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Film reel.

Film & Media Studies


Your lens on the modern world.

The Film and Media Studies major at Whitman College allows you to learn the basics of film editing and production, work with professional film equipment, and work closely with other students and faculty as you unpack the history and theory of global media communication. You’ll be challenged to consider the impact of film, television, the internet and other media on how we live as you acquire technical skills and the critical media literacy necessary to launch an exciting media career.

3 Reasons to Study Film & Media at Whitman

Media Is Everywhere

At Whitman, you’ll explore the power of media from a uniquely global perspective. You’ll think deeply about how the media we consume influences what we believe and how we behave. And you’ll make connections between diverse ideas as you experience firsthand the value of a robust liberal arts education.

Create in Community

The Film and Media Studies program at Whitman is a close-knit community where you’ll be challenged and encouraged to pursue and reach your goals. The students, professors and classes offer varied perspectives that will broaden your understanding as you grow into a professional.

Be Ready for Anything

Becoming a media professional requires practical skills, fast innovation and the social aptitude to work with diversely talented people. You’ll hone those skills—and your own voice—in the Film and Media Studies Department through compelling conversations, creative collaborations, exciting internship opportunities and more.

Interested in Film & Media Studies?

We’d love to send you information, including more on academic majors and student life at our beautiful campus in Walla Walla, Washington.

Zac B., film and media studies major

“I love the FMS department! The professors are wonderful and supportive; the classes are small; the community is warm, welcoming and super varied; and it offers wonderful opportunities for those seeking both/either a more theoretical, analytical approach to film and/or a more hands-on, production-based experience.”

Our Whitman Student Voices Blog

Courses in Film & Media Studies

See just a few of the fascinating courses you might take.

Television outdoors.
FMS 170

Introduction to Television Studies

This course explores world culture through the history of television. From its origins in radio to its digital future, we’ll investigate how television informs identity, controversy, political power and artistic experimentation.

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FMS 260

Introduction to Filmmaking

What better way to learn about film than by making one? In this collaborative class, you’ll work together with other students to produce your own short films, while learning about the theory and fundamentals of filmmaking.

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Remote control.
FMS 265

Understanding Media Industries

Have you ever watched a film or TV show and wondered, “How did this get made?” This course critically examines the history, organization, everyday practices and cultural influence of media industries. Deepen your understanding of media industry ownership, regulation, finances, creative practices and much more.

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Comic books.
FMS 305

Global Comics

Explore the thriving comics industries in countries like Japan, France, Nigeria and Mexico. Learn how different global comics industries operate, how comics and comics culture circulate between countries, and how different cultural contexts affect representation.

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Star Wars character.
FMS 315

Bad Objects: Popular Culture and Questions of Taste

Who decides what’s cool? Why do certain media become mainstream and others remain niche? How do certain texts or genres—from comics to science fiction to video games—become perceived as “bad”? And what do those judgments have to say about questions of race, class, gender/sexuality and social status?

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Eating popcorn.
FMS 372

“Mean Streets and Raging Bulls”: The Silver Age of Cinema

Trace film history from the demise of the studios through the brief “silver age,” when maverick film directors like Coppola, Kubrick and Scorsese made deeply personal and remarkably influential films that still resonate today.

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Filming a music video.

Amazing Experiences You Can Pursue

Study off campus. Broaden your sense of how media is created, consumed and perceived around the world with a year or semester abroad. You might study filmmaking in Cape Town, manga in Tokyo or journalism in London.

See your ideas take shape.  Film and Media Studies students have access to professional equipment and thoughtful mentorship as they bring their ideas to life. Maybe you’ll make your own short or documentary, write a screenplay, or design your own senior capstone project.

Get professional experience. Make leaps in your education with a career-launching internship. Film and media studies students at Whitman have produced videos for agricultural safety training, assisted on documentaries about the Washington State Penitentiary, managed student broadcasting at a high school and created virtual tours for local museums.

Your Questions Answered

A Film and Media Studies degree prepares you for a wide range of creative and technical jobs in the film industry, including editing, directing, and producing. You can also bring your skills to a variety of fields like marketing, journalism, education and social media. Whatever path you choose, you’ll bring highly valuable core skills to the table, like innovative thinking, critical consideration, creativity and an understanding of global media.

Not at all! The Film and Media Studies major is highly flexible and includes opportunities to explore other media like photography, music, radio, graphic novels, video games, social media, theater and more. Students can tailor the focus of their major based on their theoretical and practical interests.

No experience needed. The interest and passion you bring to the program are what’s essential. The Film and Media Studies coursework will fill in the rest by supplying practical skills of camerawork, editing and production—and the theory to use these basics to change the world.

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