Film is one of the major art forms of the 20th century and its study has become an important part of a modern humanities education. At the University of Pittsburgh, the Film Studies Program offers a series of interdisciplinary courses concerning the history, aesthetics, theory, and production of cinema. The program provides courses in critical studies and (by special arrangement with Pittsburgh Filmmakers in Oakland) courses in film, photography, and video production.

For those students who wish to make film studies the primary focus of their undergraduate program, it is possible to pursue an interdisciplinary major in film studies.

A major in film studies helps students to understand and appreciate the cinematic medium and to be aware of its impact as a cultural and artistic force. It is also appropriate for those students who wish to pursue careers in film teaching, film exhibition, film journalism, film museum curatorial work, film library and archive work, and film and television production. As part of the Film Studies Program, internships are made available to students in many of these fields. In the past students have done internships at cable companies, Pittsburgh Filmmakers, and various television stations.


The major in film studies requires 12 courses (36 credits) distributed as follows:

Students must take the following courses:

  • Three required critical studies courses (9 credits):
    • World Film History (ENGFLM 0540 or HA&A 0820)
    • Film Analysis (ENGFLM 0530 or HA&A 0801)
    • Advanced Seminar in Film Studies (ENGFLM 1920)
  • One production course (3 credits), either:
    • Motion Picture Fundamentals (previously Photographic and Motion Principles) (FILMST 0001); or
    • Black and White Photography 1 (FILMST 0200); or
    • Introduction to Digital (FILMST 0400)
  • Two courses (6 credits) in "National Cinema/Filmmakers"
  • Two courses (6 credits) in "Themes/Genres/Theory"

The remaining 12 credits (four courses) for the major can be selected from all film studies offerings (subject to regulations below).

Additional Conditions/Requirements for Major

  • Five courses (15 credits) within the major must be taken at the 1000 level.
  • No more than five film production courses may be counted for the major (including the required course), although additional production courses may be taken as electives.
  • In addition to the 36 credits in film studies courses, the major requires 12 credits in a related area (courses in one department or program) determined by the student in consultation with the student's advisor.
  • Students must maintain a C average or above in all major courses.
  • No more than three courses (9 credits) within the major can be taken for Satisfactory/Audit.
  • Students must take at least 50 percent of the major courses at the University of Pittsburgh

Procedures for Film Studies Majors

Students declare a major in film studies by filling out a Declaration of Major form in the Advising Office, 140 Thackeray Hall, or 617B Cathedral of Learning.

After that, you will see a film studies advisor to register each term.

Major Advisors

Fiore Pugliano and Linda Orbach
English/Film Studies Advising Office
617-B Cathedral of Learning

For any questions that cannot be handled by the English/Film Studies Advising Office, make an appointment to see a member of the film studies faculty.

Print out our Guideline Sheet for Film Studies Majors.

Film in Pittsburgh

Michael Douglas on set of Wonder Boys (2000), shot in Pittsburgh

You are using an older browser that does not support current Web standards. Although this site is viewable in all browsers, it will look much better in a browser that supports Web standards.