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Frequently Asked Questions

For prospective undergraduate students interested in the film and digital media major at UCSC

What makes the FDM major at UCSC different from other film programs? 

The film and digital media major at UCSC offers an integrated curriculum involving theory, criticism, cultural analysis, and critical practice that study the aesthetics and techniques of film and digital media.  Students in our major develop an understanding of major movements in world cinema and different aesthetic approaches to the medium, while also studying the cultural impact of television and the rise of video and digital art in recent decades. Students who pursue the general major are allowed and encouraged to take up to two production-related courses, offering all FDM majors the opportunity to gain a basic understanding of screenwriting, digital media, and/or film production skills. While most programs focus only on media history or teaching production skills, our program aims to combine historical and cultural research with artistic practice.  

Do students who intend to pursue the Film and Digital Media major need to submit a portfolio of their work when applying for admission to UCSC?

Our major is a non-screening major, therefore no portfolio is required when applying for admission to UCSC. Students interested in pursuing the FDM major can “propose” it on their application or during their first year at UCSC. Students become eligible to declare the major after they have completed major qualification courses. For more information on the declaration process, please visit:

What type of equipment does the department have available for students?  What are our facilities like? 

Please refer to the facilities page on the FDM website for a complete listing of production equipment, as well as projection equipment used in our history/critical studies classes

Slugfilm is FDM’s production website and has resources for production, equipment and facilities information and links to student work.

Do we offer any courses in animation?

Our curriculum currently includes a small number of digital animation courses and will continue to grow in that area.  Students may also augment their academic plan with animation courses offered through the UCSC Digital Arts and New Media program and/or the Art Department. Some of these courses serve as course substitutions and can satisfy FDM major requirements. 

Does the department have an internship program?  How do students obtain internships?

Participating in an internship in not required for our program.  That said, many FDM undergraduates complete internships during the academic year or over the summer while enrolled at UCSC.  Internship opportunities for students are available through the Office for Art Student Success and through the UCSC Career Success Office. The department also sends out a bi-weekly newsletter for undergraduates that advertises various opportunities, including film festivals, scholarships, workshops, volunteer opportunities and internships.  

If a student would like to receive academic credit for an internship, the department provides guidelines that explain the policy and procedure for an independent field study.  For more information, please see

How do students utilize their degree in Film and Digital Media? Do they find work in their field?

Graduates of the film and digital media program have established careers as professionals in the fields of film, video, television, and digital media, working as filmmakers, editors, digital media artists, film archivists, media educators, film festival curators, script analysts, cinematographers, television producers, computer programmers, and studio executives. All FDM graduates gain valuable critical analysis/thinking, research and writing skills that provide a solid foundation for a variety of careers and graduate programs. FDM graduates have a strong track record of gaining admission to the top graduate programs for M.A., M.F.A., and Ph.D. degrees, including USC, UCLA, NYU, Columbia, Chapman, the American Film Institute, Cal Arts, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.