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American Culture and Media Arts
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Film and Media Arts
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Media Culture Thesis Sequence
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  Academic Programs / Communication & Theater

Film and Media Arts

Paul Swann, Chair
2020 N. 13th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19122

Note: Department chairs frequently change at the beginning of the academic year.  Students should contact departments for updated information.

The Film and Media Arts Program focuses on the development of creative and technical skills in film, video, audio, digital media, and new technologies, and the theoretical understanding of media and culture. The program recognizes and explores the creative tension between individual expression and the social, political, and economic forces that shape culture at large.

Students will be trained in developing content as well as craft, theory, and practice. In learning independent and commercial approaches to production and theory, graduates will be prepared to develop their own independent productions and to assume a creative role in the motion picture and television industries.

The department brings in guest media makers and visiting professors from diverse backgrounds for special lectures and workshops. Students may also select elective courses from other departments in the School of Communications and Theater in such areas as telecommunications, journalism, and theater. A highly recognized graduate program offers undergraduates numerous opportunities to work on advanced productions and participate in advanced research in the field.

Faculty Mentoring
FMA faculty strongly believe in the importance of close mentoring. This is particularly important in a department that focuses on individual and collaborative expression. Upon entering the department, each student will be assigned a faculty mentor who will guide the student through his/her four years at Temple. The entire Film and Media Arts faculty will participate in the review of each student’s work in the Basic Core production/studies courses.

Special Programs and Internships

The Film and Media Arts Department offers special programs for study and research in London, Rome, and Tokyo. Additionally, many organizations in the Philadelphia, New York, and Washington, D.C. metropolitan areas cooperate in providing opportunities for student professional internships. The department also offers a summer internship program in Los Angeles.

Summary Requirements for the Degree of Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Arts
The Bachelor of Arts degree may be conferred upon a student majoring in Film and Media Arts by recommendation of the faculty and upon satisfactory completion of a minimum of 126 credit hours. Students must complete:

1. University Core requirements
2. School of Communications and Theater requirements
3. At least 42 credits and no more than 54 credits earned in one of the Film and Media Arts sequences.

The number of courses taken in the School of Communications and Theater is limited to 71 credits. A student must earn a grade of C or better in all Film and Media Arts courses which count towards the degree.

Maintaining Program Performance
Prerequisites to entrance and graduation from the Production and Media Culture Thesis sequences requires students to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0 calculated in all courses taken in the University. Students who have earned at least a 2.0 GPA may enter and graduate in the Non-Thesis sequence. Students with an average under 2.0 may not begin the program. Students may take up to four of the 42 FMA credits as an internship.*

FMA Foundation Courses

At the completion of these courses, students will choose to enter the Production Thesis, the Media Culture Thesis, or the Non-Thesis sequence.

Production Thesis Sequence

Eran Preis, Sequence Director

This sequence educates prospective media makers,  writers, and new technology practitioners to take creative control of their own work. It emphasizes students’ initiative in creating individual or collaborative projects that serve as an expression of their personal vision and voice. Students can enter this sequence to work on their own project or as a collaborator with equal creative responsibility on a colleague’s project.

The Production Thesis sequence builds to a two-semester senior capstone course in which each student, working with close faculty guidance,  finishes a project and production book. Media work must be presented publicly at the end of the year program screenings.

Students may enter this sequence if they earn a 3.0  or higher in the FMA foundation courses and in all of their other FMA classes. Completion of this sequence requires completion of Senior Projects I and II and is based on the grade requirements listed above, along with faculty acceptance of Senior Project portfolio (which includes a proposal or script, and a work sample) submitted in March of the student’s junior year.*

Production Thesis Sequence

Media Culture Thesis Sequence

Jeanne Allen, Sequence Director

This sequence explores the role of media in American culture. The critical exploration of technology, economic and legal factors, social history, and institutions highlights the processes through which media culture affects identity construction and social change. Students who choose this sequence develop critical, analytical, and organizational skills in linking media culture to such arenas as community-based organizations and museums, schools, media resource centers, and the multicultural community of independent film and video producers.

The Media Culture Thesis sequence builds to a two-semester capstone course in which each student completes a written research-based thesis on media culture criticism and/or history or a producible script for reality-based media programming. Students may enter this sequence if they earn at least a 3.0  GPA in the FMA foundation courses.*

Students who do not meet the above requirement may petition to enter this sequence based on a review of their written work. The petition must be received by the Media Culture sequence director no later than the third week of the semester prior to the semester when the student would be taking the senior thesis course.

Media Culture Thesis Sequence

Non-Thesis Sequence

Eran Preis, Sequence Director

This sequence is designed for students who wish to have a more general approach to the major. Working closely with their advisors, students will choose from a range of studies; this includes elective courses that complete a balanced, liberal arts approach to media study. Students take one production or writing course in videography, experimental video, film, or screenwriting. Students may take one additional 300-level production or screenwriting course for which they have completed the prerequisite. Students may progress through the non-thesis sequence if they have a 2.0 cumulative average and grades of C or better in the FMA foundation courses.

Non-Thesis Sequence

* (Note: The University is reviewing all school and college, major, and GPA requirements above 2.0.  Please refer to the electronic Bulletin for up-to-date information at

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