Major/Minor Requirements

Goals for the Cinema and Media Studies Major

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  the world and ourselves in it as thinking, communicating, and 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 Cinema and Media Studies Major

The major in Cinema and Media Studies requires 10 units and allows students to combine courses in the history and theory of cinema and media with courses in video/media production and writing for screen/television. Students can design a course of study that focuses on cinema & media studies, video/media production, or a combination of both.

Common Requirements

Students are required to take the following:

1. CAMS 101, Introduction to Cinema and Media Studies

2. CAMS 201, Technologies of Cinema and Media 

3. CAMS 202, Aesthetics of Cinema and Media

4. One theory course, which can be fulfilled by one of these two courses:

  • CAMS 218, Theories of Media from Photography to the Internet
  • PHIL 203, Philosophy of Art
5. One production course, to be chosen among:
6. All majors must ensure that they take at least two courses in CAMS (or as approved by the directors) at the 300 level. Normally all 300-level work must be taken at Wellesley. CAMS 360 and CAMS 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.
7. Two core courses, chosen from among the following:
  • CAMS 208, Writing for Television
  • CAMS 213, Berlin & London to Hollywood
  • CAMS 216, Creative Media Manipulation
  • CAMS 222, Documentary Film and Media
  • CAMS 225, Cinema in the Public Sphere
  • CAMS 227, Television
  • CAMS 228, Experimental Cinema
  • CAMS 234, The Art of Screenwriting
  • CAMS 235, Intermediate Video Production
  • CAMS 238, Photography II
  • CAMS 239, Digital Imaging
  • CAMS 255, Dynamic Interface Design
  • CAMS 266, The Animated Film
  • CAMS 270, Histories & Theories of the Internet
  • CAMS 272, Histories/Theories of Games
  • CAMS 276, Intro to Civic Media
  • CAMS 286, Film & Propaganda in Nazi Germany
  • CAMS 287, Technology & Film
  • CAMS 292, Film Noir
  • MUS 275, Electronic and Computer Music
8. At least one additional CAMS course, chosen from among CAMS cross-listed and related courses.

Candidates for Departmental Honors in CAMS complete a senior thesis in two units of independent study/thesis (CAMS 360, CAMS 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.

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

Students can earn honors for a production project by demonstrating 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 paper of 15-20 pages documenting the development of the project, and is exhibited at a public showing at the end of the semester.

Students interested in pursuing honors should declare their intention during the spring semester of their junior year and submit a proposal to the program director by April 15.


Requirements for the Cinema and Media Studies Minor

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


updated 11/06/19