The Film and Video Studies degree is the first multidisciplinary undergraduate degree in Virginia focusing on cinematic arts production and film theory and history with core courses in ethics, business, writing for the moving image, fiction, documentary, interactive storytelling and episodic television.

Students complete courses in the Film Core.  To fine-tune their craft, students select advanced courses of study from four concentrations:

  • Directing
  • Producing
  • Production/Post-Production (Cinematography or Editing/Sound)
  • Screenwriting

Each concentration includes a capstone experience wherein students are mentored by faculty on original projects in their senior year that prepare them for work in the cinematic arts.

Admissions

All students are admitted to the Film program separately from their admission to the university and only by portfolio review.

Policies

Major GPA

All Film and Video Studies undergraduate students must earn a minimum grade of C in all courses in their major.

For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies. See College of Visual and Performing Arts for policies specific to the college.

Banner Code: AR-BA-FAVS

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 120

Students must earn a minimum grade of C in all required Film degree courses.

Mason Core

Film majors may not double-count Literature and Art courses toward both the Film major and Mason Core requirements. The synthesis requirement is part of the Film core requirements.

Foundation Requirements
ENGH 101Composition (Mason Core) 13
ENGH 302Advanced Composition (Mason Core) 13
Oral Communication3
Quantitative Reasoning3
Information Technology3
Exploration Requirements
Arts3
Global Understanding3
Literature3
Natural Science 27
Social and Behavioral Sciences3
Western Civilization/World History3
Total Credits37

Major

Film and Video Studies Core Requirements
AVT 204Visual Thinking3
ENGH 373Film and Video Forms3
FAVS 225The History of World Cinema (Mason Core)3
FAVS 250Business of Film and Television3
FAVS 255Video Production for Film3
FAVS 280Writing for the Moving Image3
FAVS 311Producing I3
FAVS 352Ethics of Film and Video (Mason Core)3
FAVS 400Career Development Seminar3
FAVS 450Internship in Film and Video Studies3
Analysis, History, Theory
Choose one course from the following:3
Cyberpunk
Media Criticism
Special Topics in Communication 1
Introduction to Documentary (Mason Core)
Television Studies
Introduction to Film (Mason Core)
RS: Topics in Film/Media History (Mason Core)
Topics in Film/Media Theory
Topics in Film/Media Studies
Special Topics in Film and Video Studies 1
Topics in U.S. History 1
Topics in Film and History
Music in Motion Pictures (Mason Core)
Great Film Directors (Mason Core)
Great Film Performances (Mason Core)
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Diversity of Perspectives
Choose one course from the following:3
Topics in Arabic Cultural Production
Gender, Race, and Class in the Media
Special Topics in Communication 1
Introduction to Cultural Studies 1
Global Voices (Mason Core) 1
Cultural Constructions of Sexualities
Global Horror Film (Mason Core)
Special Topics in Film and Video Studies 1
French and Francophone Cinema
Topics in World Cinema
Postwar Japan (Mason Core)
Gender Representation in Popular Culture (Mason Core)
Japanese Cinema
Religion and Film
Current Issues in Women and Gender Studies 1
Current Topics in Women and Gender Studies 1
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Concentration
Select one of the following concentrations:30
Directing
Producing
Production and Post-Production
Screenwriting
Total Credits66

Concentration in Directing (DIR)

Fundamental Courses
FAVS 260Video Editing for Film3
FAVS 331Cinematography3
FAVS 333Sound Editing and Recording3
Fundamental Electives
Select one course from the following:3
Film Marketing
Advanced Video Editing
Advanced Cinematography
Advanced Sound
TV Writing
Feature-Length Scriptwriting
2D Experimental Animation
3D Experimental Animation
Music in Motion Pictures (Mason Core)
Acting I (Mason Core)
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Authoring Courses
FAVS 365Documentary Filmmaking3
FAVS 375Fiction Film Directing3
Authoring Electives
Choose two courses from the following:6
Film Lab
Video Production for Social Change
Interactive Storytelling for Social Change
Web Series
Special Topics in Film and Video Studies 1
Advanced Fiction Directing
Video Art
Documentary Photography
Directing
Advanced Studies in Directing
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Required Core
FAVS 498Development for Senior Project3
FAVS 499Senior Project (Mason Core)3
Total Credits30

 Concentration in Producing (PRD)

Fundamental Courses
FAVS 260Video Editing for Film3
FAVS 356Film Marketing3
FAVS 380TV Writing3
Fundamental Electives
Select two courses from the following:6
Introduction to Grant Writing
Legal Environment of Business
Foundations of Intercultural Communication (Mason Core)
Introduction to Public Relations
Mass Communication and Public Policy
Media Management
Mass Communication Advertising and Promotions
Persuasion
Digital Communication
Cinematography
Ethics and Leadership
Women and Leadership
Principles of Fund Raising
Leadership in a Changing Environment
Managing People and Organizations in a Global Economy
Entrepreneurship: Starting and Managing a New Enterprise
Introduction to International Business (Mason Core)
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Authoring Courses
FAVS 312Film Lab3
FAVS 375Fiction Film Directing3
Authoring Electives
Choose two courses from the following:6
Documentary Filmmaking
Video Production for Social Change
Interactive Storytelling for Social Change
Web Series
Special Topics in Film and Video Studies 1
Advanced Fiction Directing
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Required Core
FAVS 497Senior Film Practicum (Mason Core)3
Total Credits30

Concentration in Production and Post Production (PROP)

Fundamental Courses
FAVS 260Video Editing for Film3
FAVS 331Cinematography3
FAVS 333Sound Editing and Recording3
Fundamental Electives
Choose four courses from the following:12
Introduction to the Visual Arts (Mason Core)
Symbols and Stories in Art (Mason Core)
History of Western Art I (Mason Core)
History of Western Art II (Mason Core)
Survey of Asian Art (Mason Core)
Survey of Latin American Art (Mason Core)
Survey of African Art (Mason Core)
Darkroom Photography I (Mason Core)
Digital Photography I (Mason Core)
Graphic Design Methods and Principles
Mixed Media
Digital Photography II
Photo Studio Techniques
Sound Art I
2D Experimental Animation
3D Experimental Animation
Video Art
Motion Design
Advanced Studio Lighting
Sound Art II
Multi-Camera Studio Production
Videography
Visual Communication
Special Topics in Production 1
Special Topics in Film and Video Studies 1
Computer Animation for Games
Music for Film and Video
Advanced Game Design Animation
Music in Motion Pictures (Mason Core)
Recording Techniques
Topics in Music Technology 1
Fundamentals of Production (Mason Core)
Event Technical Production
Lighting Stagecraft
Sound Engineering
Scenic Design
Lighting Design
Sound Design
Principles of Design
Makeup Design
Costume Technology
Advanced Sound Engineering
Advanced Lighting Design
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Authoring Electives
Choose one course from the following:3
Film Lab
Documentary Filmmaking
Video Production for Social Change
Fiction Film Directing
Interactive Storytelling for Social Change
Web Series
TV Writing
Feature-Length Scriptwriting
Special Topics in Film and Video Studies 1
Video Art
Documentary Photography
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Advanced Skills Electives
Choose one course from the following:3
Advanced Cinematography
Advanced Video Editing
Advanced Sound
Other courses as approved by Program Director
Required Core
FAVS 497Senior Film Practicum (Mason Core)3
Total Credits30

Concentration in Screenwriting (SCWR)

Courses
ENGH 396Introduction to Creative Writing (Mason Core)3
FAVS 380TV Writing3
FAVS 483Feature-Length Scriptwriting3
Elective Course in English
Select one course from the following:3
Digital Creative Writing
Editing for Audience, Style, and Voice
Fiction Writing
Creative Nonfiction Writing
Advanced Fiction Writing Workshop
Advanced Workshop in Nonfiction
Topics in Creative Writing 1
Or other courses as approved by Program Director
Elective Course in Computer Game Design or Communication
Choose one course from the following:3
Writing across the Media
Special Topics in Production 1
Special Topics in Communication 1
RS: Story Design for Computer Games
Special Topics 1
Or other courses as approved by Program Director
Elective Course in Film and Video Studies
Choose two courses from the following:6
Video Editing for Film
Film Lab
Documentary Filmmaking
Video Production for Social Change
Fiction Film Directing
Interactive Storytelling for Social Change
Web Series
Special Topics in Film and Video Studies 1
Or other courses as approved by Program Director
Elective Courses in Theater
Choose two courses from the following:6
Playwriting I
Playwriting II
Advanced Playwriting
Advanced Screenplay Workshop
Translation Adaptation for Stage Screen
Or other courses as approved by Program Director
Required Core
FAVS 496Advanced Visual Storytelling (Mason Core)3
Total Credits30

General Electives

Students must use general electives to complete a minor, a double major or double degree outside their primary major field of study (15-21 credits) or demonstrate intermediate-level proficiency in one foreign language (0-9 credits). After fulfilling one of these options, the remaining general electives may be taken inside or outside of the department.17
Total Credits17

Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video Studies 

The sample plan below is a recommended sequencing of courses based on prerequisites and scheduling. This may not fit every student's needs and is a guideline, not a requirement. Students should confirm major requirements with their academic advisor and with PatriotWeb Degree Evaluation to ensure they enroll in the proper courses and are on track to graduate.

First Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
FAVS 255 or 2803FAVS 255 or 2803
FAVS 250 or 2253FAVS 250 or 2253
AVT 204 or Mason Core3AVT 204 or Mason Core3
ENGH 100/1 or Oral Communication3Mason Core3
Mason Core3ENGH 100/1 or Oral Communication3
 15 15
Second Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
FAVS 311 or FAVS Analysis, History Theory3FAVS 311 or FAVS Analysis, History Theory3
FAVS Diversity of Perspective or Film Concentration3FAVS Diversity of Perspective or Film Concentration3
Mason Core (Literature)3ENGH 3023
FAVS 300 Global Horror or Mason Core (Global Understanding)3Mason Core3
Mason Core (Non-lab Science)3Mason Core (Lab Science)4
 15 16
Third Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
ENGH 373 or FAVS 3523ENGH 373 or FAVS 3523
Film Concentration3Film Concentration or FAVS 450 Internship13
Film Concentration3Film Concentration3
Minor or Film Concentration3Minor or Film Concentration3
Minor or Foreign Language3Minor or Foreign Language3
 15 15
Fourth Year
Fall SemesterCreditsSpring SemesterCredits
Film Concentration or FAVS 450 Internship13FAVS 496/497/499 Senior Project3
FAVS 400 or Film Concentration3FAVS 400 or Film Concentration3
Minor or Foreign Language or Film Concentration3Minor or General Elective or Film Concentration3
Minor or General Elective or Film Concentration3Minor or General Elective3
Minor or General Elective3Minor or General Elective3
 15 15
Total Credits 121

Detailed four year plans and degree planning checklists can be found at https://advising.gmu.edu/current-student/majors-at-mason/