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Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies


Students considering a major in film and media studies should take FILMSTUD 4, Introduction to Film Study, and are encouraged to take ARTHIST 1, Introduction to the Visual Arts, during their freshman or sophomore year. These courses anchor the major through exposure to film language, genre, and visual and narrative structures. Majors are required to take one course in the fundamentals of film and video production.

Suggested or Recommended Courses (all of which will meet major requirements) --


Advanced undergraduate courses are offered in five fields of study. These fields are declared on Axess:

Working with a faculty adviser, students choose five courses in their field from course offerings in Art and Art History and one course from another department in the University.


All undergraduate majors complete a minimum of 65 units (16 courses of 3-5 units each), or 15 courses plus an honors thesis. FILMSTUD 101, Cinematic Analysis (WIM course) is required for all majors. All courses for the major must be taken for a letter grade. To declare the major, students must meet with the undergraduate coordinator. At that time the student selects a faculty adviser. Majors are required to attend an orientation session presented by the professional staff of the Art and Architecture Library, which introduces the tools of research and reference available on campus or through the Internet. This requirement should be completed no later than the quarter following the major declaration.

Required Courses—

  1. ARTHIST 1. Introduction to the Visual Arts (preferred) or an Art History elective
  2. FILMSTUD 4. Introduction to Film Study
  3. FILMSTUD 6. Introduction to Digital Media or FILMSTUD 7. Introduction to Television Studies
  4. FILMSTUD 100A, B, C. History of World Cinema I, II, III
  5. FILMSTUD 101. Fundamentals of Cinematic Analysis (WIM course)
  6. FILMSTUD 102. Theories of the Moving Image
  7. FILMPROD 114. Introduction to Film and Video Production
  8. Concentration—Five courses, four of which must be in a single film and media studies concentration developed by the student in consultation with an adviser. Concentration areas are: film history; film and culture; aesthetics and performance; film, media, and technology; and writing, criticism, and practice. The remaining course must be related, situating the student's concentration in a broader context.
  9. Capstone Experience—FILMSTUD 290. Senior Seminar: Movies and Methods, offered once a year. The Senior Seminar represents the culminating intellectual experience for Film Studies majors choosing not to write an honors thesis. Honors thesis writers may also take the senior seminar. Seniors who may not be in residence in the quarter that the senior seminar is offered may enroll in their junior year. Movies and Methods provides majors with an opportunity to synthesize their previous work in Film Studies and work in an advanced setting with a faculty member.


Students who want to write an honors thesis should consult with a potential adviser by the beginning of junior year. The adviser must be a faculty member in residence during the student's senior year who can oversee the student's progress throughout the project.

The minimum requirements for admission to the honors program in the department are an overall GPA of 3.7 and at least 3.7 in Film and Media Studies courses. Students must complete at least five Film and Media Studies courses at Stanford by the end of their junior year; four must be completed by the end of Winter Quarter. Students wishing to write an honors thesis must announce their intention by submitting a form signed by the thesis adviser, who need not be the student's academic adviser, by February 1 of their junior year.

Candidates for the honors program must submit to the Film and Media Studies faculty a 3-5 page thesis proposal outlining the themes of the thesis, a bibliography, a tentative schedule for research and writing, and one completed paper that demonstrates the student's ability to conceptualize and write about ideas. This complete proposal must be submitted to the department's undergraduate coordinator no later than the third week of Spring Quarter of the candidate's junior year so that it can be read, discussed, and voted upon at the faculty's regular meeting in early May. A candidate is accepted into the honors program by a simple majority.

Once admitted to the honors program, students work with their thesis advisers to research, organize, and write the thesis, and to enlist one other faculty member to serve on the thesis reading committee.

To aid the process of research and writing, students preparing an honors thesis are paired with a graduate student mentor. Students should contact the graduate student mentor in their junior year as soon as they begin to think about writing an honors thesis. Honors thesis writers must register for 10 units of FILMSTUD 297, Honors Thesis Writing, while working on the thesis. Students are required to register for two to five units each quarter during their senior year, for a total of ten units. Students may apply for UAR research grants to help finance trips or expenses related to preparing the research for their honors thesis.

Students and thesis advisers should plan the work schedule so that a final manuscript is in the hands of each member of the thesis reading committee by the beginning of the seventh week of the student's final quarter at Stanford (one year from proposal to final manuscript). The thesis adviser assigns a letter grade; both faculty readers must approve the thesis for honors before the student is qualified to graduate with honors.

Required Courses—

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