Skip to main content

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: What does SIS mean and why is Film & Video Studies incorporated with it?

A. SIS stands the School of Interdisciplinary Studies. In order to make a greater variety of programs available to students, the College of Liberal Arts established a number of programs which draw on faculty from various departments. At this time the courses in the Film and Video Programs are taught primarily by faculty and professional staff in the School of Languages and Cultures, the School of Design, Art and Performance, the English Department, and industry professionals. This unique collaborations allows students the advantage of learning from the best in all areas of Film and Video.

Q: What, exactly, is the name of this program? At times it is referred to as Film Studies, at others as Film/Video Studies?

A.  This program was born over 45 years ago as the Film Studies Program. Over time, as filmmakers began to use other media, the name of the program was expanded to include Video. The overall name for the entire program is Film and Video Studies Program. Within the program students may choose to major in Film & Video Studies or Film & Video Production. Additionally, there is a minor in Film & Video Studies and a certificate in Sports Studies and Production.

Q: What does the Film and Video Studies program offer me?

A.  Our Film and Video Studies program has always offered an excellent liberal arts education in global national cinemas, film history, film criticism, ethnic and gender studies. Additionally, we offer professionally oriented production courses in all areas of Film and Video production. Students begin with a foundational course that breaks down the overall components of a professional production. Students may then continue on to study specific topics in Producing, Directing, Editing, Cinematography, Screenwriting, and/or Production Design.  We also offer additional experiential coursework in Live Event and Sports Video Production, internships, and the opportunity to develop a capstone film!  Here in Purdue Film and Video Programs, we believe in a broad based approach that allows students to explore all areas of aesthetics, criticism, and professional production and develop a variety of skills to prepare them for future success in any field.  Our approach also allows the students to pursue a variety of story telling forms, both fiction and non-fiction, throughout the production program.

Q: What is the difference between majoring in Film & Video Studies versus Film & Video Production?

A.  The Film & Video Studies Major is a 33 credit hour major requiring 24 credits of Studies courses (aesthetics, criticism, culture, history, etc.) and 9 credits of Production courses. With lower credit requirements, there is more flexibility in the remaining coursework. This degree is ideal for a student looking for the great liberal arts education.  For those looking to complete their degree as quickly as possible, this major qualifies for the Degree in 3 program.  This is a great major for Degree+, for those students in other colleges looking for a great second major in liberal arts.  A student looking to pursue law school in the future, in any field but especially entertainment law, could benefit greatly from this major.  Perhaps a student already has a great deal of professional production experience already and wants to complete their degree quickly while broadening their other interests.  If so, this is also a great degree for you!

The Film & Video Production major is a 36 credit hour major requiring 12 credits of Studies courses and 24 credits of Production courses.  This is a more intensive major with somewhat less overall flexibility and does not qualify for Degree in 3.  Successful students pursuing this degree will maximize their production opportunities, and their portfolio of work. This program allows students the maximum production background, while also offering opportunity to focus on a particular field of production (Writing, Directing, Editing, Cinematography, Production Design, or Live Events/Sports,) or maintain a broad curriculum.
Both Degree are robust and excellent choices, the decision comes down to individual students goals and background.


Q: What kinds of experiential training can I expect as a Film Video Studies major?

A.  Industry experience, through internships and part time jobs, is crucial for gaining future employment in any industry. There are a variety of opportunities for paid and nonpaid experience both on and off campus.  On campus, students can reach out to our partners such as Purdue Marketing and Media, Hall of Music Productions, Intercollegiate Athletics, and more!  Off campus, students have found internships with local marketing companies and television news stations.  Students have earned opportunities on films and television shows. Students have created their own small businesses and began to build client bases for their future.  Students have been to New York (on Jimmy Fallon and Saturday Night Live), to Los Angeles and Chicago, and to Nashville to work in Live music and sports. The Big Ten Network takes interns from all over the Big Ten conference, and Purdue is one of the best!

The one thing that all of these opportunities have in common is that the students themselves seek out these opportunities based on their personal goals, and resources.  Our staff is always ready and willing to help and guide students, but the work is up to you.  More information can be found throughout this website as well as Purdue’s Liberal Arts Career Center:
As non-paid internships are common in Film and Video, check out the “Job Ready” award to get a little financial assistance with these opportunities as well:

Q: What kinds of jobs can a Film Video Studies major expect to find upon graduation?

A.  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 and Video Programs 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 other areas of the workforce in a creative capacity. 

Some example jobs include:
Entrepreneur/Television Director/Content Creator/Entertainment Lawyer/Film Director/Story Editor/Animator/Assistant Director/Camera Operator/Casting Director /Cinematographer/Censor Colorist/Independent Filmmaker/Industrial Filmmaker/Producer/Script Supervisor/Screenwriter/Sound Editor/Visual Effects/Dramaturge/Critic/Lighting Technician/Production Assistant/Press Agent/Actor/Drama Coach/Audio Technician/Special Effects/Prop Maker/Location Scout/Merchandising/Distribution/Sales/Personal Assistant/Theater Manager/Film Production Instructor/Casting Assistant/Costume Designer/Critic/Publicist/Rerecording Mixer/ Talent Representative/Film Editor/Multimedia Designer/Advertising Creative Director/Art Director/Teacher/Librarian/Professor/Film Archives/Historian/Technical Director/Video Engineer

 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.