Film and Media Studies

The Film and Media Studies Program offers a minor in Film and Media Studies.

To live in the 21st Century is to engage in the consumption, production, and distribution of sounds, images, and information. The Interdisciplinary Program in Film and Media Studies enables our students to gain a sophisticated understanding of media—defined as the multiple channels, technologies, and interfaces through which information, ideas, and emotions are stored, shared, and reciprocated—and the ways that media shape our understanding of the world and our ability to act in it. Through the Minor in Film and Media Studies, students will develop media fluency: the ability to analyze, contextualize, create, and use media as the exercise of citizen leadership.

The Minor in Film and Media Studies combines three emphases: media history and theory; experiential learning in media creation; and media and social justice. Through the Minor, students may elect to combine the study of media with their other fields of interest. Georgetown College’s Program in Film and Media Studies is distinguished by its focus on the relations between media and social justice. Our faculty understands the study of media to be inextricably linked to questions of power, rights, human development, and self-determination. Our students investigate these questions historically and theoretically and through their own creative and collaborative work.



The Minor consists of six required courses:

  • FMST-100, Gateway to Film and Media Studies
  • ARTS-181, Introduction to Filmmaking
  • Intermediate course which explores Media and Social Justice, typically FMST-399, CBL Social Justice Documentary or FMST-398, Gaming and Justice
  • 1 FMST Elective
  • Senior sequence, FMST-400 & 401, Capstone

Students will be introduced to the study of media through a gateway course (FMST-100) and an introduction course in digital filmmaking (ARTS-181).

The gateway course will lay out key learning goals for the program:

  • Students will acquire the vocabulary and concepts necessary to analyze media.
  • Students will develop the capacity for close analysis of media.
  • Students will develop understandings of media in historical, cultural, and linguistic contexts.

In the introduction to digital filmmaking, students will learn:

  • Students will learn how to shoot video, record audio, and to edit in narrative, documentary, and experimental modes.
  • Students will explore critical and theoretical concepts through media creation.

The third, intermediate requirement is a course exploring media and social justice.  Typically, students enroll in FMST-399: CBL: Social Justice Documentary in the spring of junior year.  Minors who study abroad in spring of junior year may propose to the Program Director an alternate course to fulfill this requirement.  FMST faculty will continue to develop addition courses options exploring media and social justice.

The program culminates in a capstone sequence (FMST-400 and FMST-401) in which the students propose, develop, and produce projects involving the study and creation of media and social justice work. Students wishing to pursue media creation as a capstone project must work collaboratively with at least one other student. The gateway and capstone courses will be taught on a rotating basis by the core faculty in Film and Media Studies, along with other faculty affiliated with the Program.

Curricular pathways

The interdisciplinary minor in Film and Media Studies requires a total of six courses. There are four required courses and two electives. Students may use study abroad courses to help fulfill these requirements. The minor is typically completed through coursework taken in the junior and senior years; however, courses completed in the first or second year may be applied towards the minor with approval from Professor Sky Sitney, the Director of FMST.

In fall of junior year, minors enroll in at least two FMST courses:

FMST-100: Gateway to Film and Media Studies

In our Gateway to the program, students encounter film theory and media history. You will learn the basics of what it means to be a Film and Media scholar and how Film and Media has shaped our society across history.

ARTS-181: Introduction to Filmmaking

Introduction to Filmmaking is designed to develop both technical and artistic skills using digital technology as a creative tool to create short films. Students will be introduced to new ideas and aesthetic and technical issues. These ideas will be developed in assignments and class critiques.

If a minor plans to study abroad during the fall semester of junior year, she or he should consult with Prof. Sitney to find a suitable substitute for these two courses.

In spring of junior year, minors must enroll in at least one FMST course:

FMST-399: CBL Social Justice Documentary

In Social Justice Documentary, students learn about the relations between documentary media and social change by making documentaries in collaboration with Community Based Organizations in Washington, D.C. Students will combine Film and Media Studies scholarship, video production skills, and Community Based Research and Learning as they view and discuss significant documentary films and videos, read about documentary theory and history, consider documentary as a tool for engaging the “real world,” and begin to practice writing, shooting, and editing video.

Minors planning to be abroad during the spring of junior year should consult with Dr. Cook about the process of proposing a suitable substitute for Social Justice Documentary.

In fall of your senior year, minors must enroll in at least one FMST course:

FMST-400: Capstone in Film and Media Studies

In the Capstone course, students will meet in a seminar to revisit key theories and concepts, to critically engage important texts, and to plan, develop, produce and present their progress on senior capstone projects. In the Capstone course, students reflect on their learning in the minor and produce research representative of their experience in the minor. Minors will propose projects and will choose capstone advisors during the fall term so that students may prepare for their spring capstone work.

In spring of your senior year, minors must enroll in at least one FMST course:

FMST-401: Capstone Completion 

In the Capstone Completion course, students will workshop their capstone projects, including both rough and final presentations to Program faculty and students. Capstone projects are usually collaborative, although they can take multiple different forms from experimental films, audio documentaries, research papers, short narrative projects, television pilots, screenplays, and short documentaries.

The elective requirement may be fulfilled by enrolling in other FMST courses or cross-listed FMST courses. A list of these courses can be found on the FMST website. Minors should choose elective courses to explore approaches and questions that might develop into capstone projects. For example, if a Minor is interested in writing script for a television situation comedy, that student should enroll in a television studies course and in a screenwriting course.

Upon approval by the Director of the Film and Media Studies, students may count up to two courses taken outside of Georgetown (via study abroad, the DC Consortium, or summer study) toward the requirements of the minor.


Each spring, sophomores in Georgetown College in good academic standing may apply to the Minor program. Applications will be available in January, and a sub-committee of the Core Faculty will select the next cohort of Minors before the start of preregistration for the spring. Students admitted to the Minor will be enrolled in FMST-100: Gateway to Film and Media Studies and ARTS-181: Introduction to Filmmaking in the subsequent fall term.  

(For the application form and information, see

(For course listings for Film and Media Studies, see