George Mason University
George Mason University Mason
George Mason University

Film and Video Studies, BA

Program Overview

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Video Studies offers students the technical skills necessary to tell dynamic visual stories while providing a broad understanding of the business, ethics, and theoretical foundations of filmmaking in our rapidly changing industry. The degree includes concentrations in production with emphasis on directing and producing, production and post-production, and screenwriting. Students gain professional experience as they learn by doing: by working on student film sets, training in media internships, producing through regional freelance opportunities, or in productions through the Office of Student Media. We train filmmakers to leave the program as professionals in their field.

For complete information on program requirements and policies for the 2017-18 year, please see the University Catalog.

Highlights

For complete information on program requirements and policies for the 2017-18 year, please see the University Catalog.

Please see the University Catalog for complete program requirements and policies, and discuss all program plans with an academic advisor. Certain courses may fulfill multiple requirements across the Mason Core general education program, the college or school, and/or the specific program. 

Undergraduate Program

The Film and Video Studies Program offers a 120-credit multidisciplinary BA degree, which spans many units including Art and Visual Technology, Communication, Computer Game Design, English, History and Art History, Modern and Classical Languages, New Century College, and Theater. Students study film and video production, film theory and criticism, emerging technologies in film, ethics, screenwriting, and business practices in the film industry.

The vocabulary of film (broadly defined) pervades the intellectual, cultural, political, and social landscape. The craft of film-making includes fictional storytelling through genre, documentary and nonfiction, collaborative production with community organizations, the application of academic research, engagement with sound theory and design, and personal and poetic expression.  Emerging technologies and mobile viewing change both the means of production and reception. This combination of factors makes film an important area for academic inquiry and professional and artistic training.

Portfolio Requirement

Admission to Film and Video Studies (FAVS) is considered separately from admission to the university and only by portfolio review. Information about the portfolio process, including submission due dates and portfolio application requirements, can be found on the program’s web page (favs.gmu.edu) or by calling the FAVS office at 703-993-3287. Admission to the university is determined by the Admissions Office.

Writing-Intensive Requirement

The university requires all students to complete at least one course designated “writing-intensive” in their majors at the 300 level or above. Students seeking a BA in film and video studies fulfill this requirement by completing ENGH 373, FAVS 470, FAVS 498 or THR 482.

Upper-Level Credits

All undergraduate students are required to complete a minimum of 45 credits of upper-division courses at the 300-499 level.

Termination from the Major

No Film and Video Studies course that is required for the major may be unsuccessfully attempted more than three times. A grade lower than a C constitutes an unsuccessful attempt in any given course. Those students who do not successfully complete such a course within three attempts will be terminated from the major. For more information, see the “Termination from the Major” section under AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Academic Policies

Please see College of Visual and Performing Arts for college academic policies.

Degree Requirements

Mason Core (37 credits)

  • Mason Core - General education program required for all undergraduate students
  • College Requirement(s) BA students complete one of the following: a minor, double major or double degree outside their primary field of study (15-20 credits), or demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language (0-9 credits).

Notes: FAVS majors may not double-count courses toward both the FAVS major and Mason Core requirements with the exception of the synthesis requirement, listed below as part of the FAVS core requirements.

Major (54-58 credits)

Film and Video Studies Core Requirements (24 credits)

Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all core courses.

Analysis, History, Theory (3 credits)

Diversity of Perspectives (3 credits)

Take 3 credits from the following:

Concentration (24-28 credits)

Students choose one of the following concentrations:

  • Producing and Directing
  • Production and Post-Production
  • Screenwriting
Concentration in Producing and Directing (PROD) (27-28 credits)
Concentration in Production and Post Production (PROP) (27-28 credits)
Concentration in Screenwriting (SCWR) (24 credits)

General Electives (25-29 credits)

Students must use general electives to complete a minor, double major or second degree outside the major field of study, or demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language (see College of Visual and Performing Arts for foreign language requirements).

Total: 120 credits

Opportunities

Film and Video Studies majors work with accomplished faculty who are working filmmakers and film theorists. Students have opportunities to meet and learn from visiting filmmakers who screen internationally celebrated films, and a supportive advisory board of seasoned professionals. Film and Video Studies students have gained hands-on-experience with professionals in the field at over 100 internship sites—from working with casting agents, to assisting at top PR firms, to recording practice and training sessions for the Washington NFL Football team, to producing content for various broadcast networks.

As an intimate program, Film and Video Studies students immediately gain access to the tools they need to make films. FAVS facilities include a Black Box theater space where students can build a film set, a Mac computing work space with stations that include Adobe Creative Suite, Final Draft, Movie Magic, and Final Cut Pro, and a range of high quality digital video cameras and professional industry standard sound and lighting equipment for location and studio-based productions. Equipment is available to students as they enter the program in FAVS Equipment Checkout and the STAR Lab.

Concentrations within the Film and Video Studies, BA include:

  • Producing and Directing
  • Screenwriting
  • Production and Post-Production
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