Major Requirements

Declaring the Film and Digital Media Major

Please note: Indicating a major at admission only demonstrates an interest in a field of study and is not a declaration of a major or a pre-major. You must complete the prerequisite coursework with the grade standard to officially declare a Film and Digital Media major or pre-major.

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Students who have completed one lower-division course (FILM 20A, 20B or 20C) with a minimum grade of "C" or better are eligible to declare the Film and Digital Media pre-major. Once students have declared the pre-major and complete the remaining requirements of FILM 20A and either 20B or 20C with a "C" or better, they are then automatically admitted to the major and do not have to meet with our adviser. 

Students who do not declare the pre-major are eligible to declare the Film and Digital Media major after the completion of FILM 20A and either 20B or 20C with a minimum grade of "C" or better.

Declaration Workshops
When students are ready to declare the Film and Digital Media pre-major or major, they will be required to attend a declaration workshop.  The department holds group pre-major/major declaration workshops every quarter and are advertised and scheduled during the beginning of each quarter.  At these workshops, students will learn more about the program and create an academic plan for finishing the major.  Most upper-division FDM classes are restricted to majors and pre-majors during enrollment, so we recommend that students declare the major before their junior year. 

Transfer students
The requirements to declare the FDM pre-major and major also apply to transfer students. Junior transfers who have been accepted into the university should attend our summer FDM orientation for junior transfers and consult with the department advisor prior to their enrollment date for fall quarter. Please visit the
Transfer Students page for more information. 

Note: These requirements apply to all incoming students. Official UCSC admissions and major requirements are published annually in the online UCSC General Catalog.  

2018-19 General Major Requirements

Lower Division Requirements (3 courses)

  • FILM 20A Introduction to Film Studies

Two additional 20 level courses:

  • FILM 20B Introduction to Television Studies
  • FILM 20C Introduction to Digital Media
  • FILM 20P Introduction to Production Technique (cannot be used towards declaring the major)

Upper Division Core Curriculum 

  • FILM 120 Introduction to Media Theory  

One Course from each of the following four groups

  • FILM 130 Silent Cinema
  • FILM 132A International Cinema to 1960
  • FILM 132B International Cinema 1960 to Present


  • FILM 134A American Film 1930 to 1960
  • FILM 134B American Film 1960 to Present


  • FILM 136A Experimental Film and Video
  • FILM 136B History of Television
  • FILM 136C History of New Media
  • FILM 136D Documentary Film and Video


  • FILM 194A Film Theory Seminar
  • FILM 194B Electronic Media Theory Seminar
  • FILM 194C New Media Theory Seminar
  • FILM 194D Film History Seminar
  • FILM 194E International Cinemas
  • FILM 194F Film and the Other Arts: Music and Dance
  • FILM 194G New(s) Media
  • FILM 194S Senior Seminar: Special Topics

Note: Any one of the seminar courses in the 194 series will satisfy the exit requirement for the major. Please read the general catalog for more information about the comprehensive requirement.  

and five upper-division elective courses are to be chosen from the following:

  • up to five additional upper-division history/critical studies courses in film and digital media (FILM 160 and FILM 180 series, and any extra FILM 130/132/134/136 in addition to core curriculum requirements)
  • up to two upper-division courses in film and digital media production (FILM 150 and FILM 170 series)
  • up to two upper-division courses offered by other departments or another institution; course substitutions must be pre-approved by the Film and Digital Media Department.  

Diversity Requirement
Students must include among these 13 courses at least one upper-division 5-credit course that focuses on diversity (i.e., non-Western, underrepresented ethnicity, gender, or sexual orientation). Students can fulfill the diversity requirement by completing a course from the FILM 132 or FILM 165 series. Also, specific offerings of FILM 168, National Cinema and Culture, will count towards the diversity requirement if pre-approved by the department.