Major/Minor Requirements

Goals of the CAMS Major

Image from Thelma and Louise (film)

Students in the CAMS major will learn that the various media we use/interact with are not only the products of human imagination and expression, but are an influential, perhaps primary, means by which we come to understand ourselves—as thinking, communicating, interacting members of ethnicities, genders, classes, societies, nations, and global communities.









Students who complete the CAMS major will have:

  • Acquired a broad-based contemporary and historical knowledge of international film and audio-visual media.
  • Acquired a set of critical and analytical tools for the study of film and audio-visual media.
  • Developed a critical awareness of the cultural, political and economic role of film and media in modern societies.
  • Produced media works in the form or forms of their choice.
  • Explored, through their own processes of image-making, the relationships between technology, aesthetic process and social impact of modern media culture.

Requirements for the Major

The major in Cinema and Media Studies requires ten units and offers two areas of concentration, Cinema/Media Studies and Video/Media Production.  Students choose either the Studies track or the Production track at the time they elect the major.

Common Requirements

Students in both tracks are required to take:

1. CAMS 101, Introduction to Cinema and Media Studies
2. CAMS 201, Between Magic and Reality:  The Century of Cinema, Part I (formerly CAMS 102)
3. CAMS 202, Between Reality and Magic:  The Century of Cinema, Part II
4. One theory course, which can be fulfilled by either CAMS 200, Thinking through Cinema:  Film and Media Theory, or PHIL 203, Philosophy of Art
5. One production course, to be chosen among: CAMS 135/ART 165, Introduction to Video Production; CAMS 138/ARTS 108, Photography I; or CAMS 234/ENG 204, The Art of Screenwriting

Cinema/Media Studies Concentration

In addition to the common requirements, students electing the Studies track must take:

6.  Two core courses, to be chosen among:

  • CAMS 206, Cinema of the 60s
  • CAMS 209, Desiring Difference:  Gender and Sexuality in Cinema
  • CAMS 222, ‘Being There’: Documentary Film & Media
  • CAMS 226, Montage: History, Theory, and Practice
  • CAMS 227, Television
  • CAMS 228, Avant-Garde Film

7.  Two 300-level courses in CAMS or as approved by the directors.

8.  Additional elective(s) may be chosen from among the CAMS cross-listed courses and Related Courses. 

Video/Media Production Concentration

In addition to the common requirements, students electing the Production track must take:

6.   One core course (to be chosen from the list above), and

7.   Four additional studio courses to be selected among the following (or equivalent) courses:

  • CAMS 235/ARTS 265, Intermediate Video Production/The Documentary Form
  • CAMS 335/ARTS 365, Advanced Video Production
  • CAMS 238/ARTS 208, Photography II
  • CAMS 338/ARTS 308, Photography III
  • CAMS 230/ARTS 260, Moving Image Studio
  • CAMS 239/ARTS 221, Digital Imaging
  • CAMS 255/ARTS 255, Dynamic Interface Design
  • MUS 275, Computer Music:  Synthesis Techniques and Compositional Practice
  • ARTS 313, Virtual Form
  • ARTS 321, Advanced New Media


All majors must ensure that they take at least two courses in CAMS (or as approved by the directors) at the 300-level; one of these may be a 350.  CAMS 360 and 370 do not count toward the 300-level requirement, but are honors-level courses taken in addition to the 10 courses required for the major.

For Students who entered the College in the Fall of 2009 or 2010: The 12-course major begins with CAMS 101, and CAMS 135/ARTS 165, CAMS 138/ARTS 108 or ARTS 109, or CAMS 230, CAMS 234 or CAMS 239, introductory production courses in Video, Photo, Two Dimensional Design, Moving Image Studio, Screenwriting or Digital Imaging. When students declare the CAMS major, they should also be ready to declare the track they are following. If they declare the History and Theory track, students will then select at least four 200-level CAMS courses in the following categories: history; theory and analysis; and a 200-level production course. The 200-level production course may be a course in screenwriting, studio art, or theatre production. If they declare the production track they are required to take at least one 200-level history, theory or analysis course and CAMS 235/ARTS 265, Intermediate Video Production, in addition to production courses in other forms. CAMS majors are required to take two 300-level CAMS courses: history/theory track should choose two seminars; the production track may choose a seminar, and must choose a 300-level production course.

Requirements for the Minor

The CAMS minor will be made up of six courses in the following areas:
1. CAMS 101, CAMS 201 (formerly 102) & CAMS 202,
2. One introductory production course
3. Two additional courses, at least one of which must be at the 300-level.

For Students who entered the College in the Fall of 2009 or 2010: The CAMS minor will be made up of six courses in the following areas:

1. CAMS 101
2. One introductory production course
3. Four additional courses at the 200-level and above, with at least one of them at 300-level.



Candidates for Departmental Honors in CAMS complete a senior thesis in two units of independent study/thesis (CAMS 360, 370) undertaken in the Fall and Spring of the Senior year. To be admitted to the thesis program, a student must have a grade point average of at least 3.5 in all work in the major field above the 100-level; the program may petition on her behalf if her GPA in the major is between 3.0 and 3.5. See Academic Distinctions.

For majors in the Studies track, the route to honors is writing a thesis paper and passing an oral examination on the content and argument of the paper.  A senior thesis engages a topic involving year-long research resulting in a polished paper of between 50-100 pages in length.  For a student who has a clear idea of what she wants to investigate, a well-considered plan of research, and a willingness to accept the responsibility of working independently, a senior thesis can be a rewarding experience.

Honors in the Production track is earned by the demonstration of excellence in a self-directed senior thesis project.  A Production thesis consists of an extended piece or body of visual work produced over two semesters; this work normally involves research, script-writing, and pre-production, production, and post-production phases.  The final work is accompanied by a 15-20 page paper documenting the development of the project, and is exhibited at a public showing at the end of the semester.  

Contact Us

Department of Cinema and Media Studies

Pendleton West
Wellesley College
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481

Nicholas Knouf
Assistant Professor, PNW 313
Tel: 781.283.2105

Maurizio Viano
Co-Director, PNW 314
Tel: 781.283.2619

Winifred Wood
Co-Director, PNW 319
Tel: 781.283.2407

Debra Carbarnes
and Lisa Priest

Administrative Assistants
Tel:  781.283.2042
Fax: 781.283.3647