Film Studies

For Majors


Film Studies is a much sought-after major, and our limited resources require us to place restrictions on admission. Students who are considering a Film Studies major must consult with the department chair by the fall of their sophomore year in order to receive advising regarding the major and application materials.

To be accepted into the Film Studies major, students are required to have completed two of the three gateway courses, Film 304: History of World Cinema to the 1960s, Film 307: The Language of Hollywood: Styles, Storytelling, and Technology, and Film 310: Introduction to Film Analysis, with a suitable grade in both. These courses introduce students to the film history canon and provide them with a foundation in narrative and stylistic analysis. In addition, students applying for the major must have an overall grade average of B (85.0) or better at Wesleyan, and must complete a written application at the end of January their sophomore year. Students applying for the major who have met these requirements are automatically accepted into the major.

We encourage students who are interested in the Film Studies major to complete two of the three gateway courses by December of their sophomore year, in order to facilitate application to the major. Those applicants who take Film 304, Film 307, or Film 310 in the spring semester of their sophomore year will have to declare another major before they can be considered for admission to Film Studies, as their admission requires the completion of both courses with a suitable grade.

Students applying for the major who have not received a suitable grade in either Film 304, Film 307, or Film 310, and/or students who do not have an overall GPA of 85 or above, are eligible to have their admission case arbitrated.

If students considering the major believe they may be an arbitration case, they should consult with the chair or departmental advisors.

Abribration involves submitting a letter of interest, written work completed in Film Studies classes at Wesleyan, and additional materials as requested for review and discussion by the Film Studies faculty. Faculy members evaluate the arbitration materials, performance in Film Studies classes (including but not limited to grades), and any other factors deemed pertinent to the case. Arbitration decisions are made on a case-by-case basis and are not based on precedent or cutoff limits. All arbitration decisions are final. Students who are not admitted to the major may still enroll in all Film Studies courses that are open to non-majors.

Because of the prerequisites and major requirements, students transferring to Wesleyan beginning their junior year are not able to declare the Film Studies Major.