Film Studies

Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies
Department of Theatre and Film
College of Arts and Sciences

BGSU’s multifaceted film program, first established in the 1970s, is now one of the most comprehensive in the country. Affiliations with the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies, the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Film Theater, and the Ralph H. Wolfe Video Viewing Center ensure that the Film Studies major has a unique depth and breadth of resources. Students in the major develop expertise in analyzing individual films, contemporary culture, and the film and media industry. The Film Studies major is open to all students admitted to BGSU.

Career Opportunities

Film Studies majors develop the skills and understanding to make significant contributions to film culture. Due to their knowledge of film history and the entertainment industry, Film Studies majors are prepared to begin careers as film critics, publicists, festival organizers, casting and talent agents, and industry executives. Some Film Studies graduates go directly into careers that draw on their expertise, while others enroll in graduate programs in the humanities or business administration. Some Film Studies students acquire additional training in preservation and restoration programs. Still others go on to law school, specializing in entertainment law, in order to have careers in independent and mainstream cinema as agents, managers, and attorneys.


The Film Studies major enhances students’ visual literacy, their understanding of film history, and their knowledge of cinema’s connections with other aspects of contemporary media and society. The Film Studies major is designed so that students benefit from a wide range of faculty, whose interdisciplinary research gives them the expertise to foster students’ work in film theory, film criticism, cultural studies, and research in international cinema.

Students in the Film Studies major complete: three core classes (Introduction to Film, Film History, Culture and the Moving Image); five electives in Film Theory and Criticism (such as Arts Management, Studies in Popular Film, Television and Film Criticism); and five electives in World and Ethnic Cinema (such as Italian Cinema, Third World Cinema, and International Animated Films). Film Studies students select a minor that supports their career goals and creative interests; these selections might include minors in Marketing or Popular Culture.


The Wolfe Center for the Arts is the home for the Department of Theatre and Film and for Film Studies majors, who also enjoy the benefits of BGSU’s longstanding commitment to the study of film and popular culture, a commitment that led to creation of the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Film Theater in Hanna Hall, as well as the Ray and Pat Browne Library for Popular Culture Studies on the fourth floor of the Jerome Library. The substantial collection of films in the Ralph H. Wolfe Video Viewing Center in Hanna Hall is another valuable resource. Film Studies majors also benefit from BGSU’s state-of-the-art classrooms, which foster dialogue and student interaction.

Scholarships and Student Employment

The Department of Theatre and Film offers several student employment opportunities in theatre and film production to qualified undergraduates. These positions are hired on a competitive basis, with students submitting applications, letters of recommendation and completing an audition or interview. Students interested in obtaining an application packet should contact the Theatre and Film Department office, 212 Wolfe Center for the Arts. Exceptional students are selected to receive annual awards; these include the Edgar Fisher Daniels Prize, and the Dorothy and Lillian Gish Scholarship.

Study Abroad

Film Studies majors can participate in the special exchange program that has been established between the Department of Theatre and Film at BGSU, and the Department of Theatre, Film, and Television at the University of Wales. Students accepted into the program spend a semester or a year at the University of Wales in Aberystwyth; its Department of Theatre, Film, and Television Studies is one of the most respected film and media programs in the United Kingdom.

Student Organization

The student organizations UFO (University Film Organization) and BG Reel are a remarkable resource for anyone interested in cinema. UFO/BG Reel hold joint weekly meetings that provide information about a range of topics. They coordinate 48 Hour Film competitions throughout the year; these productions and the screenings of the completed projects are open to everyone on campus. UFO/BG Reel also organize the Film and Media Festival, a venue where student films in different categories (comedy, drama, experimental, documentary) are screened for campus audiences and industry professionals, who serve as judges. UFO/BG Reel members do student productions; they also organize workshops and field trips to festivals and production facilities in the area.

Campus Film Series

The Department of Theatre and Film sponsors Tuesdays at the Gish, a fall and spring film series curated and hosted by graduate and undergraduate students. These screenings feature cult classics and independent films. BGSU is also home to the International Film Series, which takes place fall and spring in the Gish Theater on Thursday evenings. The Sunday Matinee series, which screens silent and classic films on Sunday afternoons, also takes place fall and spring.

Special Opportunities

Film Studies majors have many opportunities to contribute to BGSU film culture. Some students review movies for the campus newspaper, while others help faculty coordinate the International Film Series. Film Studies majors also participate in research panels presented at the BGSU Film and Media Festival.

Preparation for College

Preparation in history, the sciences, mathematics and foreign language will help students meet University requirements. Students must have developed good writing and communication skills; they should also acquire knowledge about film and media from different time periods and different countries.

Completing high school graduation requirements is necessary for admission to BGSU, but finishing only the minimum coursework will leave you unprepared for college. Four years of mathematics is the best preparation. Also, if not available at your high school, locate ways to take four years of the same foreign language. You will benefit from competency in computer use. Courses that provide exposure to the visual and performing arts are also excellent choices.

For Further Information

Internet Access

BGSU's website for future students contains University highlights, admissions procedures, financial aid information and many department profiles. It can be accessed at

The University

Bowling Green State University is a vibrant university that engages, challenges and prepares students for meaningful futures. At BGSU, students enjoy an education that integrates personal growth, academic excellence and an environment that expands their thinking and potential. A mid-size residential university, BGSU has an enrollment of approximately 20,000 and a full-time faculty of more than 900 on its main campus. More than 200 undergraduate majors and programs are offered as well as master's and doctoral level programs.

NOTE: Information in this guide is subject to change without notice. To learn more about the official program of study for Film Studies, please check the undergraduate catalog online at: