Film and Media Arts

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B.A. in Film and Media Arts

The B.A. in Film and Media Arts prepares students to enter careers in the professional 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., admission to the B.A. in Film & Media Arts does NOT require submission of a portfolio. Instead, admission to the B.A. simply requires the completion of FILM 1301 (Art of Film & Media) and FILM 1302 (Media & Culture) with a cumulative 2.75 or better GPA. Students transferring from other universities must have completed equivalent courses and obtained the equivalent GPA in those courses before they can be admitted to the major. Upon acceptance into 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 5214 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 5214 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 5214 (Research Thesis) and complete their projects largely independently, though with advice and help from their committees as necessary. Each thesis student will be required to register for FILM 5199 (Presentation and Critique) either concurrently or, ideally, the spring following the thesis course, and will present the finished project in this course (students may also choose to present an unfinished version of the work earlier in the semester for feedback, but this does not replace the requirement to present the finished work).

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 & their Description

Requirements for the Degree Credit Hours
Studies requirements
  • FILM 1301 The Art of Film & Media
  • FILM 1302 Media and Culture
  • FILM 2351 International Film History
  • FILM 4353 Film and Media Theory
Production requirements
  • FILM 1304 Production 1
    and at least ONE of:
    • FILM 2354 Screenwriting 1
    • FILM 3301 Experimental Camera
    • FILM 3302 Convergent Media
    • FILM 3303 Film Acting
    • FILM 3308 Editing
Industry requirements
at least ONE of:
  • FILM 3328 Media Management
  • FILM 3330 Media Sales
  • FILM 3335 Film Exhibition and Distribution
  • FILM 3361 Media Programming
  • FILM 3396 Topics in Media Industries
  • FILM 4304 New Media Distribution
  • FILM 4316 Film Producing
  • FILM 4399 Global Media Systems
Capstone requirement
at least ONE of:
  • FILM 5214 Research Thesis (requires application, permission, and enrollment in FILM 5199 Presentation and Critique)
  • FILM 5315 Critical Studies Seminar
Film and Media Arts Electives 9
Total 33

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

Areas of Study



Art History

Arts Management and Arts Entrepreneurship

Corporate Communication and Public Affairs

Creative Computation


Film and Media Arts

Undergraduate Studies


B.A. in Film and Media Arts

B.F.A. in Film and Media Arts

Minor in the History of Visual and Performing Arts

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Summer Film Production

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