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Film and Video Studies

Film and Video is an interdisciplinary program grounded in production, theory, aesthetics, history, culture, and criticism. You will analyze, interpret, integrate, and apply the foundational theories of visual storytelling. You will create and capture the motion image through hands-on production courses. As self-motivated students you will be able to map out an interdisciplinary, individualized program for further study of film and video in both academic and practical contexts. Students will choose between one of two majors, Film & Video Studies or Film & Video Production.  The studies major is an extremely flexible major that qualifies for CLA Degree in 3, allows opportunities for academic, cultural, and global, and generally enables the student maximum potential for individual program development.  The production major is a much more hands-on major, taking dedicated students through all phases and aspects of the production process.  The production major focuses on hands-on, experiential education with room to develop an optional concentration of expertise (Directing, Editing, Cinematography, Screenwriting, Production Design or Live Events) or create a general/broad based program.  Both majors offer opportunities to work alongside students majoring in Theatre, English, Art & Design, and Languages & Cultures as well as seek out opportunities for great internships and even paid work experience throughout your time at Purdue!

Bobby Chastain ( Director, Film and Video Studies

Course Offerings

Career Prospects

Individuals who intend to work in any artistic and highly competitive field should maintain a realistic perspective about the personal and professional demands one must face in choosing such a career. While no degree or school can guarantee a livelihood in this area, Purdue's Film & Video program can allow the self-motivated student to create a solid interdisciplinary, individualized foundation program for further study of film, video, and developing media or entry into the workforce in a creative capacity. Many Film & Video graduates have successfully used their major in a variety of creative occupations.

To maximize their job prospects after graduation, students are encouraged to develop additional experiences through internships, co-curricular projects, capstones, certificates, and/or minors.  Students should also connect their career goals with their interests and abilities by actively seeking real-world opportunities throughout their college career.

View this article about an alumnus' work with SNL during COVID-19.

Getting Started

A Film and Video major can be the foundation for a wide variety of career choices. For example, students with a strong interest in animation might choose to study courses from Art & Design, and Computer Graphics Technology. Similarly, students with an interest in more technical areas might double major with Electrical or Mechanical Engineering Technology in the Polytechnic Institute. Sports, Entrepreneurship, History, Philosophy, Business, Dance, Theatre, Art, Education, Creative Writing, other Languages, Women’s Studies, African American Studies…the possibilities for minors are almost endless!  Students work closely with the faculty and their Liberal Arts adviser to select coursework both inside and outside the major to satisfy their education goals. This requires planning at three levels:

  1. Selecting the right courses from within the Film and Video program.
  2. Selecting complementary courses from certificates, minors, additional majors, or from across the University.
  3. Developing a portfolio of work; including internships, outside of class projects, and other professional and pre-professional opportunities.

An internship is a semester or summer long opportunity to work in a campus, community, or national organization or company as a student employee. The work provides the students with opportunities to learn about various jobs and to gain exposure to occupations and aspects of their field of study that they might not have known about. 

As an intern, students are basically employees of a company or organization.  Internships receiving academic credit may be paid or unpaid. To qualify for the program, an internship must offer an environment for the student to learn and grow from other professionals in their field.  This mentorship is what separates and internship from a regular job opportunity.  Additional CLA resources regarding internships may be found here:

Students selected for the program are expected to perform duties, meet deadlines, develop good work ethic, and behave professionally at all times.  The amount of responsibility assigned will depend on both the organization and the intern’s skill level.


Educational Goals

  • Present specific viewpoints in creative and cultural context

  • Develop influential/persuasion skills

  • Learn to synthesize information

  • Acquire interpretation skills

  • Practice reporting and editing skills

  • Create entertaining and persuasive messages

  • Evaluate ideas and presentation

  • Gather information and data; Compare and contrast evidence

  • Evaluate information and sources

  • Develop critical thinking skills

  • Encourage creativity and self expression

  • Measure media effects

  • Learn planning and managing skills

  • Work with deadlines

  • Work independently

  • Increase attention to details

  • Work in teams/small groups

  • Identify and manage different needs of individuals, groups, etc.

  • Understand institutional and cultural values

  • Collaborate in rewriting and editing with others

  • Explain processes, plans and concepts

Film Studies Related Occupations

Film Archives/Television production/Animator/Assistant Director/Camera Operator/Casting Director /Cinematographer/Censor Colorizing technician/Independent Filmmaker/Industrial Filmmaker/Producer/Script Supervisor/Screenwriter/Sound Editor/Visual Effects/Dramaturge/Critic/Lighting Technician/Production Assistant/Press Agent/Actor/Drama Coach/Sound & Special Effects/Prop Maker/Scriptwriter/Studio Merchandising/Distribution Company/Personal Assistant/Theater Manager/Film Production Instructor/Casting Assistant/Costume Design/Publicist/Rerecording mixer/Film Director/Story Editor/Talent Representative/Film Editor/Talent Agent/Multimedia Designer/Advertising Creative/Art Director/Teacher/Librarian/Professor

Note: No university can assure a career in film, television or multimedia - your success is based solely on your personal drive, dedication, attitude, and hard work toward specific career goals. As with any other field, obtaining your degree should be viewed as the beginning of your journey, not the end.