Academics & Majors

Film Studies

College of Arts and Sciences

Department of Foreign Languages and Cultures
Offered as:


Film studies explores how cinema both reflects and influences the facts, ideas, and activities of any given society. Film allows us to travel to most places in the world and become familiar with diverse cultures, traditions, and ways of thinking. The film studies minor also teaches students how to discern the cinematic and narrative features that are used in cinematography and how culture can influence them. The study of film encourages critical thinking, respect for cultural diversity, and detailed knowledge of film as a text of facts and ideas.

Strengths of the program
  • Explore acclaimed national and international films, both commercial and independent, many of which are unavailable for rental.
  • Choose from a wide array of courses that will enhance both your perception of and respect for the diversity of cultures in this country and around the world.
  • Courses in the minor can help you recognize cinematographic features that enhance film viewing.
  • Learn about modern communication techniques and develop your media literacy skills.
  • Learn to analyze the nature, history, and function of film in an interdisciplinary manner that broadens your horizons and provides training in critical thought.
  • The film studies minor is a strong complement to several majors that examine societal issues.
  • This program incorporates courses from most departments in the College of Liberal Arts, including comparative ethnic studies, English, foreign languages and cultures, and sociology.
Courses you could take

The film studies minor requires a minimum of 18 hours of credit (9 in core courses and 9 from an approved list of electives).

A sample course list:

Introduction to Foreign Film
Philosophy in Film 
The Sociology of Film
Crime and Justice in the Movies
Digital Animation: Story, Narration, and Production
French and Francophone Film

The film studies minor is flexible and accommodates a broad range of interests.

NOTE: See the WSU Catalog for degree requirements and a complete list of available courses. Talk with your academic advisor about planning and scheduling your courses. All students must meet requirements as outlined in the catalog in order to graduate.

Scholarships and financial aid

For film studies students

Students minoring in film studies can apply for University-level scholarships and more than $50,000 in scholarships awarded by the College of Liberal Arts.

In addition, the department that teaches your major may have scholarships that can help cover your film studies courses.

For all students

A variety of state, federal, and university-sponsored programs are available to help students with educational costs. Washington State University awards millions of dollars in financial aid and scholarships to students every year based on financial need, academic merit, or a combination of the two.

Students should complete the Washington State University general scholarship application and the FAFSA to ensure their eligibility for the widest range of scholarships and need-based financial aid.

For information or to apply for financial aid and scholarships from WSU, see the Scholarships and Finances section of the WSU website.

Careers in film studies

The film studies minor brings together a broad range of interdisciplinary courses that can serve as both an ideal foundation for and a complement to most majors in liberal arts. The study of film enhances one’s ability to understand and address issues in areas as varied as aesthetics, human relations, the diversity of cultures, communication, advertising and consumption, socioeconomic concerns, and politics. Whatever the precise focus, all film courses provide firm, foundational knowledge about people, society, and the world, as well as the critical-thinking skills and human insights that are important for leadership in all professions.

Graduates with a film studies minor can enter every profession imaginable and are employed as teachers and professors on all levels, librarians, journalists, archivists, editors, photographers, advertising executives, public relations consultants, business people, lawyers, and television workers.