B.A. in Film and Media Arts

The B.A. in Film and Media Arts prepares students to enter careers in the media industries or conduct post-graduate work in film and media studies. The degree requires only 33 credits within the major (122 credit hours total, including the University Curriculum and electives), providing the flexibility to do double majors and/or multiple minors in other fields.

Admission and Degree Requirements

Unlike the B.F.A., declaring the B.A. in Film & Media Arts does NOT require submission of a portfolio. Instead, declaring the B.A. simply requires the completion of FILM 1301 (Art of Film & Media) and FILM 1302 (Contemporary Media Industries) with a cumulative 2.7 or better GPA. Students transferring from other universities must have completed equivalent courses and obtained the equivalent GPA in those courses before they can declare the major. Upon declaring the major, students are required to pass the following courses with a grade of C- or better to receive their degree: FILM 1304 (Production 1) and FILM 2351 (International Film History).

Note on class attendance: Due to limited class space and enrollment pressures, a student who fails to appear on the first day or who fails to attend three consecutive class meetings during an academic term without establishing contact with the instructor may be administratively dropped from a course.

B.A. Research Thesis

B.A. students have the option to propose a senior thesis project (FILM 5314 Research Thesis); application to do a senior thesis is a competitive process and only a small number of proposals will be accepted each year.

Interested students must come up with a proposed research project, then apply to FILM 5314 the spring semester before they plan to do the thesis project. Applications are due by the end of the first school week after spring break; details about what to include in the application packet are available in the department office. Note: thesis registration should take place the final fall of a student’s SMU career, and application the spring before that, i.e. for those graduating in May, the spring semester of the student’s junior year.

Applications will be reviewed by a faculty committee and those whose proposals are accepted will be notified by the end of the spring semester so they can move forward on the projects during the summer break.

The ensuing fall, approved students will register for FILM 5314 (Research Thesis) and complete their projects largely independently, though with advice and help from their committees as necessary. Each student registered for FILM 5214 in a given semester will have, at most, until the end of the following semester of that academic year to complete the proposed project to the satisfaction of his/her committee. This means thesis defenses should be scheduled no later than mid-April to allow time to address any issues or concerns raised by the committee at the defense.

B.A. Curriculum

See List of Film and Media Arts Courses

Requirements for the Degree Credit Hours

University-wide Requirements


Production requirements

  • FILM 1304 Production 1
  • FILM 2354 Screenwriting 1

Studies requirements

  • FILM 1301 Art of Film and Media
  • FILM 2301 Film and Media Criticism
  • FILM 3351 International Film History

Industry requirement

  • FILM 1302 Contemporary Media Industries

Capstone requirement (one of the following)

  • FILM 5304 Production 3
  • FILM 5314 Research Thesis (requires application and permission)
  • FILM 5315 Critical Studies Seminar
  • or FILM 5353 Film and Media Theory

Film and Media Arts Electives
(Up to 6 credits may come from approved non-FILM courses in related programs.)


Free Electives
As needed to meet University residency/degree requirements



(Note: 33 credit hours for the major, 122 total credit hours required for B.A. degree)