Why Film Studies?

Film studies involves more than the analysis of one of the youngest and most internationally popular forms of cultural media today. It means examining how individual movies, particular genres and forms, and different regional and national film traditions reflect and influence the worlds of which they are a part. Ultimately, it means developing crucial skills in critical thinking, visual and textual analysis, and written and verbal communication that are vital for success in the majority of today’s careers.

Film studies programs in the United States first gained institutional traction in the 1970s. In the beginning, courses were often offered as adjuncts to English departments and other programs in modern literatures and cultures. Students who would have otherwise been analyzing written narrative texts simply began analyzing another narrative medium. Since then, film studies has grown into a full-fledged academic discipline, equipping students with advanced skills in viewing, writing, critical thinking and reasoning that they might otherwise have developed in an English or history course.

Students who choose to major in film studies pursue a course of study about which they are deeply passionate while reaping the benefits of a true liberal arts education. The skills they develop in the classroom and through experiential learning opportunities help prepare them for a broad range of career options.