Bachelor of Arts, Cinematic Arts, Critical Studies

The Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinematic Arts, Critical Studies is granted by the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences in conjunction with the School of Cinematic Arts. Undergraduate students take their pre-professional courses in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, including the general education requirements. Major courses are selected from the curriculum of the School of Cinematic Arts. The degree requires 128 units, including 28 lower-division and 24 upper-division units in cinematic arts. A maximum of 40 School of Cinematic Arts upper-division units will apply to the B.A. degree. Before graduating, critical studies majors are encouraged to take at least one small non-lecture class that emphasizes student critical writing or research papers. This category may include (but is not limited to): CTCS 402, CTCS 411, CTCS 412, CTCS 414, sections of CTCS 464 or CTCS 469 that require a D clearance, CTCS 494, and CTCS 495.

General Education Requirements

The university's general education program provides a coherent, integrated introduction to the breadth of knowledge you will need to consider yourself (and to be considered by other people) a generally well-educated person. This program requires six courses in different categories, as well as writing, foreign language and diversity requirements, which together comprise the USC Core. See the USC Core/General Education and General Education Program pages for more information.

Required Production Courses

Undergraduates admitted to The Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies Program are required to take CTPR 241 Fundamentals of Cinema Technique and CTPR 290 Cinematic Communication. These introductory production courses are taken concurrently during the junior year (see description below).

CTPR 241 is an experiential course dealing with the technical and aesthetic principles of producing, directing, cinematography, editing, sound and the development of ideas through a cinematic vocabulary.

In CTPR 290 each student makes four digital video movies, executing all the creative roles personally, and takes a crew position on a group project. Exploration of personal expression and diverse genres is encouraged, with emphasis on limited dialogue, visual and sound patterns. Approximately $1,000 should be budgeted for miscellaneous expenses, lab and insurance fees.

Required Courses

Course Number Course Name Units
CNTV 101 Reality Starts Here 2
CTCS 190 Introduction to Cinema 4
CTCS 191 Introduction to Television and Video 4
CTCS 192 Race, Class and Gender in American Film 4
CTCS 200 History of the International Cinema I 4
CTCS 201 History of the International Cinema II 4
CTCS 473 Film Theories 4
CTPR 241 Fundamentals of Cinema Technique (taken concurrently with CTPR 290) 2
CTPR 290 Cinematic Communication (taken concurrently with CTPR 241) 4
One course must be taken from the following list
CTCS 392 History of the American Film, 1925-1950 4
CTCS 393 History of the American Film, 1946-1975 4
CTCS 394 History of the American Film, 1977-present 4
Four courses must be taken from the following list
CTCS 367 Global Television and Media 4
CTCS 400 Non-Fiction Film and Television 4
CTCS 402 Practicum in Film/Television Criticism 4
CTCS 403 Studies in National and Regional Media 4
CTCS 404 Television Criticism and Theory 4
CTCS 406 History of American Television 4
CTCS 407 African-American Cinema 4
CTCS 409 Censorship in Cinema 4
CTCS 411 Film, Television and Cultural Studies 4
CTCS 412 Gender, Sexuality and Media 4
CTCS 414 Latina/o Screen Cultures 4
CTCS 464 Film and/or Television Genres 4
CTCS 469 Film and/or Television Style Analysis 4
CTCS 478 Culture, Technology and Communication 4
CTCS 482 Transmedia Entertainment 4
CTCS 494 Advanced Critical Studies Seminar 4
CTCS 495* Honors Seminar 4

* Honors students only.

Grade Point Average Requirements

A minimum grade of C (2.0) must be earned in all required and prerequisite courses. A grade of C- (1.7) or lower will not satisfy a major requirement.

Honors Program

The Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies offers an honors track for advanced students. Admission to the honors track is made at the end of the junior year and requires a 3.5 overall GPA. Completion of the honors track is dependent upon successful completion of a designated honors section of CTCS 495 during the senior year. In this course, students will work with faculty in a seminar environment and produce an advanced term paper based on original research and analysis.

Limitations on Enrollment

No more than 40 upper-division units can be taken within the major without prior approval of the Dean, USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

Registration in graduate level courses (numbered 500) for undergraduate credit requires prior approval from the School of Cinematic Arts.

Curriculum Review

Cinematic arts majors are expected to meet with an academic advisor every semester to review their progress. Contact the Cinematic Arts Student Services Office, SCB 105, (213) 740-8358, for an appointment.