Cinema Requirements

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The major in cinema is focused on the history, theory, and practice of the still and moving image within the broader framework of evolving technologies and an education in media arts that is grounded in the arts and the humanities.  The course of study favors the integration of theory and practice and emphasizes experimentation and exploration across cinema, photography and their varied extensions in analog, digital, computational and intermedia arts practices, e.g., installation, performance, and immersive environments. It prepares students for careers in fine arts, commercial, professional, and educational settings; to explore the social, cultural, and political implications of media arts and culture; and, to engage with contemporary media arts practices.

The major has a specialization in Media Arts. Beginning with a set of foundational courses that integrate theory and practice and offer an interdisciplinary introduction to media arts, students may select from intermediate and advanced courses to specialize in the Media Arts specialization. The foundational courses parallel titles in both studies and practice and comprise of: Still Image and Photo; Moving Image; Sound; Performance. These lead to intermediate and advanced courses that lead to a specialization in Media Arts. Students in the Media Arts specialization are free to pick intermediate and advanced courses (provided they have completed the pre-requisites). Within the specialization, student choose emphases areas, such as: screenwriting, cinema production, and studies; experimental processes, new media history and production, documentary practices and studies, and special topics and master classes in specialized and interdisciplinary investigations of cinema, and expanded media arts. See suggested curricular guides and course descriptions.

Students are urged to declare the major and select the specialization as soon as possible. In all cases, grades below C in any Cinema courses will not be accepted for fulfilling requirements in the major and in some cases course grades of B (3.00) or better are required. See course descriptions for prerequisite requirements. Without exception, Cinema courses in which students have received grades of D, F, AU, or INC cannot be used to satisfy prerequisite requirements for other Cinema courses.

Courses in Cinema may have limited enrollments, especially advanced courses. Not all courses are offered each semester. Admission to certain Cinema and Mass Communication and Media Arts (MCMA) courses is restricted, and consent of department or permission of instructor must be obtained prior to registration. Consent of department to register for some courses may be based upon grade point average, performance in the program, and submission of creative portfolio, scholarly papers, and/or written proposals for work to be accomplished. Students are encouraged to plan well in advance to ensure meeting course prerequisites and to fulfill all requirements of the major.

Student enrollment in Cinema may be canceled for those who do not attend all class meetings during the first week of classes.

All students in the major take CIN 100, CIN 300A-D and CIN 360 A-D to complete the Foundations in the major. Subsequently, they design their own programs of student within the requirements for any of the three specializations.

For the Media Arts Specialization, students will enroll in: CIN 101, 15 credits of CIN 400-level courses, as well as 12 credit hours of 300 or 400 level CIN courses. These courses must include six credits of studies (history/theory/criticism), 3 credits at the 400 level and an additional 3 credits at either the 300 or 400 level. No more than six credit hours from a combination of CIN 491, CIN 492, CIN 494, CIN 495, and CIN 497 may count toward the Cinema Specialization.

Students in the specialization are required to complete a University-approved minor of at least 15 credits, with the exception of transfer students. Any student transferring into the major of Cinema with 50 or more credit hours of prior coursework from another institution will not be required to complete a minor. With the advice of the department advisor and/or the department chair, students are encouraged to match their minor field with this academic interests, within or outside of their major. Cinema major students choosing to minor in Cinema, Animation or Visual and Screen Cultures may not double count credits for their major and minor requirements. In the case where the same course is required for both the major and minor Cinema, the course will be attributed to the major and an additional elective course must be completed for the minor in place of these course credits.

Students must purchase materials for some Cinema production courses, we encourage students to own a DSLR camera capable of capturing still photos and recording video and a laptop (specifics posted on the department website), and an external hard drive. In still photography production courses, student provide their own DSLR camera and an external hard drive, film, photographic paper and certain specialized chemicals. Digital imaging courses require students to provide storage media and pay fees for materials for digital printing in departmental facilities. An equipment usage fee is charged for each cinema and intermedia production course. A screening fee is charged in each course that depends on presentation of course content on DVDs, film, slides, and/or videos.

A maximum of 60 credit hours of Cinema course work may be used to complete the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. For the Media Arts Specialization, a minimum of 49 credit hours are required; up to 11 additional credit hours in Cinema coursework may be used toward electives. Electives are defined as coursework outside the University Core Curriculum requirements and the requirements of the chosen specialization in the Cinema major.

All students in the Cinema major must complete three credit hours from either the School of Journalism (JRNL) or the School of Media Arts with a grade of C or better. Courses being used to fulfill a University Core Curriculum requirement may not also be used to fulfill a Cinema major requirement.

Students transferring credits from another institution must complete a minimum of 35 credit hours of their Cinema major coursework at SIUC.

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Cinema

B.A. Cinema - Specialization in Media Arts Degree Requirements

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
Cinema Major Requirements 46 (49)
Cinema Foundation Courses 19
CIN 100, CIN 300A, CIN 300B, CIN 300C, CIN 300D, CIN 360A, CIN 360B, CIN 360C, CIN 360D
Media Arts Specialization Requirements 27 (30)
CIN 101 3
CIN 400-level electives 12
CIN 400 level Studies elective 3
CIN 300 or 400 level electives 9
CIN 300 or 400 level Studies elective 3
No more than six credit hours from a combination of CIN 491, CIN 492, CIN 494, CIN 495, and CIN 497 may count toward the Media Arts Specialization requirements.
Journalism or Radio, Television and Digital Media Course 3
University Approved Minor 15
Not required for transfer students with 50 credits or more from another institution)
Electives 17
A maximum of 60 credit hours of CIN course work may be used to complete Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. A minimum of 49 credit hours of CIN Coursework is required for the Media Arts Specialization and up to 11 additional credit hours in CIN course work may be used toward electives.
Total 120
Must include 42 credit hours of 300-400 level, senior institution coursework. Must complete either last 30 credit hours or a total of 90 credit hours at SIU.

Minors in Cinema

Students completing any of the four minors below must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours toward their minor at SIU. CIN 491, CIN 494, CIN 495, CIN 497A, and CIN 497B may not count toward any School of Media Arts minor.

Cinema major students choosing to minor in Animation, Cinema, or Visual and Screen Cultures may not double count credits for their major and minor requirements. In the case where the same course is required for both the Cinema major and minor, the course will be attributed to the major and an additional elective course must be complete for the minor in place of these course credits to reach the total credit hours required for the minor.

Visual and Screen Cultures Minor

The Minor in Visual and Screen Cultures allows students to specialize in the study of cinema and other visual media, with emphasis on the history, theory, and criticism of these art forms. Students who wish to minor in Visual and Screen Cultures must successfully complete at least 20 semester hours. The student must complete CIN 101: Film History and Analysis, AD 310: History of Photography or CIN 441: History of New Media, CIN 360 A-D: Media Studies Foundations, one three credit studies elective at the 400-level and one three credit studies elective at the 300- or 400-level. All courses for the minor must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

Animation Minor

A total of 20 credit hours are required for the minor. The student must complete CIN 300A & CIN 300B Media Arts Foundations (with a grade of B or better), CIN 360A & CIN 360B Media Studies Foundations, CIN 464-3 History and Theory of Animation and six credit hours of 300- or 400-level designated elective courses selected from: CIN 454, CIN 473 and animation topics such as Experimental Animation, Flash Animation, and Stop-Motion Narrative Animation, offered under CIN 470A, CIN 470B, CIN 472 or approved related courses. All courses for the Minor in Animation must be completed with a grade C or higher, with the exception of CIN 300 A-D, which must be completed with a grade of B or better.

Cinema Minor

The minor in Cinema offers students a foundation in the history, theory and critical analysis of cinema and the hands-on production of films. Students who wish to minor in Cinema must complete a total of 20 credit hours of Cinema coursework including; CIN 101-3 Film History and Analysis and CIN 300 A-C Media Arts Foundations, both with grades of B or better, and complete CIN 360B Media Studies: Moving Image and Cinema and 9 additional credit hours of Cinema coursework with grades of C or better.

Three-Year Curriculum Plan

The School of Media Arts offers a three-year graduation plan option for students entering the program as freshmen. Students who attempt to pursue this plan will successfully complete 40 credit hours per academic year. For more information, please contact the Cinema academic advisor.