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MSU now offering undergraduate film study degree

April 13, 2014

Students at MSU can now take their love for film and transform it into an undergraduate degree. The university will begin offering a Bachelor of Arts in film study in spring 2015.

The program will be housed in the Department of English and in the College of Arts and Letters.

Until the announcement, MSU was the only Big Ten school that didn’t offer a bachelor program in film studies. The only options students had was to have it as a concentration through a bachelors in English or a specialization in Fiction Film Production or Documentary Studies.

“We’re really happy this is moving forward,” director of film studies and assistant professor Joshua Yumibe said. “Particularly given that the moving image is still so central to our culture today, we’re really excited that students will be able to major in this.”

The Department of English has been developing the curriculum for film studies since the late 1980s. In 2008 it became a concentration for those pursuing a bachelors in English. Now, film studies will be its own exclusive major with courses designed specifically for it.

“What we’ve done is that we’ve converted this concentration into a full, free standing bachelor of arts in film studies,” Yumibe said. “This gives it more disciplinary unity and coherence and also it can be specifically identified as a bachelor in film studies.”

The major will be open to anyone who wants to pursue it. Everything will be housed through the Department of English.

Enrollment for the courses will be available in May once the conversion is finalized.

“It’s a majority of specific courses, but some of the courses are part of the English curriculum as well,” Yumibe said. “By and large, they are very film studies-oriented courses that teach students about the history, theory and criticism of film.”

Students who are currently enrolled in the concentration for film studies can still complete the courses as planned. The university also will continue to offer a minor in film studies, which will be open to all students.

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