Undergraduate Programs

What is Cinema and Media Studies?

From our smartphones to the movie theater, human experiences across the globe today are shaped by the media we view and create. Visual media are entwined with culture, art, politics, and entertainment. Understanding these relationships is at the core of Cinema and Media Studies. Out of this mastery, a world of possibilities opens up. Our students and alumni do much more than watch film and television. They build skills as active participants with media, able to critically engage with it as analysts and researchers who communicate their findings clearly and persuasively. They interpret and utilize the tools of visual communication to affect and influence the world.

Why study Cinema and Media Studies?

  • Master essential skills: The ability to decode an image, a sound cue, or a story arc will help you better understand the media that flood your daily life, and it will help you utilize these tools in your own creations.
  • Find your voice: Each person’s perspective on visual media is unique; our professors will help you build the skills to confidently share yours in a rigorous, supportive, dialogue-rich environment.
  • Learn through practice: Through internships and courses in screenwriting, you can build skills for careers in film and media production, distribution, and preservation first-hand.
  • Follow your passion: Our courses cover the expected (world cinema, television studies, film history, and screenwriting) and the surprising (cell phone culture, surveillance, media labor). With dozens of cross-listed electives available from other departments, you can narrow your focus or explore your options.
  • Double major: Diverse electives and courses that can be taken in any sequence provide flexibility in scheduling and enable students to conveniently major in Cinema and Media Studies while also earning a degree in STEM, the social sciences, or a pre-professional field.

Learn more about our students’ experiences in their own words in our student spotlights.

What programs do we offer for undergraduates?

How do you major in Cinema and Media Studies or Comparative Literature?

Both Cinema and Media Studies and Comparative Literature are minimum requirement majors. That means as long as you meet certain prerequisites, you can be admitted to the majors.

Learn more about UW Admissions for first-year students, transfer students, or postbaccalaureate students.

How do you meet with a CMS adviser?