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Film Studies (minor only)

Film is a powerful medium that draws on theater and music, written narrative and photography, and televisual and digital technologies. Film studies students become skilled at analyzing films and making connections between these motion pictures and the world we occupy.

Why Choose Film Studies?

Films hold a unique role in society, from shaping human perspectives to generating millions in box office revenue. Minoring in film studies allows you to develop a practical framework to analyze film as an artistic and cultural expression.

Interdisciplinary Focus

The film studies minor is interdisciplinary and includes the study of history, politics, religion and social identities. Your faculty advisor will help you choose a course of study based on your career goals. You may choose to study acting, digital production, genres, social issues, and philosophical approaches in depth, with topics including:

  • Philosophy and film
  • Types of film experience
  • Scriptwriting
  • Digital video art: editing and production
  • Media criticism
  • Studio television production

The faculty who teach these courses are experts in their respective fields rather than film studies generalists, which will give you the opportunity to explore any area in as much depth as you desire.

NYC as Your Screening Room

Move beyond the walls of a traditional classroom. With New York City at your doorstep, you’ll have access to world-renowned film festivals, screenings, archives, movie houses and production companies. As a film studies minor you will have a variety of experiential learning opportunities outside of the classroom including:

  • Trips to museums such as the Museum of Moving Image and Studio Museum
  • Close proximity to Tribeca; Lower East Side; NYC Independent; and New York Film Festivals
  • Research facilities such as Anthology Film Archives

Relevant internships with companies ranging from film festivals and archives to movie houses and production companies can also can be arranged through the Center for Career Development.

What Will You Learn?

The film studies minor combines history and the application of related arts with elements of cinematic aesthetics. As a film studies minor you will learn how to:

  • Read and analyze cinematic texts using the industry terminology
  • Employ theoretical concepts and texts
  • Research and write film analysis
  • Think creatively and consider all sides of complex issues

Students who minor in film studies often choose to take courses in acting, broadcasting and digital production, depending on their career goals.

See the minor requirements

What Will You Do?

Film studies minors develop exceptional critical thinking and observational skills that can be applied to variety of fields.

The Film Studies program exposes you to the world of film from various perspectives. I learned: the basics of examining a film through a critical lens, the intricacies of specific film movements and genres, how film interacts with other mediums of storytelling, how commercial film is written and marketed, and how to place yourself behind the camera and try it for yourself! All of that cinematic knowledge has now taken on a new and exciting purpose at Teachers College [Columbia University] where I am able to get high school students engaged in literary storytelling and analysis by starting with a medium that is familiar, exciting, entertaining, but, as I’ve learned from MC, is so much more."

Adele Foster '16, Graduate Student, Columbia University