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School of Languages, Cultures, and Race College of Arts and Sciences

Film Studies


Film Studies

Program Description

Welcome to the Film Studies Program at Washington State University! We offer courses and a Minor in Film Studies degree program for anyone who is interested in the history, theory, criticism, and production of films.

The Film Studies Minor introduces students to the critical study of cinema and media studies. It explores how cinema both reflects and influences the facts, ideas, and activities of any given society, and how film allows us to travel to most places in the world and become familiar with diverse cultures, traditions, and ways of thinking.

The film studies minor also teaches students how to discern the cinematic and narrative features that are used in cinematography and how culture can influence them. The study of film encourages critical thinking, respect for cultural diversity, and detailed knowledge of film as a text of facts and ideas.

Learning Goals

The learning goals for the film studies minor are as follows:

  • To enhance knowledge of the history and practice of film production
  • To analyze the nature, history, and function of film in an interdisciplinary manner that broadens and enhances critical thought
  • To enhance the perception of and respect for the diversity of cultures in this country and around the world as exposed through this medium
  • To enhance technical understanding of how film and related-media work
  • To enhance understanding of the societal and cultural roles and impact of film and other media
  • To enhance media literacy skills

Learning Outcomes

Depending on their program of studies, after completing the minor students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic conceptual vocabulary used in the study of film—i.e., the ability to define and use terms appropriate to cinematic genres and techniques, critical and theoretical approaches to film.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the history of national or international film and/or some of the major filmmakers and works.
  • Recognize cinematographic features that enhance film viewing, and demonstrate the ability to analyze a film in terms of its formal dimensions, including editing, composition, imagery, and tone.

Core Courses

  • The core courses are tied to and determine the program’s learning goals and outcomes.
  • All core courses must be taken at WSU.
  • At least nine credits in the minor must be upper level (300-400).
  • The Film Studies minor program is designed by the student in collaboration with the film studies coordinator and/or advisor for the campus, and must be submitted to the coordinator for certification.

Choose three courses from the following list (9 credits):

  • CES 404 / COM 471 Stereotypes and the Media
  • ENGLISH 150 Introduction to Film as Narrative
  • ENGLISH 339 [ARTS] Topics in Film as Literature
  • FORLANG 110 Introduction to Foreign Film (Available through Global Campus/ online)
  • FORLANG 410 [CAPS] Global Cinema (Variable content; may be repeated for elective credit if content is different, up to 6 credits.)
  • PHILOSOPHY 210 Philosophy in Film (Available through Global Campus/ online)
  • SOCIOLOGY 372 Sociology of Film (Available through Global Campus/ online)
  • SOCIOLOGY 373 Media Culture and Society


  • You may choose electives from courses geared towards critical approaches to cinema, as well as courses that focus on training or skill building that could be applied towards film production.
  • No more than two courses with the same prefix or content area (as in cross-listed courses) may be applied towards the minor. The intent of this minor is to broaden and enhance knowledge and/or incorporate additional skills in the student’s academic preparation.
  • After consultation with the film studies advisor, a maximum of two elective courses may be transferred to the film studies minor from accredited study abroad and other university/college programs.
  • A maximum of three internship credits may count towards the minor as an elective option.
  • Courses marked with an “*” require prerequisites; please check the course catalog for more information. Please note that COMJOUR courses are available only to certified COM majors or minors.

Choose three courses in any combination from the following list of courses (9 credits):

Electives with a Social and/or Cultural Perspective (Taught in English)

  • CES 222 Race in Sport Films
  • CES 338 Cinematic Images of Blackness
  • CES 358 [M] US Latino/as in Film
  • CES 379 Indigenous Film (Available online)
  • CHINESE 311 (M) Great Asian Directors
  • CRIMINAL JUSTICE / POLITICAL SCIENCE 381 Crime and Justice in the Movies
  • ENGLISH 205 [HUM] Introduction to Shakespeare
  • ENGLISH 316 South Asian Film
  • ENGLISH 340 Science Fiction Film
  • FINE ARTS 380 History of Photography
  • FRENCH 110 [HUM] French and Francophone Film
  • FRENCH 410 [CAPS] French Film in Translation
  • GERMAN 110 (H) German Film
  • HISTORY 400 History in Media
  • RUSSIAN 410 (T) Russian Film
  • SOCIOLOGY 373 Media, Culture and Society
  • SPANISH 110 [ARTS] Peninsular Spanish Film
  • SPANISH 111 [ARTS] Latin American Film
  • WOMEN STUDIES 340 Third World Women and Film

Electives with a Social and/or Cultural Perspective (Taught in Other Languages)

  • FRENCH 310 (H) French and Francophone Film (In FRENCH) [Prereq] *
  • GERMAN 310 German Film (In GERMAN) [Prereq] *
  • SPANISH 310 Peninsular Spanish Film (In SPANISH) [Prereq] *
  • SPANISH 311 Latin American Film (In SPANISH) [Prereq] *

Electives Focusing on Applied Skills (All Taught in English)

  • COMJOUR 360 Writing for Television [Prereq] *
  • COMJOUR 390 Video for the Web [Prereq] *
  • COMJOUR 466 Digital Video Editing [Prereq] *
  • COM 210 Creating Media (Available online)
  • DTC 335 Digital Animation: Story, Narration, and Production
  • DTC 338 Special Topics in Digital Technology and Culture [Prereq] *
  • DTC/ ENGLISH 336 Composition and Design
  • DTC 354/ ENGLISH 354 Digital Storytelling
  • DTC 355/ ENGLISH 355 [M] Multimedia Authoring: Exploring New Rhetorics (Available online)
  • DTC / Am St / ENGLISH 475 Digital Diversity (Available online)
  • ENGLISH 342 [ARTS] Documentary Film Theory and Production
  • FINE ARTS 333 Introduction to Digital Media – Video and Sound
  • FINE ARTS 363 Special Topics- Digital Media
  • FINE ARTS 381 Beginning Photography
  • FINE ARTS 385 Digital Imaging [Prereq]*
  • FINE ARTS 434 Time-Based Media
  • FINE ARTS 435 Interactive Media
  • FINE ARTS / ENGLISH 337 Experimental Animation
  • MUS 162 Introduction to Acting
  • Internship option