Media Studies Concentrations

Media Studies majors have the option of choosing to concentrate their studies in the areas of Film or Media Policy and Ethics.

  • Concentrations are optional, but Media Studies majors whose interests are heavily focused on one of these areas should consider declaring a concentration.
  • Students may only pursue one concentration.
  • Most courses taken for a concentration are also considered major electives, unless they are offered below the 3000 level.
  • Declarations are due in accordance with deadlines set by the College of Arts & Sciences which normally coincides with the add deadline in the semester the student will graduate. A concentration should not be declared until you have completed or are enrolled in the courses necessary to complete the concentration.

To declare a concentration, use the Registrar's DocuSign Declaration of Major Form and input the following information:

  1. Student (Your Name and Email)
  2. Department Major Contact - DMC (Julie Gronlund/[email protected])
  3. Intended Date of Graduation
  4. Intended Major/Minor:   Concentration: [name of concentration] 
  5. DO NOT check any of the boxes.
  6. Fill out the information on the courses you have taken (or are enrolled in) to fulfill the concentration's requirements.
  7. Advisor's Name.


Media Policy and Ethics

This concentration requires the completion of three (3) courses focused on issues in media policy or media ethics. All courses must be at the 3000-level or above. Students may use courses from the pre-approved list here or may appeal the use of a course not listed. Any other courses, including cross-listed courses, which a student might wish to have count toward the concentration, must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the Media Studies Department.

LPPP 3559 Big Tech, Society, and Public Policy (spring 2024)
MDST 3102 Copyright, Commerce & Culture
MDST 3104 Making (and Faking) the News
MDST 3106 History of U.S. Broadcasting
MDST 3108 Media Law
MDST 3120 Global Media & Cybersecurity
MDST 3140 Mass Media and American Politics
MDST 3402 War and the Media
MDST 3404 Democratic Politics in the New Media Environment
MDST 3410 Media Ethics
MDST 3503 Special Topics: Issues & Controversies in the Media
MDST 3504 Cinema of Türkiye
MDST 3504 International Communications
MDST 3504 Digital Media and the Environment
MDST 3510 Media Policy
MDST 3706 Media in China: Technology, Policy, and Commerce
MDST 3742 Athletes, Activism, and the Media
MDST 3750 Money, Media, and Technology
MDST 3751 Value, Values, Valuation
MDST 3811 History of American Broadcast News
MDST 4101 Privacy and Surveillance
MDST 4105 Media and Citizenship
MDST 4405 Internet Policy and Regulation
MDST 4411 Free Speech and the Media
MDST 4510 Political Economy of Communication (formerly MDST 4704)
MDST 5501 Digital Economies and Cultures
PLAP  3140 Mass Media and American Politics

Film Concentration

Mission Statement:

At our Film Studies Concentration, we are dedicated to cultivating a community of students who embark on a global journey of critical thinking, creative exploration, and historical understanding of film. Our mission is rooted in a set of core principles that underpin our educational approach:

Cultivating Critical, Theoretical, and Historical Knowledge:

  • Prepare students to critically analyze power dynamics and representation in film and the influence on issues such as ability, race, class, gender, and sexual orientation, nationality, citizenship, and language.
  • Explore the local and global dimensions of film as sociocultural phenomena, all while staying attuned to the evolving landscape of moving-image technologies.
  • Embrace a holistic approach to examine commercial, nontheatrical, works within and outside the cultural mainstream, and films from national and transnational frameworks.
  • Challenge conventional understandings of film by using frameworks of policy and ethics.
  • Introduce students to a wide range of methodologies to study film and media.
  • Prepare students to express complex ideas effectively, and make informed opinions on the social, aesthetic, political, economic, and technological values of film.
  • Offer foundational education in the historical, cultural, artistic, political, and commercial contexts of film production, exhibition, distribution, and reception, enabling graduates to excel in key positions within the film and related industries on a national and global scale.

Fostering Interdisciplinary Thinking, Artistic Innovation and Social Responsibility:

  • Provide foundational production courses for hands-on experience in film production.
  • Nurture students who view film and video not just as modes of production but as a calling for personal expression and exploration.
  • Instill in our students a commitment to social justice, through their work and community projects to foster an awareness of their work’s impact on society, and reaching target audiences.
  • Offer rigorous, project-based curriculum that challenges students to take creative risks, push the boundaries of conventional forms, and advance their conceptual, technical, and professional skills.
  • Celebrate differences and actively oppose oppression in all its forms, striving to create a safe, welcoming, and respectful environment where all students are seen, valued, respected, and included.
  • Encourage the development of a vision that incorporates ethical, creative, practical, and intellectual values within the context of a liberal arts education.

Through these principles, we aspire to provide a dynamic and comprehensive educational experience that prepares students to excel in their chosen careers and make meaningful contributions to the world of film and media. Majors may concentrate their upper-division study in the area of film by selecting

  • one (1) Film Studies Core course;
  • one (1) Practice of Film course (the course used for the Practice of Film requirement must be the same course used for the Practice of Media requirement for the major. No more than one Practice of Media/Film course may be used towards the major); and
  • three (3) 3000-level or higher Film electives from the list of approved film studies courses.

Film courses not on this list that a student might wish to have count toward the concentration must be approved by the Director of Undergraduate Programs of Media Studies. 

Film Studies Core Course Requirement
Students must complete one (1) of the following approved core courses:

DRAM   3830 History of Film I
DRAM   3840 History of Film II
DRAM   3850 History of Film III
MDST    2200 Introduction to Film
MDST    2810 Cinema as an Art Form
MDST    3830 History of Film I
MDST    3840 History of Film II
MDST    3850 History of Film III

Practice of Film Requirement
Students must complete one (1) Practice of Film requirement. This course will be used to simultaneously fulfill the Practice of Media requirement for the major. Only one of these courses may count towards the major and film concentration requirements.

ARCH    5420 Digital Animation and Storytelling
ARTS     2370  Introduction to Cinematography I
ARTS     2372  Introduction to Cinematography II
ARTS     3370  Intermediate Cinematography I
ARTS     3372  Intermediate Cinematography II
ARTS     4372  Advanced Cinematography II
DRAM   3651 Directing I
DRAM   3710 Playwriting I
DRAM   3720 Playwriting II
DRAM   4596 Special Topics in Directing
DRAM   4599 Special Topics in Playwriting
DRAM   4730 Advanced Playwriting
MDST    2508 Introduction to Filmmaking
MDST    2710 Screenwriting
MDST    2870 Writing Film Criticism
STS       2500 Science and Technology in Social and Global Context

Approved Courses towards the Film Concentration Electives
Students must dedicate three (3) of their MDST electives at the 3000-level or above to courses in which film is the main object of study. These may be chosen flexibly from offerings in Media Studies and the other UVa Departments that offer film courses. The following courses are pre-approved for this requirement. Additional courses can be approved by the DUP.

AAS 3500 Black Queer Film
AMST 2500 Racial Borders and American Cinema
AMST 3471 American Cinema
AMST 4410 Censorship
AMST 4472 Hollywood Cinema's Golden Age
AMST 4500 Stardom and American Cinema
AMST 4500 The Vietnam War: A Film
DRAM 3830 History of Film I
DRAM 3840 History of Film II
DRAM 3850 History of Film III
ENG 3922 Deafness in Literature & Film
FREN 3584 Topics in French Cinema
FREN 4743 Africa in Cinema
FREN 5584 Topics in Cinema
FRTR 3584 Topics in French Cinema
GERM 5620 Studies in Drama
GETR 3566 Topics in Film - Weimar Cinema
GETR 3562 New German Cinema
GETR 3590 Staging Revolution: Aesthetics & Politics of 20c Film and Theater
HIEU 3604 Holocaust on Film 
HIUS 3161 Viewing American, 1940-1980
HIUS 3173 The Vietnam War in American Film
HIUS 3559 Vietnam War in Literature and Film
ISHU 3300 Socrates at the Cinema
ITTR 3670 Contemporary Italian Cinema: From Canon to the Fringe
JPTR 3320 Cinematic Images of Japanese Culture and Society
JTTR 3559 Tokyo, Its Cinematic Landscape
ITTR 3775 Acting Italian: Benigni, Goldoni, Fo
MDST 3115 Breaking Bad: Once Upon a Time with the Pests
MDST 3205 New Latin American Cinema
MDST 3206 Documentary Film
MDST 3207 Experimental Ethnography
MDST 3306 Sexuality, Gender, Class and Race in Teen Film
MDST 3307 Animated Media
MDST 3402 War and the Media
MDST 3407 Racial Borders and American Cinema
MDST 3430 AI & Cinema
MDST 3501 Special Topics in Directors and Auteurs
MDST 3502 Special Topics in Film Genre
MDST 3504 Cinema & South Asian Politics
MDST 3504 Cinema of Türkiye
MDST 3504 Hollywood Goes to Asia
MDST 3504 Hong Kong Film
MDST 3504 Immigrant Narratives in Italian Cinema
MDST 3504 Italian Mafia in Film & TV
MDST 3504 Japanese Cinema
MDST 3504 Mexican Cinema
MDST 3504 Small Cinemas in Small Nations
MDST 3504 Sound and Cinema
MDST 3505 Gender, Society, Film
MDST 3510 Doing Film History
MDST 3510 True Crime and Social Justice
MDST 3559 Better Call Saul (spring 2024)
MDST 3584 ALL Topics
MDST 3630 Screening Terrorism
MDST 3640 American Gangster Films
MDST 3650 Shooting the Western
MDST 3830 History of Film I
MDST 3840 History of Film II
MDST 3850 History of Film III
MDST 3883 Superhero Media
MDST 4240 Contemporary Brazilian Cinema
MDST 4310 Celebrity Studies
MDST 4510 Internet Distributed TV in a Global Context 
MDST 4510 Media and Modern Life in India
MDST 4510 Seeking Social Justice through Documentary Film
MDST 4510 Sex and Gender Go to the Movies 
MDST 4660 Watching the Detectives
MDST 4670 White Out: Screening White Supremacy
MESA 3111 Film Festivals & Global Media Cultures/ ME/SA Spotlight
MESA 3380 A Thousand and One Nights at the Cinema
MESA 3381 Spies in Action: Cine-Media Worlds of Espionage
PAVS 4500 The Vietnam War: A Film
POTR 4260 Brazilian Media
WGS 3210 Gender, Sport, and Film