Film and Media Arts

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B.F.A. in Film and Media Arts

The B.F.A. in Film and Media Arts is an artistic degree emphasizing developing the unique creative voice of each student. The degree requires 48 credits within the major (122 credit hours total, including the University Curriculum and electives) and culminates in the production of a thesis film/media project

Admission and Degree Requirements

Admission to the B.F.A. is limited and requires application through a selective process. For details and deadlines, see B.F.A. Admission Process. Upon acceptance into the B.F.A., in addition to the course requirements below, students are required to pass FILM 1301 with a grade of C- or better to receive their degree.

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.F.A. Thesis Film

The B.F.A. degree requires enrollment in a year-long thesis film course and completion of a senior thesis project. Therefore ALL B.F.A. students must submit a thesis project pre-production proposal packet the spring semester of their junior year; specifically, proposals are due by the end of the first school week after spring break. Details about what to include in the proposal packet are available in the department office.

Proposals will be reviewed by the faculty and students will be notified about any potential problems that need to be addressed prior to registration in FILM 5311 Thesis Film 1. Students not submitting proposals will not be allowed to register for this course or shoot a thesis project.

The ensuing academic year, B.F.A. students will register for FILM 5311 (Thesis Film 1) in the fall and then FILM 5212 (Thesis Film 2) and FILM 5199 (Presentation and Critique) in the spring. Each senior B.F.A. student will be required to present his/her project as a work-in-progress in the Presentation and Critique course for feedback, then presenting the finished project later in the semester after it has been approved by the committee.

All students registered for FILM 5212 will have, at most, until the second day of final exams that semester to complete the proposed project to the satisfaction of their committees. 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.F.A. Curriculum

See List of Film and Media Arts Courses & their Description

Requirements for the Degree Credit Hours
Core Meadows requirement
MSA 1001 or MSA 1101: First-Year Arts Community Experience (B.F.A. pre-admits enroll their first semester at SMU; current SMU students admitted to the B.F.A. enroll the first fall after their acceptance)
Studies requirements
  • FILM 1301 The Art of Film & Media
    and at least TWO other 3-credit history/criticism courses chosen from:
    • FILM 1302 Media and Culture
    • FILM 2306 History of Recorded Music
    • FILM 2332 American Popular Film/Television
    • FILM 2344 History of Animated Film
    • FILM 2351 International Film History
    • FILM 2362/CFA 3362 Diversity and American Film: Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality
    • FILM 2364 History of Cinema-TV Comedy
    • FILM 3300 Film and Television Genres
    • FILM 3310/CF 3390/WL 3310 Screen Artists
    • FILM 3314 Comics: From Panels to Screens
    • FILM 3352 American Film History
    • FILM 3353 American Broadcast History
    • FILM 3355 History of Documentary Film and Television
    • FILM 3359 National Cinemas
    • FILM 3375/CFA 3375 Post War European Cinema: 1945-Present
    • FILM 3395 Topics in Film and Media Studies
    • FILM 3397 Gender and Sexuality in Media
    • FILM 4351 Mapping Modernism: Artistic Collaborations in Paris and Moscow 1890-1940
    • FILM 4353 Film and Media Theory
Industry requirements
  • FILM 4316 Film Producing
    and at least TWO other 3-credit industry courses chosen from:
    • FILM 3328 Media Management
    • FILM 3330 Media Sales
    • FILM 3331 Topics in Media Industries
    • FILM 3335 Film Exhibition and Distribution
    • FILM 3361 Media Programming
    • FILM 4304 New Media Distribution
    • FILM 4399 Global Media Systems
    • AMAE 3305 Arts Budgeting & Financial Management
    • AMAE 3322 Marketing the Arts
    • AMAE 3370 Entrepreneurship in the Arts
    • AMAE 3387 Attracting Capital: Donors, Investors, and Public Funds
Production requirements
  • FILM 1304 Production 1
  • FILM 2354 Screenwriting 1
  • FILM 3304 Production 2
    and at least FOUR other 3-credit production courses chosen from:
    • FILM 3301 Experimental Camera
    • FILM 3302 Convergent Media
    • FILM 3303 Film Acting
    • FILM 3305 MOS Camera
    • FILM 3306 Nonfiction Production
    • FILM 3308 Editing
    • FILM 3309 Multicam Production
    • FILM 3316 16MM Production
    • FILM 3364 Screenwriting 2
    • FILM 3365 Advanced Screenwriting Workshop
    • FILM 3384 Sound 1
    • FILM 3390 Topics in Production (specific focus/content varies by semester/instructor)
    • FILM 3391 Topics in Postproduction (specific focus/content varies by semester/instructor)
    • FILM 4301 TV Ad Concepting and Production
    • FILM 4305 Cinematography
    • FILM 4306 Introduction to Animation
    • FILM 4307 Introduction to 3-D Animation
    • FILM 4308 Postproduction Visual FX
    • FILM 4317 Film Directing
    • FILM 4385 Sound 2
Capstone requirement
  • FILM 5311 Thesis Film 1
  • FILM 5212 Thesis Film 2 (requires concurrent enrollment in FILM 5199)
  • FILM 5312 Media Career Prep
  • FILM 5199 Presentation and Critique
Total 48

(note: 48 credit hours for the major, 122 total credit hours required for B.F.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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Graduate Studies



Faculty and Staff

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