Cinema and Media Studies, BA

The Penn Cinema and Media Studies major and minor are traditional humanities programs involving the critical study of film and media history, theory, and aesthetics. Reflecting the hybrid nature of the field of Cinema and Media Studies, our faculty members are housed in departments across SAS and the university, and we cross-list courses with various departments and schools, including Africana Studies, Anthropology, Communications, East Asian Language and Civilizations, English, Fine Arts, German, History, History of Art, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, Romance Languages, Slavic Languages and Literatures, and Women’s Studies. This truly interdisciplinary program will introduce students to the wide range of methodologies used to study film and media, and this intersection with other disciplines makes Cinema and Media Studies an ideal component of a double major.

The minimum total course units for graduation in this major is 33. Double majors may entail more course units.

For information about the General Education requirements, please visit the College of Arts & Sciences Curriculum page.

College General Education Requirements and Free Electives
Foundational Approaches + Sectors1 + Free Electives20
Major Requirements
Core Requirements
CIMS 1010World Film History to 19451
CIMS 1020World Film History 1945-Present1
CIMS 1030Television and New Media1
Select 10 course units of Electives10
Minimum 3 course units of Non-American Cinema
Maximum 3 course units of Production & Craft of Cinema
Total Course Units33

You may count no more than one course toward both a Major and a Sector requirement. For Exceptions, check the Policy Statement.


Applicants must have a minimum GPA of 3.5 in the major.

CIMS 4998Cinema Studies Honor Thesis0.5


The degree and major requirements displayed are intended as a guide for students entering in the Fall of 2023 and later. Students should consult with their academic program regarding final certifications and requirements for graduation.