Jun 25, 2024  
2021-2022 University Catalog 
2021-2022 University Catalog [Archived Catalogue]

Film Design, BFA

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Nick Embree, Program Co-Director

Wendy Weinberg, Program Co-Director



The Film Design BFA program is an exploration of the creative and artistic areas of design involved in filmmaking. The program is intended to develop film artists such as production designers, art directors, and designers of costumes, sets, lighting, and sound.

The program introduces students to each of these artistic focus areas in film – costumes, sets, lighting, sound, and technical production. After this foundation in film design, the program builds student experience and skills in one or two chosen areas through a series of practicum courses – mentored guidance for a set of realized film projects. The program is capped with a thesis project in the final year that involves realized design work on a film project and thorough documentation and formal presentation of the artistic process and methods involved.

Program Objectives

Graduates of the Film Design program will:

  • Understand the duties and functions of the various artists and technicians working in the film industry in production design roles (production designers, art directors, designers, film production staff members, etc.), and be able to perform professionally in one or more of these roles.
  • Know and understand the history and development of film design and production and be able to identify, discuss, and apply the relevant styles, methods, and genres to new film projects.
  • Be able to identify screenplay requirements and opportunities and to make creative, artistic, and strong production design choices to enhance work on a film project.
  • Be proficient in finding, presenting, and applying visual and factual research in order to inform, describe, and develop creative ideas.
  • Synthesize techniques and knowledge from multiple areas of production design to enhance a project (combining film design methods with those used in theater, for example).
  • Be able to present, discuss, and negotiate between production design proposals to arrive at a collaborative and integrated project proposal, and to carry out the resulting project as effective members of the creative team.

Program Requirements (120 credits)

Program Requirements (62.5 credits)

Critical Studies (33 credits)

Composition (6-9 credits)

Students are placed into one of the following composition sequences after the completion of a writing placement exam. Students who do not complete the exam may be placed based on standardized tests scores (if available) or high school GPA.

CRIT Choice (9 credits)

  • Select 3 courses from subject CRIT

Science (3 credits)

  • Select 1 course from subject ANTH, PSYC, SOCI or SCIE

Critical Studies Electives (12-15 credits)

Students who complete the developmental composition sequence complete 12.0 credits of CS electives; all other students complete 15.0 credits.

  • Select courses from subjects:
    • AHST (Art History), HIST (History)
    • FRCH (French), ITAL (Italian), LITT (Literature)
    • PHIL (Philosophy), RELI (Religion)
    • SCIE (Science)
    • ANTH (Anthropology), PHIL (Philosophy), PSYC (Psychology), SOCI (Sociology)  
  • Select courses from  : Art History or Critical Studies Elective.

General Electives (15.5 credits)

  • Complete 15.5 credits. This requirement is satisfied by any undergraduate course that isn’t required by the program.

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