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BA in Film Studies

Degree Program Description

The Film Studies program provides guidance to our students from accomplished research faculty, real world experience through hands-on internship practicums, and opportunities for success beyond the program for our graduates. The BA focuses on film analysis and covers the history of cinema, national and global cinemas, film theory and genres, documentary film, and contemporary visual culture. It combines an emphasis on critical thinking, research, problem-solving, written expression, and cultural literacy with the discipline's unique attention to the analysis of moving-image media. Students emerge with a greater degree of visual literacy at a time when our culture is becoming increasingly dependent upon visual communication. Graduates have pursued careers in film and related areas of the entertainment industry, journalism, art education, and writing.

Major Program Requirements

Film Studies majors must complete 30 credits in film studies, with a grade of C- or above in every course. A minor is recommended. At least 15 hours in the major must be in courses at the 3000 level or above. In addition to University, general education, and College of Arts and Science requirements, students must also meet the following major program requirements. All major requirements in the College of Arts and Science must be completed with grades of C- or higher unless otherwise indicated. No more than 40 credits in Film Studies may be counted toward graduation.

The 30 hours of Film Studies courses for the major must meet the following requirements:

Major core requirements
FILMS_VS 1800Introduction to Film Studies3
Trends in World Cinema
and American Film History I, 1895-1950
or FILMS_VS 2840 American Film History II, 1950-Present
At least six of the elective hours must come from one of the following national cinema courses:
Italian Cinema
The Art of Soviet and Russian Cinema
Indian Cinema
History of German Film
Modern Israeli Film
Brazilian Cinema
Contemporary Chinese Film
Twenty-First Century South American Cinema
Latin American Cinema (in Spanish)
At least six of the elective hours must come from one of the following courses on theory and method:
The Philosophy of Film
Film Themes and Genres
The Ancient World on Film
Architecture in Film
Art and Artists on Film
Major Directors
Studies in Film History
Documentary Film
Film Themes and Genres
The Holocaust on Screen
Film Studies: The Intersection of Documentary Film and Journalism
Film Theory
Culture and Media
Film Themes and Genres
Adaptation of Literature for Film
Select one of the following:3
Capstone Experience
One 4000-level FILMS_VS course of at least 3 credits
Total Credits30

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Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester. A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available

First Year
FILMS_VS 18003FILMS_VS 28403
ENGLSH 10003Second language II4-6
Social Science (MO State Law)3MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 12003
Second language I4-6General Elective3
 13-15 13-15
Second Year
FILMS_VS 28203FILM_S 2000+ (National Cinema Course)3
Science with a Lab5Minor Course3
Second language III4Humanities/Fine Arts (Writing Intensive)3
Behavioral Science3Behavioral Science3
Social Science3Science Course3
 18 15
Third Year
FILM_S 2000+ (Theory and Methods Course)3FILM_S 3000+ (Elective)3
FILM_S 3000+ (National Cinema Course)3Minor Course3
Minor Course3Humanities/Fine Arts3
Humanities/Fine Arts3Social Science Course3
Science Course (Math Reasoning Proficiency)3General Elective Course3
 15 15
Fourth Year
FILM_S 3000+ (Theory and Methods Course)3FILM_S 4000 Level (Capstone)3
FILM_S 3000+ (Elective)3Minor Course3
Minor Course3Humanities/Fine Arts3
Writing Intensive Course 3000+3General Elective Course3
General Elective Course3General Elective Course3
 15 15
Total Credits: 119-123

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Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree. 

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner. Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, click on the Academic Progress Tile, then select Request Degree Audit. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress. This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to https://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to https://registrar.missouri.edu/degrees-audits/degree-audits/.

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Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities. For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center. No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

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