Film Studies Program Overview

Students entering the University of San Diego and/or declaring a major during 2020-2021, should follow information contained in the printed course catalog (also known as the "catalog of record") published on April 1, 2020. Access the catalog of record at

The Film Studies minor includes an interdisciplinary study of film across departments. This approach is particularly apt, given film’s status as a diverse and multivalent cultural and aesthetic form. The program includes multiple disciplines and is transnational in scope, giving the study of film a breadth and richness that is impossible to provide within just a single department. This approach also helps students to develop a critical literacy of many types of moving image media, as film today can no longer be singularly defined as the Hollywood feature film.

The intellectual and academic study of film is almost as old the medium itself. Early filmmakers engaged in scholarly writings about the practice and philosophy of cinema. Pioneering practitioners engaged in the public justification and legitimacy of the emerging art. Film clubs and societies developed around the world to publish film-centered discussions of the new art. As the discussions progressed and spread to university courses and programs, distinctive models of film theory and criticism emerged as well as an idiosyncratic language of film. The new study of film established paradigms able to illuminate the human condition in unique and compelling ways. The value of film studies is now widely recognized and the intellectual discussion of film is firmly embedded in curriculum of most universities.

Students are required to complete two Film Studies courses and 12 additional units from at least two different departments in the College of Arts and Sciences.