Major Program in Cinema and Media Studies

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 or minor 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

 

Majoring in Cinema and Media Studies - Standard Track

Program Requirements: The standard track major is course based (no completion of BA Thesis Paper) and consists of twelve courses - five required courses and seven elective courses. and a BA research paper.

 

Required Courses: The following five courses are required for a standard track 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: History of International Cinema Part I: The Silent Era - This course provides a survey of the history of cinema from its emergence in the mid-1890s to the transition to sound in the late 1920s. We will examine the cinema as a set of aesthetic, social, technological, national, cultural, and industrial practices as they were exercised and developed during this 30-year span. Especially important for our examination will be the exchange of film techniques, practices, and cultures in an international context. We will also pursue questions related to the historiography of the cinema, and examine early attempts to theorize and account for the cinema as an artistic and social phenomenon.
  • CMST 28600: History of International Cinema Part II: Sound to 1960 - The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.
  • CMST 28700: History of International Cinema Part III: 1960 to Present - This course will continue the study of cinema around the world from the late 1950s through the 1990s. We will focus on New Cinemas in France, Czechoslovakia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. We will pay special attention to experimental stylistic developments, women directors, and well-known auteurs. After the New Cinema era we will examine various developments in world cinema, including the rise of Bollywood, East Asian film cultures, and other movements.
  • CMST 29200: Advanced Seminar In either Spring Quarter of year 3 or Autumn Quarter of year 4, students must participate in the Advanced Seminar. This course emphasizes disciplinary methodologies in the history and theory of cinema and media, and close film, image, and media analysis. The topics covered in the Junior Seminar are intrinsic to BA-level training in Cinema and Media Studies, and are central to building the skills necessary for completing the BA thesis, as well as the written portion of the creative thesis option.

 

Elective Courses: Of the seven (7) remaining courses in the major requirements, four (4) must either originate in or be cross-listed with Cinema and Media Studies. Students must receive prior approval of the 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).

 

Majoring in Cinema and Media Studies: Intensive Track, Written Thesis

Program Requirements: The standard track major is course based (no completion of BA Thesis Paper) and consists of twelve courses - five required courses and seven elective courses. and a BA research paper.

Required Courses: The following five courses are required for a standard track 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: History of International Cinema Part I: The Silent Era - This course provides a survey of the history of cinema from its emergence in the mid-1890s to the transition to sound in the late 1920s. We will examine the cinema as a set of aesthetic, social, technological, national, cultural, and industrial practices as they were exercised and developed during this 30-year span. Especially important for our examination will be the exchange of film techniques, practices, and cultures in an international context. We will also pursue questions related to the historiography of the cinema, and examine early attempts to theorize and account for the cinema as an artistic and social phenomenon.
  • CMST 28600: History of International Cinema Part II: Sound to 1960 - The center of this course is film style, from the classical scene breakdown to the introduction of deep focus, stylistic experimentation, and technical innovation (sound, wide screen, location shooting). The development of a film culture is also discussed. Texts include Thompson and Bordwell's Film History: An Introduction; and works by Bazin, Belton, Sitney, and Godard. Screenings include films by Hitchcock, Welles, Rossellini, Bresson, Ozu, Antonioni, and Renoir.
  • CMST 28700: History of International Cinema Part III: 1960 to Present - This course will continue the study of cinema around the world from the late 1950s through the 1990s. We will focus on New Cinemas in France, Czechoslovakia, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, and other countries. We will pay special attention to experimental stylistic developments, women directors, and well-known auteurs. After the New Cinema era we will examine various developments in world cinema, including the rise of Bollywood, East Asian film cultures, and other movements.
  • CMST 29200: Advanced Seminar - In either Spring Quarter of year 3 or Autumn Quarter of year 4, students must participate in the Advanced Seminar. This course emphasizes disciplinary methodologies in the history and theory of cinema and media, and close film, image, and media analysis. The topics covered in the Junior Seminar are intrinsic to BA-level training in Cinema and Media Studies, and are central to building the skills necessary for completing the BA thesis, as well as the written portion of the creative thesis option.
  • 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 and registration for CMST 29900 ensures that a thesis grade will appear on the student's transcript.

CMST 29900 - BA Thesis Project: Before seventh week of Spring Quarter of their third year, students in the Intensive Track must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to discuss the focus of their BA Thesis Project. Students begin reading and research during the summer. By the end of fourth week of the Autumn Quarter of their fourth year, students need to have selected a project adviser; 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 (timeline is based on a proected Spring Gradaution; student who plan to graduate in earlier quarts should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to collaborate on a competion plan).. 

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

  • To be considered for the Production Thesis option (outlined below) the student will need to submit a written proposal to the Director of Undergraduate Studies by the seventh week of Spring Quarter of their third year. Priority will be given to students who have completed three production classes (two of which must originate in CMST) by the end of Autumn Quarter of their fourth year.
  • Students acepted to supplement thier thesis with a production project are also required to enroll in either CMST 23907 or CMST 23908 during the Winter Quarter of their gradauting year (official registration required for Winter Quarter only, but students will continue to meet bi-weekly into Spring Quarter). This class do not count toward distribution requirements for the major.  Senior Creative Thesis Workshop may not be counted toward distribution requirements for the major. 

Elective Courses: Of the seven (7) remaining courses in the major requirements, four (4) must either originate in or be cross-listed with Cinema and Media Studies. Students must receive prior approval of the 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).

 

Production Thesis 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, etc.).

  • 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 Production 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.
    • 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 - Intensive Track

Course Code / Name

 Units

CMST 10100: Introduction to Film

 100.00

CMST 28500, CMST 28600, and CMST 28700: History of International Cinema (three-quarter sequence)

 2=300.00

CMST 29200: Advanced Seminar

 100.00

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

 400.00

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

 

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.

*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.