Film Studies

looking at script

Frequently Asked Questions About The Film Studies Major

How do I get in the major?
Everything you need to know is available on our Admission to the Major page. 

What is FST 200 Introduction to Film Study like?
Our gateway course teaches the expressive language of motion pictures (cinematography, editing, composition, performance, sound, narrative) -- information essential to all filmmakers and cinema scholars. Each week, students watch films drawn from various national cinemas, representing diverse styles, periods, and genres. Students analyze shots and scenes, write papers, and take regular quizzes and exams.

When can I take FST200 Introduction to Film Study?
Students may take FST200 at any time. Incoming freshmen are encouraged to wait at least until the second semester of their 1st year at UNCW to take FST200. Give yourself that first semester to make the transition to college before you take on a gateway course.

I'm coming to UNCW as a freshman. When can I take other courses beyond FST200?
Beginning in the first semester of your sophomore year. Most Film Studies courses require pre-major or major status. UNCW requires students to have earned and passed 24 college credit hours with at least a 2.0 GPA before declaring a pre-major or a major. Most continuing students are eligible to declare a major at the end of the freshman year.

I'm coming to UNCW as a transfer student. When can I take other courses beyond FST200?
Most transfer students may declare a major or pre-major as part of enrolling at UNCW. New transfer students declaring the PFST major may also register for FST201-Introduction to Film Production. A number of other courses list FST201 as a co-requisite. If seats are available, those transfer students are also eligible to register for FST318-Introduction to Screenwriting, FST331-Introduction to Editing, FST332-Interactive Media, FST333-Modes of Animation Production, FST 334-Variations on the One-Minute Film, and FST335-Acting for the Camera.

So when do I get to start making movies?
Just as soon as you start FST201 Introduction to Film Production. All new majors take FST201: Introduction to Film Production, an intensive hands-on course in which students complete a series of video exercises and short movies. You shoot on Sony NEX-VG30 cameras, light with Arri light kits, record sound with Zoom h4n recorders and Sennheiser microphones, and edit on Adobe Premiere Pro. Assignments cover motion picture technology, and narrative, documentary, and experimental filmmaking techniques.

Are there other classes that let me make movies?
More than 20 Film Studies courses teach and assign movie production and equipment, covering a wide range of filmmaking modes, techniques, specializations, and styles. Film Studies majors make about 500 motion pictures every year -- from short exercises to polished projects.

What kind of equipment do you have?
You can see a partial list at

Can I use the equipment whenever I want?
Only students in classes with production or post-production assignments requiring equipment can check out equipment and/or access the edit lab.

What kind of a computer will I need for Film Studies courses?
No Film Studies student is required to own his own computer. Our edit lab features 20 quad-core iMac stations loaded with the full Adobe Creative Cloud Suite (and AVID, ProTools, & FCP), and is open 24/7 to students registered in courses that assign editing and other computer-based projects. For those students who wish to purchase or lease software and edit at home, we suggest Mac computers that meet the Mac OS system requirements for Adobe Premiere Pro listed here. All UNCW students are provided free access to the Adobe Creative Cloud software suite.

Besides making movies, how can I get a hands-on experience?
Film Studies students edit an internationally distributed film journal, produce and present a film festival and conference, and participate in sponsored internships in Wilmington, New York, Los Angeles, and Bristol, England.

How else can I get involved? I really want to make movies. We hear you. You can join Flicker Film Society or Teal TV, sign up for Cucalorus Connect 10x10, apply to the CIEHawk Media Team, or volunteer to crew on one of the many motion picture productions made as part of Film Studies classes every semester.

What kind of job can I get with a Film Studies degree?
Check out our alumni page for a list of the many different jobs our graduates hold, ongoing news of alumni accomplishments, and profiles of former Film Studies majors working with motion pictures.

How big are the classes?
Not very. Film Studies courses are designed to provide individual attention, instructor access, hands-on learning, and meaningful class discussion.

  • FST200: 25 students per section
  • FST 201, 318, and most critical studies courses: 20 students per section
  • 300 and 400 level production courses: 16 students per section
  • Capstone courses and courses designated as Writing Intensive: 15 students per section

What is your connection to Wilmington's film industry?
Ever since Screen Gems Studios president Frank Capra Jr. initiated our program 14 years ago, Film Studies has maintained an active relationship with Wilmington's film industry. Our students intern on television and feature film productions, and with the many companies that support film production in Wilmington. Industry professionals guest lecture in Film Studies courses, mentor our students, and even serve on our faculty.

Why Wilmington, NC?
Wilmington is a thriving film production center, home to EUE Screen Gems studios, the largest film production lot east of California. 130 feature films and over a dozen television series have been shot in and around Wilmington. For an overview of the Wilmington's studios, services, crew resources, and film and television credits, visit the Wilmington Regional Film Commission.

What if my interest in cinema goes beyond the Wilmington film industry?
The commercial feature film and television industry is only one aspect of the Film Studies experience. The FST major offers a balance of critical studies and film production courses designed to provide all students with essential skills applicable to any career, including: research, analysis, problem solving, persuasive writing, and the creative process. Our students pursue interests that reflect the diversity of the ever evolving motion-picture medium. They write movie reviews, design websites, publish research and commentary, edit a magazine, and produce a film festival and conference. They write screenplays, create video installations, direct documentaries, and make animation.

What else is going on in Wilmington?
Wilmington is home to an acclaimed international film festival, a nationally known non-profit documentary film organization, an excellent art museum, a historic downtown, and a nice slice of the Atlantic Ocean.