Not a Film Major?

Interested in Film?

Film students on set of senior film
Film students collaborating on set of senior thesis film.

Not sure you picked the right major? Want to express your artistic side? Choose a major in Film to lead you to a creative career. Perhaps your creativity is part of your identity, but you want to major in another field. Choose a minor in Film to stay connected to creative projects while you study across the university. Don’t want to fully commit? That’s fine too. Many Film courses are available to all Mason students and can still count toward your degree.

Change Your Major

Current Mason students can apply to add a second major or change their major to Film and Video Studies. Students must submit a Portfolio application by the required deadlines to be considered for the Film and Video Studies major.

Please contact Maddie Portnoy with questions about major requirements, the application process, or to schedule an appointment. 

Declare a Minor

The Film and Video Studies minor is open to all Mason undergraduate students. A portfolio review is not required. The Film and Video Studies minor requires 15 credits of coursework and is a partially online minor. Students would need to enroll in a combination of online and on-campus courses.

For more information, visit the Film and Video Studies Minor page in the university catalog.

Please contact Maddie Portnoy to schedule an appointment to declare the minor. 

Take Courses Open to All Majors

The following courses welcome non-Film majors. Talk to your Academic Advisor to see how these courses might fit in your program.

FAVS 204 Ways of Seeing (3 Credits | Mason Core Arts)

This course traces connections between film and other art forms, including dance, performance art and theater, painting, sculpture, sonic arts, and comic book illustration. It also introduces theories of audience, representation, and systems of signs and symbols. We'll consider film as a commercial product, accessibility in film, and film as a tool for social change, as well as feminist, queer, and antiracist filmmaking practices.

FAVS 225 Introduction to World Cinema (3 Credits | Mason Core Arts)

This course explores examples of many kinds of films from around the world, including documentary, fiction, and experimental. Students will learn to analyze film language and structures, with attention to cinema's many contexts, including economic institutions, historical events, political and social issues that shape and are shaped by movies.

FAVS 250 Business of Film and TV (3 Credits)

This course provides an overview of the film industry from a business perspective. Students learn basic business practices, film financing, business plans, film distribution, and management and marketing techniques appropriate for the film industry.

FAVS 260 Video Editing for Film (3 Credits | Mason Core Arts)

This hands-on course is designed to introduce non-linear editing techniques, as well as the history, theory, and aesthetics of editing. These lessons include montage theory, continuity and discontinuity, rhythm and pacing, and how these concepts relate to cinematic storytelling. The class introduces basic color correction, motion effects, and compositing practices. We'll also learn project management and organization, editing techniques, and sound editing.

FAVS 280 Writing for the Moving Image (3 Credits | Mason Core Arts)

This course is an introduction to writing for the moving image through lecture, discussion, and critiques of exercises and written works. By the end of the semester, each student will have produced a variety of analyses and/or blueprints for creative moving image projects, including short fiction, commercial advertisement, scripted television, collaborative fiction, short non-fiction reality programming. and other forms.

FAVS 300 Global Horror Film (3 Credits | Mason Core Global Understanding)

This course examines the themes and anxieties reflected in horror films, identifying patterns of global connections as these create interdependence and inequality. Considering horror films' literary and theatrical origins, the course traces the genre's representations of cultural anxieties, including racialized fears of the Other, the social agency of women and “minorities,” the dissolution of the patriarchal family, the trauma of war, and the role of technology in our daily lives.

FAVS 304 Ways of Thinking (3 Credits | Mason Core Writing Intensive)

This course analyzes formal elements of fiction films/videos, documentaries, and TV, and develop analytical writing skills, with an emphasis on collaboration. We explore the choices and processes of filmic storytelling, exploring production and distribution industries, and political, cultural, and commercial systems. We consider all content and contexts through an antiracist and inclusive lens.

FAVS 399 Special Topics in Film (3 Credits)

See updated list of course offerings for current and upcoming semesters.

Opportunities for Non-Film Majors

Are you interested in Film but don’t want to change your major or declare a minor? We have other options! Join us for our biannual production fair, sign up to be an actor for a student film, or attend any of our events (all free and open to the public.)