2020-2021 Catalog 
    Aug 19, 2022  
2020-2021 Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Film Studies Major

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Minors

The interdisciplinary Film Studies major will help you develop the knowledge and skills to become an adept analyst of film and video. Students can also develop filmmaking skills.

You will develop a thorough understanding of the evolution of film, a familiarity with the filmmaking process, and an appreciation for the cultural, political, economic, and aesthetic forces that shape film and video production. Approaching film from several academic perspectives, you will develop skills in critical thinking, analysis, writing, and communication that will help you prepare for careers in media, entertainment, the arts, public relations, and other fields, or for graduate training in film production.

Majors take film-related courses in at least four separate disciplines and can take courses such as screenwriting, Hispanic film and literature, video production, contemporary art.

Learning Objectives

The following is a list of skills and areas of knowledge we expect students to develop as Film Studies majors.

1. History and context

  • knowledge of the history and evolution of motion pictures

  • understanding of the cultural, political, economic, and aesthetic contexts within which motion pictures are produced, including in international cinema

2. Theory

  • familiarity with the basic vocabulary of filmmaking and film analysis

  • familiarity with a range of types and genres of motion pictures, and an ability to classify them broadly according to type (e.g., realist, classical, formalist)

  • basic understanding of film theory as leading to different approaches to film analysis

3. Practice

  • basic understanding of how films are made, and of their component parts

  • ability to articulate aesthetic considerations in the analysis of the moving image

  • ability to generate relevant questions in the examination of a motion picture that can lead to a coherent analysis of the work

  • ability to construct and articulate, orally and in writing, an analytical argument about a range of film texts, from avant garde to classical narrative, from commercials to news stories to visual essays

  • ability to approach non-American films with an understanding of values and aesthetics outside of dominant Hollywood cinema

Required Courses

Required courses: 1.25 units

  • ENG 254   Introduction to Film
  • FLMS 400 1  Senior Portfolio

Major Requirements

10.25 units are required. In addition to ENG 254 , which is required of all Film Studies majors, students must take at least 4 units from Group A and at least 1 unit from Group B. No more than 3 units from Group C may be applied to the major.

Students must take courses in a minimum of 4 separate disciplines to complete the major. At least one course other than ENG 254  must cover non-American or minority American cinema. A maximum of 3 transfer credits may be applied to the major.


Group A

Group A: courses with a primary focus on film (minimum of 4 units)

Students may take a maximum of 2 film-focused Independent Studies (490), Directed Readings (491), or Internship (495) courses to fulfill this requirement.


  • CMLT 300 3   Cinemas of the Middle East
  • CMLT 321   East Asian Film
  • COMM 300 5   Video Production
  • COMM 400 1   Advanced Video Production
  • ENG 100 6   Narratives in Film and Television (.5 unit)
  • ENG 319    Screenwriting
  • ENG 300 x  Topics in Film (to be proposed)
  • FLMS 495   Apprenticeship: Film Studies
  • FREN 300 1   French Language Film (PRE)
  • GERM 300 1  Landmarks Films of the German Language (PRE)
  • MUS 300 9 Analysis of Music in Film
  • SOAN 365  Ethnographic and Documentary Film and Filmmaking
  • SPAN 190 5  Through the Spanish Lens: Contemporary Spanish Society and Culture Through Cinema
  • SPAN 310  Spanish Conversation and Culture through Film (COR)

Group B

Group B: Courses with a significant focus on film or skills relevant to film (minimum of 1 unit)

  • ART 355  Photography I (PRE)
  • CMLT 201 2  Space and Place in Literature and Film
  • CMLT 200 1  Cosmopolitanism in Literature and Film
  • CMLT 499 C  Refiguring the Divide: The Arab Jew in Literature and Film
  • ENG 480  Advanced Creative Writing (Screenwriting) (PRE)
  • FREN 300 4  Contemporary Franco-Arab Cultural Exchanges: Exploring the Literature and Film of French Expression from the Maghreb and Mashreq (PRE)
  • JOUR/WGS 300 2   Women and the Media
  • PHIL 190 6 Zombie 101
  • SOAN 117   Social Problems in The Wire
  • SPAN 300 10   Spanish Crime Fiction: Femmes Fatales, Murderers, and Other Outcasts (PRE)
  • SPAN 370   The Child in Contemporary Latin American Literature and Film (PRE)
  • THEA 210   Beginning Acting

Group C

Group C: Cognate courses (maximum of 3 units)

  • ART 111           Survey of Art History
  • ART 112           Two-Dimensional Design
  • ART 345           Modern Art (PRE)
  • ART 347           Contemporary Art (PRE)
  • ART 353           Computer Imaging I (PRE)
  • COMM 200 2    Introduction to Visual Communication
  • ENG 150           Introduction to Literary Study
  • MUS 105          Appreciation of Music Literature
  • THEA 220        Movement (PRE)
  • THEA 369 /ENG 318   Playwriting (PRE)
  • THEA 126        Introduction to Technical Theatre
  • THEA 380        Directing for the Stage (PRE)

Topic-dependent courses

Topic-dependent courses when the topic focuses on film. May count as Group A, B, or C, depending on the focus. Counting these courses in the major requires approval from the Film Studies Program Director.

  • CMLT 499 A                The Myths of the “Oriental” Woman
  • ENG 484                       Seminar in British and Postcolonial Literature
  • ENG 486                       Seminar in American Literature
  • FREN 499                     Seminar: Special Topics in French (PRE)
  • SPAN 499                     Seminar: Special Topics in Spanish (PRE)
  • ENG 224 /BWS 224      African American Images
  • ENG 226                       American Images
  • ENG 268 /BWS 268         Black Women’s Literary Traditions
  • ENG 369 /BWS 369          Genre Studies in African American Literature
  • PHIL 310                      Special Topics in Philosophy: Philosophy and Film


  • Students must take courses in a minimum of 4 separate disciplines to complete the major (the “discipline” is denoted by the letters preceding the course number).
  • At least one course other than ENG 254 should cover non-American or minority American cinema.
  • A maximum of 3 transfer credits may be applied to the major (Transfer credits may include film production courses. Courses are available at other Ohio Five schools at no additional charge to OWU students; they are also available at the Columbus College of Art and Design.

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Majors and Minors