Film and Media Studies

Why Learn Film and Media Studies at K?

From YouTube to the box office, media has the power to change the cultural discourse and shape history.

As a film and media studies student, you will explore how mainstream and oppositional creative works engage their audiences, shape their understanding, and affect the broader culture. You will do this by critically engaging with films’ aesthetic craftsmanship and the history in which they were made. For example, you will investigate issues of ethics, politics, and economics through the portrayal of race, gender, and class in film production and consumption: how are these representations used, what do they communicate, and how are they visually and ideologically constructed? These core analytical skills will prepare you to be a conscientious consumer and an aware creator. 

You will develop these abilities through courses on the history, theory, and criticism of domestic and international film (E.g., Classical Hollywood, Manga/Anime and Gender in Modern Japan, and Advanced Film Theory), as well as applied courses on creating film and media (E.g., TV Studio Production, Documentary Video Production, and Lighting Design). As a deeply interdisciplinary concentration, you will take classes across English, philosophy, religion, music, art and art history, theatre, and language departments. 

The sharp analytical thinking, creativity, and writing skills you will develop as a film and media studies concentrator will prepare you for a career in film or to continue your studies in graduate school. Past students have been able to parlay their media coursework, research, and internships into successful careers in film and video production. 

What can you do with a Film and Media Studies concentration?

Below are some of the careers, employers, and graduate schools of our film and media studies alumni.


  • Cinematographer
  • Film Teacher
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Visual Effects Supervisor


  • The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute
  • Starz
  • Waymark
  • Toledo Museum of Art

Graduate Schools

  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Northwestern University
  • University of Southern California
  • Boston University
  • University of Texas at Austin

Program Spotlights

Students working together in class

Connect your film and media studies with your other academic interests

As a deeply interdisciplinary subject, you can tailor your concentration to best fit your other academic interests and future career goals. With courses in film theory, global media, and applied production you can dive deep into your passions–or you can sample them all! This breadth and flexibility have empowered our alumni to jumpstart their careers as filmmakers, academic researchers and creative professionals by giving them a strong foundation in the specific skills they needed for their professional futures.

Create your own projects in our film studio

To teach you how to produce, create, edit and star in your own productions, you will have access to our K studio, equipped with all the tools and technology you need to bring your ideas to the screen. You will learn how to use this equipment and execute your artistic vision in your applied film courses like TV Studio Production and Documentary Video Production. Then, with the guidance of our faculty staff, you can begin your filmmaking journey right here on campus!

Kalamazoo College students working in the media studies studio
Student working industrial lighting

Graduate knowing you have the skills to thrive

As a part of your studies at K, you will complete a Senior Integrated Project (SIP), a capstone experience where you can showcase all you have learned. Past film and media studies concentrators have used this as an opportunity to reflect on an internship in the media industry, create their own films, or take a deep dive into cinematic research. For example, Mio Taylor ‘20 combined their interests in film and AI in their SIP analyzing themes in Ex Machina and The Terminator, “Cyborgs, Big Tech, Big Data, Big Muscles: Artificial Intelligence in Popular Film.” 

Meet the Current Departmental Student Advisor

Ana Garcia

Ana Garcia (She/Her)

Major: Studio Art

Minor: Mathematics

Concentration: Film and Media Studies

What is the best thing about being part of this department?

There are all sorts of different people within the department with all sorts of interests. It’s nice to see that you share a common interest with these people.

What is your advice to first-years and sophomores about getting connected to this department?

Try classes within the department that are outside of your comfort zone! Those are the classes that will stick with you the most and maybe you’ll like them enough to want to pursue a path pertaining to film and media studies.

What has been your favorite class at K? Why?

Either my Lighting Design class with Lanny Potts or Intermediate Sculpture with Sarah Lindley. Both classes were extremely hands-on and required a lot of time outside of class. I felt they were challenging and incredibly rewarding at the end of the term.

What is your Senior Integrated Project (SIP)?

I’m pursuing a SIP in mixed media with the Art Department.

What are your career aspirations/next steps after K?

I’d love to get involved with an urban design company before I go back to school for a master’s in urban design.