Close-up shot of purple roll of film curling on a table.

Department of Cinema and Media Studies

Students in darkened lecture hall looking with projection

Examine the media that shape our human experience.

Our department offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs in Cinema & Media Studies (CMS). Through media criticism, film history and culture, and contemporary cinema and technology courses, CMS students investigate how visual media shape our experiences and perceptions of the world. They apply their analytical skills to hands-on practice, including internships.

Visit Department Site View Factsheet
Colorful TV bars.
Two people behind a film camera discuss what they see on the display.


Visual media literacy is an increasingly critical skill in diverse fields. Alumni bring valued perspectives and insights to organizations in a wide range of fields spanning media, technology, arts and culture, education, entertainment and more. 

Many CMS students pair their studies with a degree in STEM, the social sciences or a pre-professional field.

Career Paths

Alumni have been successful in roles including: 

  • Assignment editor
  • Digital content producer
  • Film festival programmer
  • Film publicist
  • Marketing director
  • Product designer
  • Educator
  • Script clearance analyst
  • Virtual and augmented reality producer
  • Videographer
  • Screenwriter
Male teacher standing in front of large screen

Go further with research

Research topics in our department are as diverse as our students and faculty. Each year, a wide range of scholarly, editorial and translation projects come out of Cinema & Media Studies. Recent faculty projects and publications have covered topics such as global art cinema, feminist approaches to silent film history, and history of production design in Hollywood. Graduate students have participated in research throughout the U.S. as well as in China, Denmark, Russia, Romania, Turkey, Poland, Japan, Taiwan, Italy, Spain, Germany, France, Mexico and Switzerland.

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Find Yourself in Cinema & Media Studies

From smartphones to the big screen, explore how media influence society.

Department of Cinema and Media Studies Stories

UW campus near Drumheller Fountain

Four Dean's Medalists, Working Toward Change

The four new graduates honored as College of Arts & Sciences Dean's Medalists for 2023 are all working to improve our world, in different ways. 

Kenna Fojas on the UW campus, holding a film camera to her face.

Making Films, Finding Community

As UW student Kenna Fojas (Cinema & Media Studies, Psychology) prepares to graduate, she's set to direct a film she wrote with guidance from a screenwriting idol. 

Area around Drumheller Fountain on the UW campus

Arts & Sciences' Fab Four for 2022

Four Dean's Medalists were selected by the College of Arts & Sciences for their varied and impressive work as UW undergraduates.