Major and Minor

Students wishing to concentrate in Cinema and Media Studies should meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies (DUS) early in their career in the College to help construct their course plan going forward; this meeting should take place by the end of Spring Quarter of year 2 if the student is the a looking to make CMS their major program of study. For students wishing to minor, they should meet with the DUS during year 3. 

Participation in the major or minor must be formally declared to the Director of Undergraduate Studies, and the subsequent approved paperwork will be sent to the student's College advisor by department staff for official registration.

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Majoring in Cinema and Media Studies: Standard Track

The major in Cinema and Media Studies consists of twelve courses—five required courses and seven electives.

Required Courses: 

  • Introduction to Film (CMST 10100): this course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of film analysis. It should be completed before other Cinema and Media Studies courses; it must be completed before other required courses.
  • History of International Cinema I: Silent Era (CMST 28500)
  • History of International Cinema II: Sound to 1960 (CMST 28600)
  • History of International Cinema III: 1960 to Present (CMST 28700)
  • Advanced Seminar (CMST 29201 - Autumn or CMST 29202 - Spring): open only to upper-year students who have declared a major in Cinema and Media Studies, the Advanced Seminar functions as a capstone course. It will allow students the opportunity to explore in more depth key disciplinary and methodological questions related to the study of cinema and media. Particular topics will be determined by the individual faculty instructor and will vary from the Autumn to Spring quarters and from instructor to instructor. Majors are required to enroll in one section, but are welcome to use the second as an elective for their major requirements if the subject matter is of interest.

Elective Courses: The seven (7) remaining courses should originate in or be cross-listed with CMS. Students 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). 

 

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

The Intensive Track Major in Cinema and Media Studies consists of thirteen courses—six required courses and seven electives—and the completion of a BA Thesis Paper. 

Required Courses: 

  • Introduction to Film (CMST 10100): this course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of film analysis. It should be completed before other Cinema and Media Studies courses; it must be completed before other required courses.
  • History of International Cinema I: Silent Era (CMST 28500)
  • History of International Cinema II: Sound to 1960 (CMST 28600)
  • History of International Cinema III: 1960 to Present (CMST 28700)
  • Advanced Seminar (CMST 29201- Autumn or CMST 29202 - Spring): open only to upper-year students who have declared a major in Cinema and Media Studies, the Advanced Seminar functions as a capstone course. It will allow students the opportunity to explore in more depth key disciplinary and methodological questions related to the study of cinema and media. Particular topics will be determined by the individual faculty instructor and will vary from the Autumn to Spring quarters and from instructor to instructor. Majors are required to enroll in one section, but are welcome to use the second as an elective for their major requirements if the subject matter is of interest.
  • There are additional stipulations for those pursuing a written thesis projects - students must enroll in the year-long workshop series Intensive Track - Written Thesis Workshop (CMST 27299) and the Senior Thesis (CMST 29900) in their final quarter. 

Elective Courses: The seven (7) remaining courses should originate in or be cross-listed with CMS. Students 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). 

Written Thesis: In Spring Quarter of year 3, students must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to submit their intention to complete an Intensive Track major, and 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 year 4, students will select a project adviser and prepare to present an outline of their project during one of the autumn quarter sessions of CMST 27299.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 (standard completion is Spring Quarter; enrollment in CMST 29900 required for all Intensive Track majors).

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.

Any student interested in completing an Intensive Track: Production Thesis in CMS must read through the requirements associated with applying and completing that major option. 

 

Minoring in Cinema and Media Studies

The minor in Cinema and Media Studies requires the completion of six courses, the first of which should be - if possible - Introduction to Film (CMST 10100). Students should aim to take this course early in their undergraduate career or at the beginning of their minor course of study. It must be taken no later than Spring Quarter of year 3. 

Students who elect the minor program in Cinema and Media Studies must meet with the Director of Undergraduate Studies to declare their intention to complete the minor and to select courses. The approved Minor Program Agreement Form will be sent to the student's College adviser by the Cinema and Media Studies Department Assistant once it has been signed by the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Approval forms can be obtained from the Director of Undergraduate Studies or from the Cinema and Media Studies Office (Classics 304)

Required Courses: 

  • Introduction to Film (CMST 10100): this course provides an introduction to the basic concepts of film analysis. It should be completed before other Cinema and Media Studies courses; it must be completed before other required courses.
  • Two of the following: 
    • History of International Cinema I: Silent Era (CMST 28500)
    • History of International Cinema II: Sound to 1960 (CMST 28600)
    • History of International Cinema III: 1960 to Present (CMST 28700)
  • Plus three (3) additional elective courses from CMST offerings. 

Courses in the minor may not be double-counted with the student's major(s) or with other minors and may not be counted toward general education requirements. All classes toward the minor must be taken for quality grades, and more than half of the requirements for the minor must be met by registering for courses bearing University of Chicago course numbers.

 

Declaring a Major or Minor

Students wishing to enter the program should consult with the Director of Undergraduate Studies during their early years in the College. Participation in the program must be declared to the Director of Undergraduate Studies before declaration can be made official, and students need approval of course agreement forms.

Students intending to major in CMS should make this declaration by Winter Quarter of year three to ensure enrollment in appropriate courses for their final year in the College. This applies to students intending to complete both an Intensive Track and a Standard Track major, since they should plan to take CMST 29202 in spring of year 3.