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Film Studies

Degree: BA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

Film studies is an interdisciplinary field of inquiry devoted to the analysis of the cinematic moving image both as a unique form in its own right and as a medium influenced and shaped by related fields such as literature, the social sciences and the arts. Film studies at Ohio State provides students with the means to understand and make critical judgments about film, the preeminent art form of the twentieth century, and the image-media experiences that inform their lives. Film studies scholars from many departments across the College of Arts and Sciences work together to construct an interdisciplinary exploration of the artistic and socio-historical traditions of this medium. 

Upon admission to the university, students can declare a major in film studies within the College of Arts and Sciences.

Students interested in film studies should consult with an Arts and Sciences advisor and with the program’s academic advisor as soon as possible. English 2263: Introduction to Film is a prerequisite for the major and fulfills part of the general education requirements for the College of Arts and Sciences. This prerequisite should be taken early by any student potentially attracted to this major.

The major in film studies comprises at least 39 credit hours. Students take the following courses, which can be chosen from a list of approved film courses in various disciplines. 

  • core courses (six credit hours)
  • three credit hours each in the pre-1950s, multicultural, non-industrial and non-fiction components 
  • film studies electives (nine credit hours)
  • focus area in film theory, screenwriting or film production (nine credit hours)
  • senior seminar (three credit hours)

There is no foreign language requirement beyond the general education requirements, but all students, especially those whose focus area concentrates on a non-English speaking national cinema or topic, are encouraged to complete three semesters in a foreign language. Some classes and internship opportunities may only be available to those with advanced language skills.

Honors versions of several film studies courses are under development. Qualified students also may seek to complete a senior Honors thesis, in which they pursue an area of scholarship under the close supervision of a faculty member.

Students majoring in film studies may apply to either the Humanities Scholars or Arts Scholars programs. The Ohio State Scholars Program provides students opportunities to live and learn with students with similar interests and incorporates specialized workshops, programming, mentoring and advising.

Learn more about Honors and Scholars Programs at

Traditionally, graduates with a BA in film studies pursue higher education in film studies or media-arts production, distribution, funding, archiving, research, journalism, arts criticism and traditional and non-traditional education at a variety of levels including P-12 education. They have been competitive in graduate school acceptance and in job searches nationally in these areas. Students are also prepared for the kinds of positions requiring critical and information-analytical skills in government, nonprofit organizations and industry that are open to other students majoring in the arts and sciences.

Ryan Friedman, Director
Matt Swift, Program Coordinator
Kylie Harwell-Sturgill, Program Assistant
150 Hagerty Hall
1775 College Road
Columbus, OH 43210