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Film Studies explores the art of visual storytelling and offers a strong foundation in film production. Through analyses of film history, theory and techniques, you’ll be well-prepared for a variety of creative career paths including visual design, production, journalism and broadcasting.

Program Overview

Master the art of visual storytelling.

In the Film Studies program at Western Colorado University, you can take advantage of state-of-the-art media production facilities, small classes and attentive faculty who are experts in their field. The program balances theoretical, philosophical and critical studies of media and dramatic works with hands-on storytelling experience through student-directed projects.

To start building your portfolio, you can produce original plays in the Western Theater Company or host your own radio show on the student-run KWSB Radio. You can also become a collaborator in Mountaineer Media, a student-run media production group specializing in short films, screenings and storytelling. Each semester, the Film Studies program organizes popular public screenings to display your work and hosts visiting media professionals to expand your career network. Through Western’s vast network of alumni who work in the field, many students are offered competitive internships that turn into careers.

Lights, camera, action

Each semester, the Film Studies program organizes popular public screenings of student work and hosts visiting professionals and artists to give students current industry insights.

Program Requirements

At Western, course rotations are crafted to encompass a variety of subject fields for a comprehensive education and versatile degree. For required courses and degree plans, visit the official University Catalog. Below is a general overview of courses at Western Colorado University related to this area of study.

Program Requirements

A minimum of 51 credits is required including the 9-credit Communication Arts Nucleus

Communication Arts Nucleus
COM 205Communication Arts I3
COM 305Communication Arts II3
COM 405Communication Arts Seminar3
Total Credits9

And the following:

COM 119Introduction to Film3
COM 234Aesthetics, Lighting and Film Theory3
COM 261Introduction To Audio Communication3
COM 264Introduction to Media Production I3
COM 306Scriptwriting3
COM 335Intermediate Media Production II3
COM 346Multimedia Communication3
COM 352Advanced Cinema Studies3
One of the following:3
COM 231
Technical Production I
COM 235
Introduction to Acting
Select four of the following:12-13
COM 323
Media/ Arts Management
COM 330
Technical Production II
COM 361
Multi-Camera Studio Production
COM 362
Advanced Audio Production
COM 385
Experimental Media Production
COM 389
Media Production: Narrative
COM 390
Media Production: Documentary
COM 406
Scriptwriting II
COM 423
Directing
COM 490
Advanced Media Production
Total Credits39-40

Capstone Course Requirement

The following course fulfills the capstone course requirement for the Communication Arts Major: COM 405 Communication Arts Seminar.

Graduation Requirements

Undergraduate programs require a minimum of 120 semester credits for graduation.  Of those 120 credits, 40 credits must be in upper-division courses (those marked 300 and above).  Fifteen of these 40 upper-division credits must be earned in courses that are part of the standard or comprehensive major program being pursued.

Students are expected to review all graduation requirements, which can be found in the Western Undergraduate Catalog: Graduation Requirements.

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
FallCredits
COM 119Introduction to Film3
ENG 102Academic Writing (GT-CO1)3
Gen Ed General Education (Area I)3
Gen Ed General Education (Area II)4
HWTR 100First Year Seminar1
MATH 105
or MATH 140
Mathematics for the Liberal Arts (GT-MA1)
or College Algebra (GT-MA1)
3
Credits17
Spring
COM 234Aesthetics, Lighting and Film Theory3
COM 261Introduction To Audio Communication3
Gen Ed General Education (Area I)3
Gen Ed General Education (Area II)4
Gen Ed General Education (Area III)3
Credits16
Year Two
Fall
COM 205Communication Arts I3
COM 264Introduction to Media Production I3
COM 306Scriptwriting3
Gen Ed General Education (Area I)3
Gen Ed General Education (Area III)3
Credits15
Spring
COM 202Academic Writing and Inquiry (GT-CO2)3
COM 346Multimedia Communication3
COM 385Experimental Media Production (or other upper division elective)3
COM 390Media Production: Documentary (or other upper division elective)3
COM 406Scriptwriting II (or other upper division elective)3
Credits15
Year Three
Fall
COM 305Communication Arts II3
COM 346Multimedia Communication3
COM 385Experimental Media Production (or other upper division elective)3
COM 390Media Production: Documentary (or other upper division elective)3
COM 406Scriptwriting II (or other upper division elective)3
Credits15
Spring
COM 323Media/ Arts Management (or other upper division elective)3
COM 330Technical Production II (or other upper division elective)3
COM 362Advanced Audio Production (or other upper division elective)3
COM 385Experimental Media Production (or other upper division elective)3
COM 389Media Production: Narrative (or other upper division elective)3
Credits15
Year Four
Fall
COM 361Multi-Camera Studio Production (or other upper division elective)3
COM 405Communication Arts Seminar3
COM 423Directing (or other upper division elective)3
Elective Elective or minor course6
Credits15
Spring
COM 490Advanced Media Production3
Elective Elective or minor course9
Credits12
Total Credits120

Careers

Career preparation starts your first year at Western and is the primary focus of every degree.

Visit Career Services in Library 120 or online to discover your interests, define your goals, and land the career of your dreams.

The data below is automatically collected by Burning Glass Technologies, a firm that sources job market data and provides analytics. The statistics illustrate general trends in U.S. careers, but do not precisely represent every job and salary.

Scholarships

Alumni Association Future Alumni Scholarship

The Alumni Association Scholarship is a one-time scholarship of $1,000 and is applicable for the student’s junior or senior year at Western.

Any child or grandchild of an alumni is eligible to receive the Future Alumni Scholarship.

  • This is a one-time non-renewable scholarship of $1,000.
  • Only one Future Alumni Scholarship will be awarded per academic year.
  • GPA must be 3.2 or above (college).

Due date has been extended to April 15 for 2021. An Alumni selection committee, appointed by the Alumni Advisory Board, will review applicants and select awardee by June 1.

Apply

Alumni Legacy Scholarship

The Alumni Legacy Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western (incoming freshman or new transfer students are eligible).

Do you have a son or daughter looking at college? Have they considered attending Western? As an alumni, your son, daughter and/or grandchildren are eligible for certain benefits distributed through this scholarship, as follows:

  • This is a one-time scholarship of $1,000.
  • Nominee must be an incoming freshman or new transfer.
  • The cost of orientation is reduced by half (a $45 value).
  • The admission application fee is waived (a $30 value).
  • GPA must be 2.5 or above (high school or college of transfer).

The applicant must fill out the application form found here (click). Application forms are accepted year-round. If the applicant meets the GPA guidelines, the scholarship will be awarded.

Apply

Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship

The Mountaineer Alumni Recommendation Scholarship is a one-time non-renewable scholarship and is only applicable for the student’s first year at Western. This scholarship is not available to midyear transfers or students beginning in the spring semester.

Are you an alumni or employee of Western and know a prospective (or incoming) student who would be a great fit at Western? A recommendation from alumni and employees can support any new student and provide them a $500 scholarship their first year. (Western employees may not recommend a spouse or dependent receiving tuition benefits).

  • Any Western alumni/employee may nominate only one student per academic year to receive the $500 scholarship (distributed $250 per semester).
  • The scholarship is good for the first year only and is non-renewable.
  • The recommended student must be a full-time undergraduate student, attending Western for the first time.

The applicant must fill out the application form found here. The nominating alumni/employee must fill out the application form and submit the required documents by June 1. The recommended student must meet university admissions acceptance standards and complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The Presidential Promise is guaranteed to students who have received a scholarship through the Denver Scholarship Foundation (DSF) and/or GearUp—and are eligible for a Pell Grant.

For students who meet these criteria, Western will cover the cost of tuition and fees through the combination of federal, state and institutional aid. For more information on the Presidential Promise, visit our scholarships page.

Description

The Western Presidential Honors Scholarships, established by the Jack and Marilyn MacAllister Foundation shall be an elite class of scholarships awarded to Western’s highest achieving and most deserving students, celebrating the ideals of academic excellence and service to the campus and community. Recipients of the Scholarships will be members of the Western Colorado University Honors Program.

There are eight Presidential Honors Scholarships of $2500 each. Each year two new Presidential Honors Scholarships will be awarded to two incoming freshmen.

Western Undergraduate Exchange (WUE) or Central Plains (CP) tuition represents a substantial savings relative to normal, out-of-state tuition. Students eligible for the WUE or CP program will be charged 150% of Western’s total in-state tuition. For 2018-19, total in-state tuition was $8,934. WUE/CP tuition was $13,401. The WUE/CP discount is valued at $4,695.

For more information about the WUE and CP geography-based programs, visit Western’s Tuition Discount Programs Page.

Immediately upon acceptance at Western, every student is considered for a merit scholarship worth between $2,500-$4,500 per year for in-state students and $8,000-$10,000 for out-of-state students. The amount is based on the student’s GPA and ACT/SAT scores. Visit our Net Price Calculator at western.edu/cost to determine whether you qualify for a merit scholarship.

For more information about merit scholarships at Western, visit our scholarships page.

Get Involved

Apply your education to the real-world.

Take your education outside of the classroom—build your professional network, gain practical experience and jump-start your career.

  • KWSB Radio: On air since 1968, KWSB is student driven, student staffed and open to anyone who wants to have their own radio show.
  • Mountaineer Media:A student-run media production group specializing in short films, screenings and storytelling abilities.
  • Taylor Media Center: Houses film production studios, audio production studios and more.
  • Top o’ the World Newspaper: Monthly paper composed by students offering opportunities in newswriting, photography, editing, designing and advertising sales.
  • Western Theatre Company: A co-curricular program and student-run producing board that oversee and provide quality live performance to the campus and Gunnison

Behind the camera

In addition to film production and techniques, Film Studies students learn the fundamentals of acting, scriptwriting, directing, and technical production.

News & Research

Inaugural Disability Film Festival opens this week in virtual format Hosted by Western Colorado University’s Education and Communication Arts Programs

Inaugural Disability Film Festival opens this week in virtual format Hosted by Western Colorado University’s Education and Communication Arts Programs

Read More about Inaugural Disability Film Festival opens this week in virtual format Hosted by Western Colorado University’s Education and Communication Arts Programs
Mountaineer Media visits Telluride for film festival

Mountaineer Media visits Telluride for film festival

Read More about Mountaineer Media visits Telluride for film festival
Western professor presents experimental film at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) On Location regional conference

Western professor presents experimental film at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) On Location regional conference

Read More about Western professor presents experimental film at the Broadcast Education Association (BEA) On Location regional conference

Department Chairperson

Jack Lucido, MFA

Professor of Communication Arts, Director of Film Studies, Chair of CALL Department

Administrative Assistant

Cindy Petito

Administrative Assistant II

Contact Information

970.943.2025

970.943.2028

Campus Location

Western Colorado University
Taylor Hall 216
1 Western Way
Gunnison, CO 81231

Take the Next Step

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Alumni Community

Alumni Community

We keep the Mountaineer spirit going strong within our alumni community. Whether getting together with friends at an annual event, making a donation or mentoring a student, graduates continue to play an important role in the Western community.