Film and Media Studies

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

To live in the twenty-first century is to engage in the consumption, production, and distribution of sounds, images, and information. The Interdisciplinary Program in Film and Media Studies enables students to gain a sophisticated understanding of media—defined as the multiple channels, technologies, and interfaces through which stories, ideas, and emotions are recorded, produced, and distributed—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 develop media fluency: the ability to analyze, contextualize, create, and use media to express themselves and affect issues they care about.

The minor in Film and Media Studies combines three emphases: media history and theory, experiential learning in media creation, and media and social justice. This focus on media and social justice distinguishes Georgetown’s Program in Film and Media Studies from its competitors. Through the Film and Media Studies minor, students can combine the study of media with their other fields of interest. Our Program Faculty understand the study of media to be inextricably linked to questions of power, equity, human development, and self-determination. Our students investigate these questions historically, theoretically, and creatively and through individual and collaborative work.

Film and Media Studies Minor

Requirements for the Minor

The Minor consists of six required courses:

  • FMST-1100, Gateway to Film and Media Studies
  • FMST-1181, Introduction to Filmmaking
  • An intermediate course that explores Media and Social Justice. Pre-approved options include FMST-3399, CBL Social Justice Documentary; FMST-3355, Documentary Film: History and Theory; and FMST-3398, Gaming and Justice. However, students may propose another course to fulfill the social justice requirement (in which case approval by the FMST Program Director is required). 
  • One elective, which may be any FMST course or any course x-listed with FMST
  • The Senior Capstone sequence: FMST-4970 & 4971.

The Gateway course (FMST-1100) and Introduction to Filmmaking (FMST-1181) are typically taken in the same semester to commence students in the study and creation of media simultaneously.

The Gateway course establishes key learning goals for the program:

  • Students acquire the vocabulary and concepts necessary to analyze media.
  • Students develop the capacity for critical analysis of various media.
  • Students learn to study media in historical, cultural, and industrial contexts.

The Introduction to Filmmaking course provides practical skills in media creation:

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

The third, intermediate requirement is a course exploring media and social justice. Students may enroll in FMST-3399, Social Justice Documentary; FMST-3398, Gaming and Justice; or FMST-3355, Documentary Film: History and Theory in their junior year. Or students may propose an alternative course to fulfill the social justice requirement (in which case approval by the FMST Program Director is required). 

The program culminates in a year-long Capstone sequence (FMST-4970 and FMST-4971) in which the students propose, develop, and produce projects involving the study and/or creation of media. Students wishing to pursue a creative capstone project are expected to work collaboratively with at least one other student, while students writing critical essays typically work alone. The Gateway and Capstone courses are taught on a rotating basis by members of the Film and Media Studies Program Faculty.

Curricular Pathways

The interdisciplinary minor in Film and Media Studies requires a total of six courses. There are four required courses, one additional course in social justice and media, and one elective. 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.

In fall of junior year, minors studying at Georgetown enroll in FMST-1100 (Gateway to Film and Media Studies) and FMST-1181 (Introduction to Filmmaking). For course descriptions, see the program webpage.

If a student plans to study abroad during the fall semester of junior year, they must consult with Program Director to find suitable substitutes for these two courses.

In spring of junior year, minors typically enroll in at least one FMST course, often one that meets the media and social justice requirement.

Social Justice Requirement + Elective

The interdisciplinary minor in Film and Media Studies requires two electives (one of which must explore media and social justice). The social justice requirement may be fulfilled by any of the following pre-approved courses, or students may propose an alternative course to fulfill the social justice requirement (pending approval by the FMST Program Director): 

FMST-3399: CBL Social Justice Documentary

FMST-3398: Gaming and Justice

FMST-3355: Documentary Film: History and Theory. 

Minors planning to be abroad during the spring of junior year should consult with Program Director about how they plan to fulfill the social justice requirement.

The elective requirement may be fulfilled by enrolling in other FMST courses, courses x-listed with FMST, or media-focused courses taken while studying abroad (pending approval by the Program Director). A list of FMST and x-listed courses can be found on the FMST website. Minors are encouraged to choose elective course(s) that explore approaches and questions they might develop in their capstone projects. For example, if a Minor is interested in writing script for a television sitcom, that student should consider enrolling in a television studies course or in a screenwriting course.

In senior year, minors must enroll in FMST-4970: Capstone in Film and Media Studies (fall) and FMST-4971: Capstone Completion (spring).

Upon approval by the Director of the Film and Media Studies program, 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 good academic standing in the College of Arts and Sciences, SFS, and MSB may apply to the Minor program. Applications will be available in January, and a sub-committee of Program Faculty will select the next cohort of minors before the start of preregistration for the fall semester. Students admitted to the minor should alert their deans to add it to their degree audit and will be approved to enroll in FMST-1110 (Gateway to Film and Media Studies) and FMST-1181 (Introduction to Filmmaking) in the subsequent term.  

(For the application form and information, see the FMST website.)

For course listings for Film and Media Studies, see Schedule of Classes. Courses x-listed with FMST are identified on the FMST website.