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 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 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
  • One production course, to be chosen among:
  • CAMS 135/ARTS 165, Introduction to Video Production
  • CAMS 138/ARTS 108, Photography I
  • CAMS 234/ENG 204, The Art of Screenwriting
  • 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.

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

  1. Two core courses, to be chosen from among these:
    • CAMS 208, Writing for Television
    • CAMS 213, From Berlin and London to Hollywood
    • CAMS 216, Creative Media Manipulation
    • CAMS 222, "Being There": Documentary Film and Media
    • CAMS 225, From the Fairground to Netflix: Cinema in the Public Sphere
    • CAMS 227, Television
    • CAMS 228, Avant-Garde and Experimental Film
    • CAMS 266, Power to the Imagination: the Animated Film
    • CAMS 270, Dark and Light of the Internet
    • CAMS 272, The Ludic Imagination: Histories and Theories of Games and Play
    • CAMS 276, Media Public: An Introduction to Civic Media
    • CAMS 286, Fantasy Factories: Film and Propaganda in Nazi Germany and Beyond
    • CAMS 287, Leaps and Bounds: Technological Development and the Shaping of the Cinematic Medium in Germany and Beyond
    • CAMS 292, Film Noir
  • At least one additional CAMS course, which may be chosen from among the CAMS cross-listed and related courses.

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

  1. One core course (to be chosen from the list above)
  2. Four additional studio courses to be selected among the following (or equivalent) 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.

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 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 paper of 15-20 pages documenting the development of the project, and is exhibited at a public showing at the end of the semester.


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 9/20/18