Film & Media Studies

What is Film & Media Studies?

Film and Media Studies focuses on film, television, and new media around the world. With 400 undergraduate majors and more than two dozen graduate students, FMS cultivates critical and analytical skills through the study of media objects and practices. Majors have the opportunity to interact closely with our distinguished faculty through collaborative research projects and to engage with a vibrant mix of activities and student organizations, such as the Screenwriters' Co-op, Reel Loud Film Festival, and Media Fields Journal. The department furthermore encourages students to explore future career paths and to build relationships with our network of committed alumni, many of whom return to campus regularly to share their experiences and insights. Our rigorous curriculum of study is fostering a new generation of visionaries with a stake in producing and understanding the future of screen media.

UCSB offers the Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Film and Media Studies. The emphasis of the UCSB Film and Media department is on the history, theory, and criticism of film, television, and digital media within the broader framework of the liberal arts. The discipline is designed to hone a student’s critical and analytical skills using film and electronic media as objects of study.

General Major Information

How Can I Tell If I Would Like Film & Media Studies?

Film Studies majors should enjoy synthesizing information, thinking analytically and critically about cinema, and writing with clarity and focus. Additionally they should also be interested in creating entertaining and persuasive messages, working in teams, and understanding institutional and cultural values. Film Studies majors may have keen interest in film production, including screenwriting, film technology, acting and directing, animation, and computer graphics.

What Are Potential Topics Within This Major?

The curriculum is structured to foster intellectual growth in four key areas: (1) core knowledge of film and media texts, theories, and institutions; (2) critical, analytical, and interpretive skills; (3) research skills; and (4) writing and production skills. Most courses in the major require extensive reading, screening time, and writing.

Although the following list can provide students with topics that may be covered in this major, look at the UCSB catalog and consult with the Undergraduate Department Advisor for more detailed information about requirements and course offerings.
Topics in Film Analysis
Film Technology
Basic Screenwriting
Japanese Cinema
History of Cinema
Classical Film Theory
To learn more about whether you might enjoy this major, check with a peer in the Career Resource Room for details on:
- Focus 2 to explore college majors and careers.
- The Strong Interest Inventory®, an assessment that compares your interests against six broad categories of work. This assessment helps match your interests and suggests potential careers to explore.


General Career Information

What Are Some Possible Career Options?

Note: On its own, your major does not dictate what your job will be. The following list provides only a handful of possibilities. Film Studies majors with a strong liberal arts background may pursue career options in hundreds of fields. Depending on experience, specialized coursework, and possible graduate study, options include:
Independent Filmmaker
Script Supervisor
Film Editor
Talent Agent
TV Producer
Film Studies Professor
Casting Director
Sound Editor
Film Reviewer
Special Effects Specialist

Interested in one of the careers above? Want to explore alternative career paths? Utilize tools such as and to learn more about the qualifications, career paths, and industry trends.

See what UCSB alumni are doing with their major in Film and Media Studies on LinkedIn.

Come visit the Career Resources Room (CRR) to see our vast library collection of career resources and books.

Graduate and Professional Schools

Directory of Film Schools
A list of US and international Film Schools, provided by the Internet Movie Database
This is a comprehensive website that provides information about where graduate programs are offered throughout the nation.

This is a database to help find where graduate programs are offered throughout the U.S.

Come to the Career Resources Room to view the CHOICES lab version of graduate schools.

Experience Search Strategies Careers Website
Attracts a wide range of employers as well as thousands of qualified job seekers. Whether you want to work in film, television, cable, publishing, home entertainment, etc., we have job postings for you. Our wide selection of jobs covers everything from accountants and lawyers to producers and writers, as well as varying career levels including internships up through executive level positions. We service all areas of the media and entertainment industry.

Jobs in the Entertainment Industry
Lists Entertainment Job, Internships and Career Information.

Emmy Careers

UCSB Career Services “Job Links” section
Check out job links in the following categories: Local/CA, National, International, Industry Specific, UCSB Careers by Majors and Diversity.

When you join LinkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, you get access to people, jobs, news, updates, and insights that help you be great at what you do.

Professional Associations

New York City Film Resource
Provides a listing of film organizations, including filmmaking groups, guilds and unions, and non-profit organizations.

Women Make Movies
Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitates the production, promotion, distribution and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. The organization provides services to both users and makers of film and video programs, with a special emphasis on supporting work by women of color.

Academy of Television Arts and Sciences
Membership in the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is open to those persons who are or who have been actively engaged in activities related to the production or distribution of audio visual works for national exhibition by means of telecommunications. Student membership ($50).

American Society of Cinematographers
The American Society of Cinematographers is a non-profit association dedicated to advancing the art of filmmaking.

UCSB Resources