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Film Studies Track

An Overview of the Film Track

Students on the English Department’s Film track develop their interests in film with a strong foundation in literary studies. Film study and filmmaking benefit deeply from reading stories, novels, poems, plays, and critical theory. Understanding what makes plots and characters tick in Shakespeare and Dickens, for example, helps students to understand plots and characters in Citizen Kane and even to create them in their own films. The department’s primary interest lies in narrative film and narrative filmmaking. Students learn in serious ways how to think about writing for film, and about how to design, shoot, and edit a story in film.

Requirements Checklist 

English Requirements

A student majoring in English on the Film Track must satisfactorily complete at least 13 units. Students on the Film track may fulfill more than one requirement in the major with single courses; see details below.

1) Gateway courses (4 units, all required):

a) EN221 Introduction to Poetry
b) EN250 Introduction to Literary Theory
c) FS215 Introduction to Film Studies
d) FS212: Basic Filmmaking or FS240: Directing the Fiction Film or FS260: Documentary Form and Filmmaking

2) Foundations and Transformations courses (3 units at any level, 1 unit of each required; may be fulfilled simultaneously with requirements in groups 3 and 4; may be taken outside the English department/Film Studies program):

a) Western Tradition: Bible as Literature, Dante’s “Divine Comedy,” Greek Drama, History of the English Language, Homer, Shakespeare (list is not comprehensive)

b) American Ethnic Minority Literature: courses (including film courses) in African-American, Asian-American, Native American, Latino/a literature

c) Anglophone and Other National Literatures: courses (including film courses) in Caribbean, Postcolonial, African, Classical, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Russian, Spanish literature (in translation or in the original language; list is not comprehensive)

 3) Historical Periods in Literature courses (3 units required; 2 out of 3 must be taken at the 300 or 400 level; may be fulfilled simultaneously with requirements in group 2):

a) Shakespeare (required)

Two out of the following three:

b) Medieval/Renaissance (excluding Shakespeare)
c) 18th Century
d) 19th Century

Film Studies Requirements

3 units required; electives may be fulfilled simultaneously with requirements in group 2.

a)  FS315: Film History and Theory (required)
b)  Film electives (2 units; may overlap with group 2)
i)  Film topics classes (e.g. The Western, Hitchcock, Film Noir)
ii) Filmmaking classes (e.g. Screenwriting, Advanced Filmmaking)

Senior Options

Minimum 2 units required:

1. Filmmaking options:

a) Make a film in your two-block Senior Project (EN486) Prerequisite: FS312: Advanced Filmmaking
b) Write a screenplay in your two-block Senior Project (EN486) Prerequisite: FS284: Screenwriting

2. Film Studies options:

a) Take a two-block senior seminar (EN480) with a film component
b) Take a one-block senior seminar (EN480) and one block of Independent Thesis (EN499)

Prerequisite for both film studies options:  EN399 Junior Seminar in English (may overlap with historical periods)

Students may use no more than two units of summer independent reading toward major requirements.

Distinction in English is awarded at graduation to senior majors who have done outstanding academic work in the department.