, and funded programs in the greater Boston community. For more information on these opportunities, visit our page on Student Opportunities.