Major Overview

Combining AUP’s liberal arts tradition with hands-on practice in film and video, this major will provide a strong background in the history, aesthetics, and theory of film, while also introducing you to the practical arts of writing, directing, and producing. Additionally, all of our courses are taught by faculty who collaborate across disciplines, including Global Communications, Comparative Literature, Visual Culture, and Urban Studies. You will emerge with a broad knowledge of film history and cinema’s connections to other major art forms and will acquire analytical skills, while being trained in the grammar of film syntax, image components, narrative structures, and genres.

Featured Course

Tarantino & his many fathers

Studies the most influential filmmaker of the past 20 years, and his quirky & exciting narrative.

Learning Environment

In an intimate, multicultural setting, you will be encouraged to think critically about the aesthetics and theories of film and will learn the basics of production, direction, writing, and editing, which will ensure your ability to manage small productions. Outside of the classroom, you will have many networking opportunities through our master classes and our trips to festivals and screenings. Additionally, Paris’s broad cinematic selection, as well as its unique resources, including La Cinémathèque, will perfectly complement your education.


Alumna '12

I can honestly say that studying cinema in Paris is an unforgettable...


Alumna '03

I still keep in touch with professors and classmates...

Major Components
Build Your Degree

With every single one of our majors, you’ll find a carefully curated medley of core courses and electives, which will provide you with the tools you need to establish an unshakeable foundation in the principles and concepts fundamental to your growth within your disciplines of choice. Many majors also enable you to specialize further within the broader area of study.

Core Courses

Core Courses

We aim to help you develop a range of skills, capacities, and modes of inquiry that will be crucial for your future since employers and graduate schools are looking for the critical thinking and innovative problem-solving skills that are associated with a liberal arts education, including sophisticated writing abilities, willingness to pose difficult questions, and an understanding of the historical and cultural contexts surrounding a topic or decision.

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Each elective provides you with entry to a variety of subject areas which you can choose among to further focus your studies. With the help of your academic advisor, you’ll be able to tailor your major so that it most effectively prepares you for the next step in your academic and professional journey. The Film Studies major offers three main subject areas for your electives: 

  • Film Pragmatics and the Art of Directing
  • Film Genres and Topics
  • International Cinema.

See all Major Electives

Core Curriculum

The Creative Writing core courses, which you must take as part of the major requirements, will provide you with the tools you’ll need to ground your present and future studies. Your introduction to the fundamentals of Creative Writing will help pave the way for your successful completion of other Creative Writing courses.

FM1010 Films & Their Meanings

Students begin with an analysis of basic elements of film language (signs, codes, syntax). They study the technology, economics and politics of the film industry as it has developed in the United States and Europe. In the latter half of the course they will investigate the impact of television, video, computers and digital media in the history of cinema.

CM1023 Intro To Media & Communication Studies

This course provides a survey of the media and its function in today’s society. It introduces students to the basic concepts and tools necessary to think critically about media institutions and practices. In addition to the analysis of diverse media texts, the course considers wider strategies and trends in marketing, distribution, audience formation and the consequences of globalization. By semester’s end, students will understand the basic structures of today’s media and be able to provide advanced analysis that weighs the social and political implications of its products.

FM1019 Principles Of Video Production

The course is a basic primer on digital video and film making. It introduces students to digital video procedures, equipment, techniques and options, including use of cameras and familiarity with editing systems. Students will become proficient in the use of digital video technology and see how to prepare program material for the web, broadcast and other outlets.

FM2075 Intro To History Of Narrative Film I

Studies film history, aesthetics, and techniques of film analysis. Illustrates the basic theories of film-making with specific films of important directors such as Griffith, Eisenstein, Stroheim, Chaplin, Keaton, Murnau, Sternberg, Lubitsch, Renoir, Hawks, Ford, Welles, and Sturges.

FM2076 Intro To History Of Narrative Film II

Analyzes classical Hollywood style from the 1940s onwards, looking at the work of some of the masters of the American system including Welles, Wyler, and Hitchcock. Studies postwar Hollywood genres including: film noir, the musical, the comedy, the Western, the gangster film, and sci-fi films. Traces important directions of postwar European Art Cinema (in particular Italian Neo-Realism and the Italian and French New Waves) and offers a brief overview of ‘new' cinemas worldwide. Explores the important developments that have taken place in Hollywood from the 1960s through to the present covering topics such as: New Hollywood cinema, the auteur renaissance of the seventies and eighties, neo-noir in the nineties, the digital age, and contemporary cinema.

FM3027 Film Theory & Criticism

Examines film theory with two motives: how does it help us read individual films, and what does it tell us about this medium? Studies theorists such as Sergei Eisenstein, Andre Bazin, Robin Wood, Christian Metz, Joan Mellen, Laura Mulvey, and Gaylyn Studlar, in relation to certain seminal films - Potemkin, Citizen Kane, Vertigo, A bout de souffle, and Pulp Fiction.

FM3096 Junior Seminar

Involves a particularly focused look at an important aspect of film theory or history, a filmmaker, actor or actress, or a cinematic topic or genre. Subjects will vary according to the particular interest of the professor, with the course work aiming at developing methodical and critical skills of analysis.