Mar 04, 2024  
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin 
2020-2021 Undergraduate Bulletin [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

International Film Studies Certificate

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Degree

Cinema, sometimes referred to as the seventh art, was one of the great contributions to twentieth- century world culture. It will continue to be no less important in the twenty-first century and beyond where it continues to be transformed by its contact with even more recent technologies such as digital media and evolving entertainment and artistic platforms such as the internet and social media.

The certificate in International Film Studies is an interdisciplinary program that allows students to bring the knowledge they have gathered in their home departments to bear on their work in film studies. The certificate in International Film Studies emphasizes, in a comparative global context, how the language and history of film intersect with closely related movements in other artistic media, in philosophy and history, and in different cultural traditions.

The certificate in International Film Studies has three goals: 1) to introduce students to the history and theoretical vocabulary of cinema; 2) to provide a comparative approach through which students may reflect upon the nature and problematic concept of national film styles and their relation to each other in a globalized world; 3) to foster expertise in film analysis and its expression.

Upon completion of the Undergraduate Certificate in International Film Studies, students will be able to:

  1. analyze the formal and technical aspects of film language and style;
  2. recognize and define the primary aesthetic movements of world cinema, and situate them in social and historical context;
  3. develop a critical language appropriate to the analysis of film;
  4. communicate their analyses effectively in written and spoken form.

Admission Requirements

Students will be required to have accumulated at least 30 hours of course credit and have a cumulative GPA of at least 3.0.

The Undergraduate Certificate in International Film Studies is organized around three conceptual and methodological elements:

I. Introduction to Film Studies

Each student is required to take one film class designated as an introduction to Film Studies (see “Curriculum” list, below). This course will not only introduce students to the history of film, but to the technical vocabulary of film study, from basic principles of mise-en-scène, cinematography, editing, and sound to more theoretical questions of narrative, authorship, and formal design, as well as broader considerations concerning the nature of the image and visual language.

This component of the International Film Studies certificate also introduces students to the appropriate techniques of film analysis and strategies of analytical expression.

II. Comparative International Film

Students will be required to take Film Studies courses from several national film traditions (see below) and to explore cinema as an international art form. Students will examine the earliest days of filmmaking in the late nineteenth century when the language of film was basically uniform, the national film styles that began to emerge during and after World War I, as well as the new internationalization of film today that more explicitly puts, for example, Chinese and American film languages in dialogue with each other.

III. Certificate Capstone Project

In the final Film Studies course that a student takes and plans to count as part of the International Film Studies Certificate, the student will complete a research paper under the guidance of the faculty member teaching the course (see “Certificate Capstone Project” in Curriculum, 3. Capstone Course, below). Students must enroll, concurrently, in one (1) hour of MCL 592 - RESEARCH PRACTICUM: (SUBTITLE REQUIRED)  (Film Studies Capstone).


NOTE: Students may only take courses listed in the curriculum below one time. If a student takes a course in area no. 1 (Introduction to Film Studies), for example, that student may not repeat that course in area no. 2 (Comparative International Film).

The Undergraduate Certificate in International Film Studies requires sixteen (16) hours of course work in Film Studies.

  • 3 hours may be, but are not required to be, at the 100 level
  • 6 hours must be at the 300 level or above

Introduction to Film Studies

Choose one of the following for 3 hours:

Comparative International Film

Choose three of the following for 9 hours. The three courses must come from three separate national film traditions:


*Taught in French.

**May be taken only when the course topic pertains to film.


Total hours required: 16

Return to {$returnto_text} Return to: Programs by Degree