Cinema and Photography Requirements

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The major in cinema and photography 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 three specializations: Cinema; Photography; and 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 one of the three specializations. The foundational courses parallel titles in both studies and practice and comprise of: Still Image and Photo; Moving Image and Cinema; Sound; Performance. These lead to intermediate and advanced courses that lead to a specialization in Cinema, Photography or Media Arts. Students in the Media Arts specialization are free to pick intermediate and advanced courses (provided they have completed the pre-requisites) from both the Cinema and Photography specialization. Within the specialization, student choose emphases areas, such as: fine arts and professional (applied) photography; 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, photography and expanded media arts. See suggest 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 and Photography 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 and Photography (CP) courses in which students have received grades of D, F, AU, or INC cannot be used to satisfy prerequisite requirements for other Cinema and Photography (CP) courses.

Courses in Cinema and Photography (CP) may have limited enrollments, especially advanced courses. Not all courses are offered each semester. Admission to certain Cinema and Photography (CP) 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 and Photography may be cancelled for those who do not attend all class meetings during the first week of classes.

All students in the major take CP 100, CP 300A-D and CP 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 Cinema Specialization, students will enroll in: CP 101, CP 400; 12 credits of cinema 400-level courses, as well as 9 credit hours of 300 or 400 level cinema courses. These courses must include six credits of cinema 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 CP 491, CP 492, CP 494, CP 495, and CP 497 may count toward the Cinema Specialization.

For the Photography Specialization, students will enroll in: CP 310, CP 320, CP 330, CP 332; as well as CP 404 or CP 431; CP 432 or CP 498; as well as six credits of additional 400-level photography courses. No more than six credit hours from a combination of CP 491, CP 492, CP 494, CP 495, and CP 497 may count toward the Photography Specialization. Students end their undergraduate experience with an emphasis either in commercial or fine art photography. For commercial photography, students take Cinema and Photography CP 431 an CP 432. For fine art photography, the course sequence is CP 404, and then CP 498. All photography students then show their final work at a public exhibition.

For the Media Arts Specialization, students will enroll in: CP 101, 15 credits of CP 400-level courses, as well as 12 credit hours of 300 or 400 level CP 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 CP 491, 492, 494, 495, and 497 may count toward the Media Arts Specialization.

Students in the three specializations 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 & Photography with 50 or more credit hours of prior coursework from another institution will not be required to complete an 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 & Photography major students choosing to minor in Cinema, Photography, 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 & Photography, 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 and Photography (CP) 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. A laptop computer is required, on which the appropriate photography editing software will run. Please consult the Academic Advisor for the specifics related to this requirement. Some photography students have found that owning additional items of equipment is advantageous. 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 laboratory fee is charged for each still photography 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 and Photography (CP) course work may be used to complete the Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. For the Cinema Specialization, a minimum of 47 credit hours are required; up to 13 additional credit hours in CP course work may be used toward electives. For the Photography Specialization, a minimum of 46 credit hours of CP coursework is required; up to 14 additional credit hours in CP Coursework may be used toward electives. For the Media Arts Specialization, a minimum of 49 credit hours are required; up to 11 additional credit hours in CP 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 and Photography major.

All students in the Cinema and Photography major must complete three credit hours from either the School of Journalism (JRNL) or the Department of Radio, Television and Digital Media (RTD) with a grade of C or better. Courses being used to fulfill a University Core Curriculum requirement, CP major or CP department minor requirement may not also fulfill this requirement.

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

Minors in Cinema and Photography

Students completing any of the four minors below must complete a minimum of 12 credit hours toward their minor at SIUC. CP 491, CP 494, CP 495, and CP 497A,B may not count toward any Cinema and Photography Department minor.

Cinema and Photography major students choosing to minor in Animation, Cinema, Photography 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 and Photography 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.

Animation Minor

A total of 20 credit hours are required for the minor. The student must complete CP 300A & B Media Arts Foundations (with a grade of B or better), CP 360A & B Media Studies Foundations, CP 301-3 Basic Drawing from Pencil to Pixels, CP 464-3 History and Theory of Animation and six credit hours of 300- or 400-level designated elective courses selected from: CP 454, CP 473 and animation topics such as Experimental Animation, Flash Animation, and Stop-Motion Narrative Animation, offered under CP 470A, CP 470B, CP 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 CP 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; CP 101-3 Film History and Analysis and CP 300 A-C Media Arts Foundations, both with grades of B or better, and complete CP 360B Media Studies: Moving Image and Cinema and 9 additional credit hours of Cinema coursework with grades of C or better.

Photography Minor

Students who wish to minor in Photography must successfully complete a total of at least 18 semester hours. The student must complete; CP 300A Media Arts, Still Image and Photography, CP 310: History of Photography, CP 320: Foundations of Photography, and CP 330: Intermediate Photography, and complete at least five credit hours of 300- or 400-level photography courses in order to obtain a minor. All courses for the minor in photography must be completed with a grade of C or higher.

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 whish to minor in Visual and Screen Cultures must successfully complete at least 20 semester hours. The student must complete CP 101: Film History and Analysis, CP 310: History of Photography or CP 441: History of New Media, CP 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.

Three-Year Curriculum Plan

The Department of Cinema and Photography 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 and Photography academic advisor.

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cinema and Photography

Photography Specialization

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
Requirements for the Photography Specialization in the Cinema and Photography Major 46
Cinema and Photography Foundation Courses 19
CP 100, CP 300A-D, CP 360A-D
Photography Specialization Requirements 27
CP 310, CP 320, CP 330, CP 332, CP 404, CP 432 21
Additional 400-level Photography courses 6
No more than six credit hours from a combination of CP 491, CP 492, CP 494, CP 495, and CP 497A,B may count toward the Photography 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 CP coursework may be used to complete Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. A minimum of 46 credit hours of CP coursework is required for the Photography Specialization and up to 14 additional credit hours in CP coursework may be used toward electives
Total 120

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cinema and Photography

Cinema Specialization

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
Requirements for the Cinema Specialization in the Cinema and Photography Major 44 (47)
Cinema and Photography Foundation Courses 19
CP 100, CP 300A-D, CP 360A-D
Cinema Specialization Requirements 25 (28)
CP 101 (UCC Fine Arts) (3)
CP 400, CP 300- or 400-level Studies Electives, CP 400-level Studies Elective, CP 300- or 400-level Electives, CP 400-level Electives
No more than six credit hours from a combination of CP 491, CP 492, CP 494, CP 495, and CP 497 may count toward the Cinema Specialization requirements.
Journalism or Radio, Television, and Digital Media course 3
University Approved Minor - (not required for transfer students with 50 credits or more from another institution) 15
Electives - A maximum of 60 credit hours of CP coursework may be used to complete Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. A minimum of 47 credit hours of CP coursework is required for the Cinema Specialization and up to 13 additional credit hours in CP coursework may be used toward electives. 19
A maximum of 60 credit hours of CP coursework may be used to complete Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. A minimum of 47 credit hours of CP coursework is required for the Cinema Specialization and up to 13 additional credit hours in CP coursework may be used toward electives
Total 120

Bachelor of Arts Degree in Cinema and Photography

Media Arts Specialization

Degree RequirementsCredit Hours
University Core Curriculum Requirements 39
Cinema and Photography Major Requirements 46 (49)
Cinema & Photography Foundation Courses 19
CP 100, CP 300A, CP 300B, CP 300C, CP 300D, CP 360A, CP 360B, CP 360C, CP 360D
Media Arts Specialization Requirements 27 (30)
CP 101 3
CP 400-level electives 12
CP 400 level Studies elective 3
CP 300 or 400 level electives 9
CP 300 or 400 level Studies elective 3
No more than six credit hours from a combination of CP 491, CP 492, CP 494, CP 495, and CP 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 CP course work may be used to complete Bachelor of Arts degree requirements. A minimum of 49 credit hours of CP Coursework is required for the Media Arts Specialization and up to 11 additional credit hours in CP 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 SIUC.