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Major Requirements

Declaring the Film and Digital Media Major

If you are ready to declare the major, please follow these steps:

  1. Submit this form to initiate the major declaration process for Film and Digital Media.  

    • You will then be added to the Film and Digital Media Major Orientation and Declaration Workshop on Canvas (if you have not been added already).  

  2. Complete the Film and Digital Media Major Orientation and Declaration Workshop on Canvas
  3. Create and submit your academic plan in Canvas
    • Follow instruction in the workshop and share the link in the quiz at the end.  
  4. Petition to declare the Film and Digital Media major through your Student Portal.  

Prior to declaring the film and digital media major, students must pass FILM 20A and 20B or 20C with a grade of C or better.  Students may choose to take FILM 20P to fulfill the third lower-division requirement but this course does not count toward declaring the major. 


Most upper-division FDM classes are restricted to majors during enrollment.  We recommend that students declare the major by the end of their second year.  The requirements to declare the FDM major also apply to transfer students. Please visit the Transfer Students page for more information. 

These requirements apply to all incoming students. Official UCSC admissions and major requirements are published annually in the online UCSC General Catalog. Indicating a major at admission only demonstrates an interest in a field of study and is not a declaration of a major. You must complete the prerequisite coursework with the grade standard to officially declare a Film and Digital Media major.


2023-24 General Major Course Requirements 

Lower Division Requirements

  • 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 Courses

Core Curriculum 

Students in the general major complete the following required upper-division core curriculum:

  • FILM 120 Introduction to Media Theory  

One Course from each of the following three groups

Group 1:

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

Group 2:

  • FILM 134A American Film, 1930-1960 
  • FILM 134B American Film, 1960-Present 

Group 3:

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

Plus one course from the following to satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement:

  • 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 194H Ethics and Documentary Filmmaking
  • FILM 194S Senior Seminar: Special Topics
  • FILM 196A Senior Project in Narrative Production
  • FILM 196B Senior Project in Screenwriting
  • FILM 196C Senior Documentary Workshop
  • FILM 197 Senior Digital Media Workshop

and five upper-division elective courses are to meet the following criteria:

  • up to five additional upper-division 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.  
  • at least one course must focus on diversity, i.e. non-Western perspectives; races/ethnicities, genders, classes, sexualities or abilities (check the general catalog for more details).  

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 perspectives; races/ethnicities, genders, classes, sexualities or abilities. A list of courses that can satisfy the diversity requirement can be found in the department office or online in the general catalog.  

Disciplinary Communication (DC) Requirement

Students of every major must satisfy that major's upper-division Disciplinary Communication (DC) requirement.  A list of courses that satisfy the DC requirement can be found online in the general catalog.

Comprehensive Requirement

Seniors in the general film and digital media major satisfy the comprehensive requirement with a senior seminar.  A list of courses that can satisfy the comprehensive requirement can be found online in the general catalog.  

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