Program Description

Film, along with other visual media such as television, is arguably the least understood aspect of our everyday lives, and yet one of the most powerful forces around us all the time.

In Gettysburg's Film Studies program, students may pursue either a minor or an individually designed major in Film Studies. The programs provide a deeper understanding of film, which can be applied to other visual media as well.

Courses in Film Studies can easily be meshed with studies in other areas of our liberal arts curriculum. The minor or individually designed major will not only introduce you to the major issues that cinema raises, it will also give you some grounding in the aesthetics of film, the history of film, the production of films, and theories of how and why films affect us so much. The overall goal is to provide a set of critical skills to make you aware of something most people consume without reflection. These skills can be used for particular careers in media and broadcasting, yet they can also be utilized in all walks of life.

The college offers wide array of film studies and film-related courses to show how films actually work as films and to show the context in which films are made and seen. A course's focus may be:

  • How films are constructed;
  • How films are produced in or affect a larger context, often historical;
  • The exploration of key underlying questions about films, often relying on theories derived from other areas of study, including philosophy and psychology.

Those interested in Film Studies should review the requirements for the minor and the individually designed major.

For more information, contact:

  • Jim Udden,, Associate Professor of IDS/Film Studies

Program Requirements


An individually designed Film Studies major consists of 12 courses. The majority follow the following template:

  • Film 101, Introduction to Film and Film Studies;
  • Film 220, Introduction to Video Production;
  • Film 250, History of World Cinema, 1895-1945;
  • Film 251, History of World Cinema, 1945-present;
  • Film 252, Film Aesthetics and Analysis;
  • Six other courses, at least three of which need to be at the 300-level or higher, chosen by the student to reflect his or her individual interest related to or interacting with the study of film;
  • 400-level individualized study (capstone)

The individually designed major allows a student great flexibility in focusing on practically any discipline through the lens of film studies. Gettysburg offers a wide range of film-related courses, but as individual majors students are not limited to those courses as electives. The student needs to create a cohesive course list organized around a central theme and write an essay explaining how his or her major defines a valid academic program, then have two advisors and the IDS advisory committee approve the major.

Students at Gettysburg have combined their interest in film with studies in disciplines such as philosophy, theater, chemistry, computer science, visual arts, media studies, psychology, sociology, writing, marketing, and cross-cultural topics.

The Film Studies minor consists of six courses:

It is strongly recommended that one of these be Film 220, Introduction to Video Production. Having hands-on experience like this is invaluable even for those who do not go into the field.

Film 252, Film Aesthetics and Analysis, will also provide a wide range of critical skills, and will touch on film theory as well.

*Other than Film courses, electives may include: Anth 215, AS 220, Eng 303 or 413, Fren 332, 333, IDS 217, Phil 335, Soc 204, Span 353, WGS 220, one FYS film course, one Individualized Study or Internship.

For further information please contact Jim Udden.

Course Listing

Course level: