About the Major
The Film Studies Department explores the motion picture in a unified manner, combining the liberal arts tradition of cultural, historical, and formal analysis with filmmaking at beginning and advanced levels. The Department offers a major and a minor.
The requirements for admission include a minimum overall academic average of B (85.0) and the successful completion by the middle of the sophomore year of two designated entry-level courses with a grade of B+ or better. Entry to the major is possible only after completion of these two courses and application to the film major. To apply, students must meet with the department chair by the first semester of their sophomore year and place their names on the list of potential majors. Students on this list will receive an application form. Students who do not meet with the department chair will not receive an application or be considered for the major. Film studies faculty will evaluate applications based on performance in film studies classes (including but not limited to grades) and any other factors deemed pertinent.
Because of the prerequisites and major requirements, students transferring to Wesleyan beginning their junior year are not able to declare the film studies major.
- All students must take two designated prerequisite courses and earn a grade of B+ or better to be eligible for the major.
- After entry to the major students must take the required production course and senior seminar.
- Students must also take a minimum of SIX film studies electives.
- Students may count a maximum of 16 credits in any single department toward the 32 credits required for graduation. Credits that exceed this limit will count as overscubscription.
Selection of options is dependent upon students not exceeding 16 total film credits (the maximum allowed in any department by the University prior to oversubscription).
- Students have the OPTION to take two senior theses courses for an honors project (one in fall, one in spring).
- Students have the OPTION to take up to three additional film/digital production courses. (Note that a senior thesis film counts as two additional production courses.)
- Students have the OPTION to take up to three additional screenwriting/television writing courses. (Note that a senior thesis screenplay/teleplay counts as two screenwriting/television writing courses.)
- Note that OPTIONAL COURSES count toward graduation but not toward fulfillment of the major.
Please see our departmental web site for further information regarding the specifics of our major www.wesleyan.edu/filmstudies/
Please be aware that cross-listed courses must be counted in all departments in which they are listed.
Course offerings vary from year to year and not all courses are available in every year. With prior approval by the department chair, one history/theory course from another institution may be transferred to the Wesleyan major. The department does not offer group or individual tutorials other than senior thesis projects, but uncredited opportunities to work on individual senior films are available. Consult the chair of film studies for further details. The Film Studies Department does not offer credit for internships.
Students may become involved in the Film Studies Department in ways other than class enrollment. The College of Film and the Moving Image houses the Wesleyan Cinema Archives. The Film Board (composed of Wesleyan students) runs the Wesleyan Film Series.
- B+ or better in both designated entry-level courses is required to be eligible for the major.
Required Courses After Entry into the Major.
- FILM450 Sight and Sound Workshop or FILM451 Introduction to Digital Filmmaking in junior year
- A department-designated seminar during senior year
Required Film Studies Electives (minimum of SIX from this list):
- FILM301 The History of Spanish Cinema
- FILM303 Falling Anvils and Flying Pigs: The History and Analysis of Animated Cinema
- FILM308 The Musical Film
- FILM309 Film Noir
- FILM 310 Introduction to Film Analysis
- FILM313 Early Cinema and the Silent Feature
- FILM314 Directorial Style: Classic American Film Comedy
- FILM319 Television Storytelling; The Conditions of Narrative Complexity
- FILM320 The New German Cinema
- FILM322 Alfred Hitchcock
- FILM324 Visual Storytelling: Cinema According to Hollywood’s Masters
- FILM325 National Cinemas: Eastern Europe
- FILM341 The Cinema of Horror
- FILM342 Cinema of Adventure and Action
- FILM343 History of the American Film Industry in the Studio Era
- FILM346 Contemporary East Asian Cinema
- FILM347 Melodrama and the Woman’s Picture
- FILM348 Postwar American Independent Cinema
- FILM349 Television: The Domestic Medium
- FILM350 Contemporary International Art Cinema
- FILM352 From Caligari to Hitler: Weimar Cinema in Context
- FILM 355 Newest German (and Austrian) Cinema
- FILM360 Philosophy and the Movies: The Past on Film
- FILM365 Kino: Russia at the Movies
- FILM366 Elia Kazan’s Films and Archives
- FILM367 Frank Capra’s Films and Archives
- FILM 368 Archiving the Moving Image: History and Methods
- FILM370 The Art of Film Criticism
- FILM385 The Documentary Film
Optional Film/Digital Production Courses
Maximum of THREE from this list:
- FILM150 Documentary Advocacy
- FILM441 Video Art
- FILM456 Advanced Filmmaking (Fall, must be taken with FILM457)
- FILM457 Advanced Filmmaking (Spring, must be taken with FILM456)
Optional Film/Television Writing Courses Maximum of THREE from this list:
- FILM409 Senior Thesis Tutorial (Fall, must be taken with FILM410)
- FILM410 Senior Thesis Tutorial (Spring, must be taken with FILM409)
- FILM452 Writing About Film
- FILM454 Screenwriting
- FILM458 Visual Storytelling: Screenwriting
- FILM455 Writing for Television
- FILM460 Scripting Series for the Small Screen
Note: The oversubscription rule limits students to a maximum of 16 credits in a single department before oversubscription occurs, at which point further credits earned in the department cannot count toward the 32 credits required for graduation.