Film and Media

American University

Program Description

Film and Media

American University

The Film and Media Arts Program provides undergraduate students with a professional skill set in photography, film, video, and digital media for successful careers in the media industry. Students can take advantage of Washington, DC internships at national media organizations, such as USA Today, National Geographic Television, and the Public Broadcasting System. Students are positioned at the forefront of social purpose filmmaking at nonprofits, NGOs and government agencies such as the World Wildlife Fund and Smithsonian Museum, and the National Park Service.

Admission to the Program

Formal admission to the major requires a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale). Students should declare their major by the end of the sophomore year and no earlier than the end of the freshman year. Students who are unable to achieve a cumulative grade point average of 2.50 and declare a major in communication are not allowed to take courses in the school after they have completed 60 hours of undergraduate credit.

  • 120 credit hours with a cumulative GPA of 2.00 or better
  • Completion of college writing requirement
  • Completion of university mathematics requirement

General Education Requirements

  • A total of ten courses, consisting of two courses from each of the five foundational areas
  • At least one course from Area Five: The Natural and Mathematical Sciences must include a laboratory science component
  • No more than two courses may be taken in the same discipline

Major Requirements

  • 39-42 credit hours with grades of C or better within the School of Communication including core, basic, professional, media studies, internship, independent study and independent reading courses.
    • Subject to the approval of an advisor, a maximum of 12 credit hours in communication transferred from another university may be substituted for required communication courses.
    • With the approval of the student's advisor, up to 6 credit hours taken abroad may be applied toward the communication major requirements.
  • Related course requirements taken outside the School of Communication with grades of C or better. Note: These courses are not included in the major GPA.
    • 3 credit hours in United States history (HIST-xxx).
    • 3 credit hours in economics (ECON-xxx) or MKTG-250.
    • A minor or second major outside the School of Communication.
  • Minimum 2.50 cumulative GPA.

Course Requirements

Related Requirements Complete the following with grades of C or better: United States History

  • 3 credit hours in United States history (HIST-xxx)

Economics or Marketing

  • 3 credit hours in economics (ECON-xxx)


  • MKTG-250 Fundamentals of Marketing and Business for Communications (3) (3)

Outside Minor or Second Major

  • A minor or second major outside of the School of Communication

Communication Requirements (39-42 credit hours) Core (9 credit hours)

  • COMM-100 Understanding Media FA4 (3) (3)
  • COMM-105 Visual Literacy FA1 (3) (3)
  • COMM-200 Writing for Communication (3) (3)

Basic (9 credit hours)

  • COMM-250 Digital Imaging (3) (3)
  • COMM-330 Principles of Photography (3) (3)
  • COMM-331 Film and Video Production I (3) (3)

Professional (21-24 credit hours) Intermediate (9 credit hours) Required

  • COMM-382 Writing for Visual Media (3) (3)

At least 6 credit hours from the following:

  • COMM-434 Film and Video Production II (3) (3)
  • COMM-435 Studio Television Production (3) (3)
  • COMM-453 Web and Mobile Development (3) (3)
  • COMM-454 Motion Graphics and Effects I (3) (3)
  • COMM-479 Fine Art Photography (3) (3)
  • COMM-528 Community Documentary: Stories of Transformation (3) (3)

Film and Media Studies (6 credit hours) Complete 6 credit hours from the following:

  • COMM-365 Digital Media and Culture (3) (3)
  • COMM-408 Social Media Strategies and Tactics (3) (3)
  • COMM-411 History of Documentary (3) (3)
  • COMM-412 Social Documentary (3) (3)
  • COMM-413 Producing Film and Video (3) (3)
  • COMM-414 History of Cross-Cultural Cinema (3) (3)
  • COMM-415 Children, Youth, and Digital Culture (3) (3)
  • COMM-416 Topics in Film and Media Arts (3) (3)
  • COMM-477 History of Photography (3) (3)
  • COMM-503 Broadcast and Multimedia Journalism Management (3) (3)
  • COMM-514 Censorship and Media (3) (3)
  • COMM-520 History of Animation (3) (3)
  • COMM-524 Producing Environmental and Wildlife Films (3) (3)
  • COMM-558 Survey of American Cinema (3) (3)
  • COMM-564 Documentary Storytelling for Social Change (3) (3)
  • COMM-569 Executive Suite (3) (3)

Advanced (6-9 credit hours) Additional credit hours may be selected from the following, or as approved by the academic advisor, to bring the total to 39-42 credit hours:

  • COMM-391 Communication Careers Internship (2) (2)


  • COMM-491 Senior Professional Internship (3) (3)
  • COMM-438 Production Practicum (1-3) (1-3)
  • COMM-455 Motion Graphics and Effects II (3) (3)
  • COMM-456 Dramatic Production (3) (3)
  • COMM-463 Techniques and Aesthetics of Editing (3) (3)
  • COMM-464 Directing Actors for Camera (3) (3)
  • COMM-466 Advanced Writing for Film (3) (3)
  • COMM-471 Film Technology and Practice (9) (9) (Prague)
  • COMM-476 Photojournalism and Social Documentary (3) (3)
  • COMM-478 Large Format and Commercial Photography (3) (3)
  • COMM-483 Advanced Writing for Documentary Film (3) (3)
  • COMM-484 Advanced Writing for Television (3) (3)
  • COMM-486 Documentary Production (3) (3)
  • COMM-556 Cross-Cultural Film and Video Production (3) (3)
  • COMM-557 Art of Visual Storytelling: From Concept to Storyboards (3) (3)
  • COMM-560 Backpack Documentary (3) (3)
  • COMM-565 Advanced Visual Media Portfolio (3) (3)
  • COMM-568 Environmental Filmmaking for Public Television (3) (3)

Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees

American University offers students the opportunity to earn both undergraduate and graduate degrees through its combined bachelor's/master's programs. See Combined Bachelor's and Master's Degrees for more information.

This school offers programs in:
  • English

Last updated January 3, 2019
Duration & Price
This course is Campus based
Start Date
Start date
Sept. 2019
Full time
USA - Washington, District of Columbia
Start date : Sept. 2019
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info
Sept. 2019
USA - Washington, District of Columbia
Application deadline Request Info
End date Request Info