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Film Studies

Degree: BA

Campus: Columbus

College: Arts and Sciences

Film studies allows students the flexibility to focus on film theory and history, screenwriting or production. Whether you want to be a film critic, screenwriter, festival programmer, archivist or teacher, the film studies major provides you with a pathway through the vast world of cinema.

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.

Internships are an important part of the academic experience and can add important development opportunities for students pursuing careers in any aspect of film production and film studies. 

Ohio State Film Studies and Moving-Image Production students have found internships and careers within a variety of companies such as: 3 Arts Entertainment, 4th Row Films, Bungalow Media, Broadway Video, CBS, Cohen Media, Groundswell Pictures, Myriad Pictures, Netflix, Youtube, Paradigm, Sundance, Starz, Ohio HD, Paradigm and Silver Pictures, and WOSU Public Media. 

Students in this major have also found work on productions like: Captain America: The Winter Soldier; Carol; Fast and Furious 8; "The Late Show with Stephen Colbert," and more. 

Generous scholarships are awarded twice annually to support costs associated with student participation in film industry internships.

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

Students are strongly encouraged to participate in research. Film Studies has a rich culture of research that includes students, faculty and a 2018 Rhodes Scholar.

From writing to production to animation, Ohio State has student organizations focused on every part of the film process. These groups offer film screenings, trivia nights, production opportunities, trips to film festivals and more.

  • The Animation Club provides a community for those interested in viewing, discussing, and making animated shorts.
  • The Film and Video Society is committed to fostering cooperation and creativity among Ohio State students in the disciplines of film and video. By offering an open and rewarding environment for the study and appreciation of film and video, they strive to prepare students for future explorations in these media.
  • The Mad Royal Film Society is a movie group that collaborates to make one polished short film per school year. They do pre-production in the fall, and filming in the spring.
  • Scarlet and Gray Anime fosters an appreciation of Japanese popular culture through showings of Japanese animated films ("Anime") and related popular media.
  • The Video Essay Club (or VEC) hosts discussions, workshops, and screenings for all students to creatively explore their academic interests through the audiovisual medium of video essays.

Traditionally, graduates with a BA in film studies pursue careers in film, video and media production. Many find positions in distribution, film development, casting, talent management, film archiving, journalism, arts criticism and education. Graduates also find success 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.