Cinema Studies

Where Critical Thinking Meets Creative Practice

The cinema studies major at the University of Oregon allows students to study moving image media at the intersection of intellectual study and creative practice. As a comprehensive liberal arts degree, the major cultivates an appreciation of the media arts, an ability to communicate ideas using a broad array of media, and a historical understanding of how various cultures tell their stories.

What You Can Do with a Degree in Cinema Studies

Students in the Department of Cinema Studies learn to work both as creators and as scholars. They read, think, and write, but also direct, shoot, and edit movies. As a result, they find they have a wide range of employment options when they begin their careers, including:

  • Producer/writer
  • Research analyst or scholar
  • Casting agent or associate
  • Production assistant or associate
  • Script assistant or associate
  • Script assistant or coordinator
  • Videographer
  • Creative director
  • Assistant director
  • Trailer editor
The Harlan J. Strauss Visiting Filmmaker event

The Harlan J. Strauss Visiting Filmmaker Endowment

Through the generosity of Harlan (PhD ’74) and Rima Strauss, the Department of Cinema Studies is the recipient of the Strauss Visiting Filmmaker Endowment, which brings successful industry filmmakers and emerging talents to campus annually to interact closely with students. This major gift offers our students a unique and potentially transformative opportunity to engage with highly successful practicing filmmakers through coursework, workshops, and public screenings and conversations.

Meet the Filmmakers  

Maura Turner

How a Degree in Cinema Studies Develops Your Career

"I'm proud to be a graduate of the Cinema Studies program at the University of Oregon and am so grateful for the community and classwork I got to experience while there. I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in 2014, and not long after landed a production internship at Pixar Animation Studios where I still work, nine years later. I'm currently a Feature Relations Marketing Manager working alongside each of our productions to ensure that our films are represented accurately in our product development and marketing efforts. My degree in Cinema Studies cemented a foundational knowledge, history, and love of filmmaking, and provided me with invaluable hands-on practical production and post-production experiences through classes and workshops hosted by the program, which helped me break into the film industry with confidence and the curiosity to learn more."

-Maura Turner '14, Feature Relations Marketing Manager, Pixar Animations Studio

Our Degree Programs

The cinema studies major is distinctive in the Northwest because of the breadth of its offerings, its integration of critical study and creative production, and its strength in global cinema. Because cinema is inherently multidisciplinary, students take diverse courses from across the university in history, criticism, and aesthetics, as well as in digital production.

Undergraduate Degrees
Cinema Studies faculty demos in front of students

Learn from Experts in the Field

The Department of Cinema Studies is a community of scholars, filmmakers, and staff dedicated to providing students with a well-rounded study of cinema, television, and other forms of media. Our scholarship, pedagogy, and practice explore a range of media objects and their contexts, including history, artistry, industry, identity, geopolitics, and systems of power. Our department's shared mission is to use our critical and creative tools to amplify underrepresented voices, interrogate power, drive change, and be at the cutting edge of filmmaking practice and its academic study.

students filming

Get Real-world Experience

Our students extend their learning beyond the classroom through numerous hands-on learning opportunities. Immerse yourself in another culture while studying abroad, develop vital job skills in an internship, or conduct original research on a topic that sparks your interest.

Scholarships and Funding

Students in the Department of Cinema Studies can seek funding through the College of Arts and Sciences, which awards various scholarships both to incoming students and to those already attending the UO. In addition to university-wide opportunities for funding and scholarships, the Cinema Studies Department offers two scholarships to its undergraduate students: the James Ivory Undergraduate Essay Award.

Undergraduate Scholarships

Academic Support

Cinema studies majors can seek support from advisors in Tykeson Hall for help understanding their major or minor requirements, planning their course of study, exploring study abroad opportunities, and more.

Undergraduate Advising 

Cinema Studies News and Events

April 5, 2024
CINEMA STUDIES, THEATRE ARTS - Built in the late 1800s, University and Villard halls haven't been state-of-the-art in a long time. But $68 million interior and exterior construction work is bringing new life to the two iconic University of Oregon buildings, which will host new facilities for the cinema studies and theatre arts departments.
January 17, 2024
CINEMA STUDIES - Assistant Professor Masami Kawai gained insight into the importance of story last spring at the Sundance Institute in Utah. She was among those selected for a two-week workshop during which—under the eye of talents such as actor Ed Harris, a four-time Academy Award nominee—filmmakers rehearsed, shot, and edited scenes from working projects.
October 23, 2023
BIOLOGY, CINEMA STUDIES, ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE, GEOGRAPHY - From animals to adhesives to DJ food stamp, students in First-year Interest Groups follow their fascinations and create community.

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The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair
The BIG 10+ Academia Career Fair Oct 16
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture
Bob Bussel Labor History Lecture Apr 24 William W. Knight Law Center

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