The major in film and media studies is designed to enable students to understand the history of film and media, to think critically about them, and to gain hands-on experience in how they are made. In the process students also garner a strong background in the humanities and have ample opportunities to polish their skills in verbal, visual, and written expression.

Learning Goals for Film and Media Studies

Students who graduate with a BA in film and media studies will have:

  • Comprehensive knowledge of the history, theory, and practice of the moving image and of film’s relationship to and relevance within a network of academic disciplines
  • The ability to identify and define the major movements of American and international film cultures and to place them within their broader social-historical contexts
  • Familiarity with the various forms of the moving image: mainstream narrative, silent, avant-garde, documentary, animated, and experimental film and media
  • Proficiency in applying advanced critical and analytical skills to writing essays that are clear, well researched, and organized, and that mount an original argument
  • The ability to organize ideas into clear and cogent oral presentations and to contribute thoughtfully to discussions on film history, theory, and practice
  • Familiarity with both hands-on filmmaking and the interpretation of films through a variety of aesthetic, cultural, historical, and theoretical frameworks
  • Students who choose the program’s Critical Studies track will apply core skills in the creative aspects of film production—including camera work, editing, and sound—to their understanding and appreciation of film and media. Students who have chosen the program’s production track will have achieved expertise in all aspects of digital and 16-mm film production and will apply their knowledge of theory, criticism, and history to the making of original visual texts.

JHU-MICA Film Centre

The program in film and media studies is housed in the JHU-MICA Film Centre, our state-of-the-art production and classroom facility located in Baltimore’s Station North Arts District at 10 E. North Avenue. A short JHMI shuttle ride from the Homewood campus, these facilities include a 49-seat screening room, 600-square-foot sound recording studio, and a 2,000-square-foot cyclorama green screen soundstage.

Outside the Classroom

We encourage students both in and out of the classroom to challenge themselves, broaden their understanding of what film is and can do. All students should extend themselves to silent film, documentary film, experimental film, as well as to films of various national cinemas and reflecting various modes of production. In addition, majors and minors should regularly read and comment on the FMS blog, HopkinsCinemAddicts, and should attend Film Society screenings when possible.

Student Voices

“Our professors showed us how films touch on every aspect of the human experience, why certain films have such cultural relevance, how they inform how we live.”

Jane Miller ’04, playwright and screenwriter

Read more alumni testimonials.