Major Program Requirements

To subscribe to the Cinema & Media Studies Undergraduate mailing list (cineug) please send your request to the CMS Department. To maintain consistent communication with the department and Director of Undergraduate Studies, all students who declare a major in Cinema and Media Studies will be added to cms-ba@lists.uchicago.edu

 

Students should keep on hand the following forms while majoring in Cinema and Media Studies:

CMS BA Major Course Agreement Form

CMS BA Advisor Approval Form

CMS BA Further Electives Form

Program Requirements: The major consists of twelve courses (four required courses and eight elective courses) and a BA research paper.

 

Required Courses

The following five courses are required for a major in Cinema and Media Studies:

  • CMST 10100: Introduction to Film - This course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of film analysis. It must be completed before other courses required for the major as well as other Cinema and Media Studies courses. It should be completed as early as possible, and before the end of the third year.
  • CMST 28500 and CMST 28600: History of International Cinema Parts I and II - This required two-quarter sequence covers the silent era (CMST 28500 History of International Cinema Part I) and the sound era to 1960 (CMST 28600 History of International Cinema Part II), as well as major characteristics and developments of each. It is typically taught in Autumn and Winter Quarters – this required course sequence should be completed by the end of the third year.
  • CMST 29800: Senior Colloquium - In Autumn Quarter of their fourth year, students must participate in a Senior Colloquium that helps them conceptualize their BA research paper and address more advanced questions of methodology and theory. The will work closely with the faculty instructor and the BA Preceptors.
  • CMST 29900: BA Research Paper - Students are required to register for CMST 29900 during the term in which they plan to graduate from the College. CMST 29900 is a zero credit course. Registration for CMST 29900 ensures that a thesis grade will appear on the student's transcript. While students who entered the College before Autumn Quarter 2011 are not required to REGISTER for CMST 29900 as part of the major, they are strongly urged to do so to ensure that a thesis grade appears on the transcript. Whether or not these students choose to register for CMST 29900, they must complete the BA thesis as part of the program requirements.

 

Elective Courses

Of the eight (8) remaining courses in the major requirements, five (5) must either originate in or be cross-listed with Cinema and Media Studies. Students must receive prior approval of the five courses that they choose, and they are encouraged to consider broad survey courses as well as those with more focused topics (e.g., courses devoted to a single genre, director, or national cinema). Members of the affiliated faculty often teach courses that meet requirements for the three elective courses; students are encouraged to consult with them when making their selections. The major course agreement form to be signed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies by fourth week of Autumn Quarter of the student's third year.

  • Please note: Cinema and Media Studies courses that fulfill the Dramatic, Musical and Visual Arts Core requirement (numbering range 14400-14499 and 14500-14599) such as CMST 14400: Film and the Moving Image cannot be counted toward the major.

Although the other three (3) courses may be taken outside Cinema and Media Studies, students must demonstrate their relevance to the study of cinema. For example, a group of courses could focus on: traditional disciplines (e.g., history, anthropology/ethnography, philosophy, psychology, linguistics, sociology, political economy); subfields within area studies (e.g., East Asian, South Asian, African American, Jewish studies); art forms and media other than film, photography, and video (e.g., art history, architecture, literature, theater, opera, dance); or cross-disciplinary topics or sets of problems (e.g., the urban environment, violence and pornography, censorship, copyright and industry regulation, concepts of the public sphere, globalization).

 

BA Research Paper

Before seventh week of Spring Quarter of their third year, students meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss the focus of their required BA project. Students begin reading and research during the summer. By the end of fourth week of the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year, students select a project adviser and prepare to present an outline of their project to the Senior Colloquium. Writing and revising take place during Winter Quarter. The final version is due by fourth week of the quarter in which the student plans to graduate. 

The BA research paper typically consists of a substantial essay that engages a research topic in the history, theory, and criticism of film and/or other media. A creative project in film or video production supplemented by an essay is sometimes an option, contingent on the approval of the faculty.

  • To be considered for the Creative Thesis option (outlined below) the student will submit a written proposal to the Director of Undergraduate Studies by the seventh week of Spring Quarter of the third year. Priority will be given to students who have completed three production classes (2 of which must originate in CMST) by the end of Autumn Quarter of their fourth year.
  • In addition to enrollment in CMST 29800 Senior Colloquium during the Autumn Quarter of the fourth year, students who supplement their BA thesis project with film or video work are required to enroll in CMST 23904 Senior Creative Thesis Workshop during the Winter Quarter of their fourth year.  The Senior Creative Thesis Workshop may not be counted toward distribution requirements for the major.  All students are required to register for CMST 29900 BA Research Paper during the term in which they plan to graduate from the College.

 

Creative Film or Video BA Thesis Project Option

To be considered for the creative thesis option, students must have taken at least three (3) production classes by the end of Autumn Quarter of their fourth year in the College.

Two (2) of these classes must originate within CMS (CMST 23930, 23931, 28920).

  • These classes should be combined to fulfill the further electives triplet in the CMS concentration. Courses must be taken in their sequence (CMST 23930 and 23931) and prerequisites must be met.

One (1) of these courses may be taken during Autumn Quarter of the student’s fourth year in the College.

  • ARTC 24000: Introduction to Photography may be counted toward this requirement.
  • One screenwriting course offered by TAPS or Creative Writing may be approved to count toward this requirement.

 

Proposing a Creative Thesis Project

By week seven of Spring Quarter of their third year, students must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to declare their intention to complete a creative BA thesis project option. Students will submit a written proposal that describes the project and suggests a timeline for the work to be accomplished. The writing of screenplays alone will not be considered for the creative thesis option. 

The Director of Undergraduate Studies and one other CMS faculty member will evaluate all proposals for the creative BA project option. Decisions will be made by the last week of Spring Quarter and will be based primarily on the feasibility of the project, quality, and the student’s performance in required production classes. The number of projects approved may be limited by the advising capacity of CMS faculty members.

 

Further Requirements for the Creative Option

  • CMST 23905: Creative Thesis Workshop - Students who are accepted into the Creative BA Thesis Option are required to enroll in the Creative Thesis Workshop during the Winter Quarter of their fourth year in the College. This class does not count toward CMS distribution requirements in the major, nor does it substintute for enrollment in CMST 29800: Senior Colloquium. 

 

  • The Written Thesis section - An accompanying paper establishing the relationship of the creative film or video component of the project to film, video, or media history, theory, or modes of production is required. This paper may incorporate an analysis of the production and post-production process. The paper will be submitted at the time of final submission of the creative work.

 

Grading

Students majoring in Cinema and Media Studies must receive a quality grade in all courses required for the major. Non-majors may take Cinema and Media Studies courses for Pass/Fail grading with consent of the instructor.

Students who have earned an overall GPA of 3.25 or higher and a major GPA of 3.5 or higher are eligible for honors. To receive honors, students must also write a BA research paper that shows exceptional intellectual and/or creative merit in the judgment of the first and the second readers, the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the Master of the Humanities Collegiate Division.

 

Summary of Requirements

Course Code / Name

 Units

CMST 10100: Introduction to Film

 100.00

CMST 28500 and CMST 28600: History of International Cinema (Two-quarter sequence)

 200.00

CMST 29800: Senior Colloquium

 100.00

Elective courses in Cinema and Media Studies – either originating in or cross-listed with Cinema and Media Studies*

 500.00

Further elective courses – either originating in Cinema and Media Studies or elsewhere (should be relevant in some way to the study of cinema)**

 300.00

CSMT 29900: BA Research Paper

 000.00 – no credit course

Total Units   

 1200.00


*A course agreement form to be signed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies by fourth week of Autumn Quarter of a student’s third year is required to obtain approval of these courses.
**A form to be signed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies by fourth week of Winter Quarter of a student’s third year is required to obtain approval of these courses.

 

Advising

A course agreement form to be signed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies by fourth week of Autumn Quarter of the student's third year is required to obtain approval of the five elective courses that must either originate in or be cross listed with Cinema and Media Studies. The form should be signed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies by fourth week of Winter Quarter of the student's fourth year to obtain approval of the three additional elective courses. Both forms can be found above, or in the CMS Department Office in Classics 304.