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Cinematic Arts and Film Studies

The study of film and filmmaking within a research university encompasses a wide range of strategies, techniques, subjects, and outcomes. From narrative and documentary filmmaking to experimental and unconventional approaches, the films made by faculty, alumni, and students at UC San Diego are truly exceptional in the landscape of cinematic arts across California.

Scholars of film at UC San Diego apply their academic focus not exclusively at the “canon” of Western European and American film history, but instead expand the field to include robust research of film from Latin America, East Asia, South Asia, Indigenous communities, as well as film arising from cultural traditions with in the U.S. including Black, Latinx/Chicanx, AAPI, Queer, and Feminist film.

The Cinematic Arts major is defined by its interdisciplinarity, bridging both film-studies and film practice pedagogy. The  major dives headlong into an expansive, existing campus-wide film-studies curriculum, and includes film production courses taught in the Visual Arts, Literature, and Theater & Dance departments, among others. Cinematic Arts brings together theory and practice, teaching students both the theoretical/critical approaches to film, but also practical techniques in film production. The Film Studies minor educates students in a conventional Humanities context, where students learn to critically analyze film and engage with a broad literature of film history and theory. 


Program Director

Daisuke Miyao

Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor

Jennifer Dieli
Program Coordinator and Academic Advisor
Ridge Walk Academic Complex - Arts and Humanities Building, 6th Floor, Room 655

Current UC San Diego undergraduate students, please use the Virtual Advising Center (VAC) for all advising questions.


Julie Burelle, Theatre and Dance

Amy Sara Carroll, Literature

Lisa Cartwright, Visual Arts

Alain Cohen, Literature

Jordan Crandall, Visual Arts

Zeinabu Davis, Communication

Andrew deWaard, Communication

Ben Dollar, Literature

Shlomo Dubnov, Music

Allan Havis, Theatre and Dance

Todd A. Henry, History

Erin Hill, Communication

Jaclyn Jemc, Literature

Dayna Kalleres, Literature

Todd Kontje, Literature

Curtis Marez, Ethnic Studies

Luis Martin-Cabrera, Literature

Andrea Mendoza, Literature

Daisuke Miyao, Literature

Silpa Mukherjee, Literature

Dana Velasco Murillo, History

Hoang Tan Nguyen, Literature

Victoria Petrovich, Theatre and Dance

Babak Rahimi, Literature

Deborah Stein, Theatre and Dance

Ameeth Vijay, Literature

Alena Williams, Visual Arts

Ping Zhu, Literature


Cinematic Arts Major


Students who complete the Cinematic Arts major will:

  • be introduced to the fundamentals of making, understanding, and analyzing film/cinema.
  • gain a broad historical and critical understanding of cinema history, including trends in the US and internationally.
  • learn fundamental production techniques including: cinematography, writing, editing, sound, animation, visual effects, directing, and presentation.
  • cultivate a critical understanding of their own work as filmmakers and scholars, with the ability to write and speak about the themes and impact of their work.
  • receive real-world experience in the form of internships, work-study, and student-led projects.
  • learn about the fundamentally collaborative nature of filmmaking, allowing them to identify areas within which they feel confident to pursue a practice beyond UC San Diego.


  • Seven 4-unit lower division core courses (28 units), distributed as follows:
    • Four core courses (16 units)
    • Three electives (12 units)
  • Twelve 4-unit upper division core courses (48 units); distributed as follows:
    • Five 4-unit Studies & History courses (20 units);
    • Four 4-unit Production courses (16 units);
    • One 4-unit Practicum course (4 units);
    • Two 4-unit Capstone/Thesis courses (8 units)



Film Studies Minor

Film Studies provides students an exciting opportunity to examine the many facets of U.S. and international cinema. Students interested in exploring cinema as a multidimensional art medium will engage in the analysis of cinematic works of various forms. Study of film genres, history, theories, directors, cultural perspectives and more, allow students to gain a broad understanding of cinema as a historical and contemporary means of expression.

The interdisciplinary nature of the Film Studies minor provides investigation of cinematic art through its connection to related fields such as Communication, Literature, Sociology, and Visual Arts. Students pursuing a minor in Film Studies exhibit a wide range of interests; from those who plan graduate study in film to those who simply wish to understand this powerful and influential medium.

The Film Studies Minor is a scholarly enterprise rather than a hands-on, art-making endeavor. It does not offer classes in filmmaking, video production, or working with film equipment.


Completion of seven courses (28 units), at least five (20 units) of which must be upper-division courses chosen from at least two different departments.


Course Offerings


Refer to the official UC San Diego General Catalog for a complete list of approved courses that will count toward a minor in Film Studies.

Course offerings are constantly changing. Please refer to the Schedule of Classes for the most up-to-date listing.

(*) Indicates course may be petitioned for credit. Instructions on How to Petition Courses.

Fall 2023

  • TDGE 10. Theatre and Film
  • COMM 103F. How to Read a Film
  • LTAF 120: Literature and Film of Modern Africa
  • LTEA 120B. Taiwan Films
  • LTWL 180. Film Studies and Literature: Film History
  • *LTWL 184 - Film Studies and Literature: Close Analysis of Filmic Text
  • *LTRU 104B. Advanced Practicum in Russian: Analysis of Text and Film
  • *LTRU 150/LTEU 154. Russian Culture. Topic: Soviet Speculative Fiction and Film
  • *TDGE 127. The Films of Spike Lee
  • TDGE 131. Playing Indian: Native American and First Nations Cinema

Winter 2024

  • TDGE 10. Theatre and Film
  • VIS 84. History of Film
  • COMM 106F. CI: The Film Industry
  • COMM 140. Cinema in Latin America 
  • ETHN 101. Ethnic Images in Film
  • *LTCO 281. Literature and Film. Topic:Ozu and Comparative Film Studies
  • *LTCS 119. Asian American Film, Video, & New Media: The Politics of Pleasure
  • LTEA 138. Japanese Films
  • LTWL 181. Film Studies and Literature: Film Movement
  • *LTRU 104C. Advanced Practicum in Russian: Analysis of Text and Film  
  • TDGE 124. Cult Films: Weirdly Dramatic
  • TDGE 125. Topics in Theatre and Film
  • LTCS 172. Special Topics in Screening Race/Ethnicity, Gender, and Sexuality "Disco Era Cinema"
  • LTWL 180. Film Studies and Literature: Film History "Genres"

Spring 2024

  • HILD 14. Film and History in Latin America
  • HIEA 154. Korean History Through Film
  • *ETHN 101TV. Ethnic Images in TV
  • *ETHN 143.Chicana/o Film & Media Studies
  • LTEA 120A. Chinese Films 
  • LTEA 120C. Hong Kong Films Films 
  • LTWL 183. Film Studies and Literature: Director's Work; Stanley Kubrick’s Masterworks 
  • *LTWL 120- Popular Literature and Culture "Pleasures of Bad Cinema"
  • LTWL 184 - Film Studies and Literature: Close Analysis of Filmic Text Bollywood 
  • *LTEN 181 - Asian American Literature "Transoceanic Film Corridors of Cinema."  
  • TDGE 124. Cult Films: Weirdly Dramatic
  • *TDGE 125. Topics in Theatre and Film: American Jewish Film Directors
  • *TDGE 125. Topics in Theatre and Film: Hatred and Benvolence

Fall 2024

  • HILD 14. Latin American History and Film 
  • TDGE 10. Theatre and Film 
  • TDGE 11. Great Performances on Film
  • VIS 84. History of Film 
  • ANSC 156. Mad Films: Cultural Studies of Mental Illness in Cinema
  • LTAF 120. Literature and Film of Modern Africa
  • LTEA 120C. Hong Kong Films
  • LTEA 142. Korean Film: Literature, and Popular Culture: Pop Cultures of Two Koreas
  • LTWL 183. Film Studies and Literature: Director’s Work
  • SOCI 105. Ethnographic Film: Media Methods
  • SOCI 184. Gender and Film
  • TDGE 124. Cult Films: Weirdly Dramatic
  • TDGE 125. Topics in Theatre and Film: Great Acting Moments in Film
  • TDPW 104. Screenwriting

First Year Seminars

Fall 2023

FILM 87 A00 - Film and Life (1 Unit) 
Instructor: Babak Rahimi
Day/Time: Wednesdays from 11:00am - 11:50am
Location: MCC 221
Section ID: 277509 

FILM 87 B00 - Banned Films (1 Unit) 
Instructor: Babak Rahimi
Day/Time: Wednesdays from 10:00am - 10:50am
Location: MCC 221
Section ID: 277586

Winter 2024 

FILM 87 A00 - Banned Films (1 Unit) 
Instructor: Babak Rahimi
Day/Time: Tuesdays from 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Location: MCC 221
Section ID: 306118

FILM 87 B00 - Film and Life (1 Unit) 
Instructor: Babak Rahimi
Day/Time: Tuesdays from 4:00pm - 4:50pm
Location: MCC 221
Section ID: 306119

Spring 2024

FILM 87 A00 - Banned Films (1 Unit) 
Instructor: Babak Rahimi
Day/Time: Tuesdays from 2:00pm - 2:50pm
Location: MCC 221
Section ID: 402794

FILM 87 B00 - Film and Life (1 Unit) 
Instructor: Babak Rahimi
Day/Time: Tuesdays from 3:00pm - 3:50pm
Location: MCC 221
Section ID: 402796

 Attention Students: If you have accrued 45 or more units, use the steps below to request registration in a First Year Seminar. All others may simply register.

  • Use the Enrollment Authorization System (EASy) to request enrollment
  • It can take several business days for the department to process your request
  • Due to the limited size of 20 for seminars, approval is not always guaranteed. Please plan accordingly to make sure you are submitting your request well in advance of any specific deadlines.