As a Film and Media Studies major you will work closely with faculty and other students to formulate a critical understanding and historical knowledge of film and other forms of the moving image as well as their relationship to culture, society, and the arts. Your coursework will focus on theory, history and criticism of film, media studies, screenwriting, and film production. Simultaneously, your degree will give you ample opportunity to use your knowledge and critical analysis of the history of film and media to create your own art in the film genre. In addition to hands-on experience with screenwriting, filming, and editing, you will also obtain a strong background in the arts and humanities. The Film and Media Studies Program is an interdisciplinary collaboration of a number of other departments such as English, German, History, The Humanities Center, Philosophy, Romance Languages, and Writing Seminars, giving you superior preparation in film and media history, theory, production, and screenwriting. With your degree in Film and Media Studies from JHU, you will approach film and media as enduring art forms, as artifacts of social and cultural import, and as vital means of creative expression that explores the most crucial component of how we see our world.
Undergraduate Degree Options
- B.A. in Film & Media Studies
- Minor in Film & Media Studies
The film and television industry is highly competitive, but the variety of workforce positions within the industry continues to grow. The length of credits at the end of most feature films and television programs gives an idea of the multitude of jobs involved in producing and distributing films. With a degree in Film and Media Studies from JHU, you will be prepared for a variety of career paths from producing, directing, or writing films/television programs to editing, promotion, financial management, or organization of film festivals. The industry also produces made-for-television movies, music videos, and commercials, all to which your skills will apply. Jobs within the filmmaking industry can be separated into three general phases: pre-production, production, and post-production. Each phase includes a wide range of positions that are vital to the creation and success of a film:
- The planning phase, which includes budgeting, casting, finding the right location, set and costume design, construction, and scheduling. Some positions include: screenwriters, art directors, illustrators, set decorators, costume designers, carpenters, scenic designers, and makeup and hairstyling artists.
- The actual making of the film. The number of positions in this phase can vary from hundreds to a few. Some include: actors, cinematographers, camera operators, gaffers (lighting technicians), sound engineer technicians, boom operators, animators, and multimedia artists.
- Takes place in editing rooms and recording studios where the film is shaped into its final form. Some positions include: film and video editors, dubbing editors, film librarians, sound effect editors, audio recording engineers, advertising and promotion managers, and sales representatives
What you decide to do in the film and television industry depends on your interests, values, skills and experiences. Taking the time to explore multiple career options creates the foundation for an enjoyable career. As a Film and Media Studies major at JHU, you can explore which professional path best represents your goals and interests.
Industry Application of Film and Media Studies Majors:
Expert knowledge in the art form of film and film making, an acute understanding of cultural and societal relationships to art, historical and theoretical application to modern trends and changes, and the ability to create new art forms through verbal, visual and written expression are all valuable skills applicable to a variety of career fields. Because the Film and Media Studies program is interdisciplinary, you have the opportunity to incorporate several other skills from the humanities subjects that may help determine your career path. Combining your core degree with a specialty area can improve your marketability in competitive fields and allow you to be even more selective when finding employment. Your degree in Film and Media Studies can apply to several other fields, such as:
While your major in Film and Media Studies may influence the career path you choose, it is not the only factor. Internship and research experience, extracurricular activities, and the skills you develop as a result of your academic and out-of-class experiences all influence the career paths of Hopkins students.
Internships and Research Experiences
- To be competitive in today’s job market, it is important you apply the knowledge gained from your coursework to the workplace. Employers value the academic preparation Johns Hopkins University provides, but they want to see your ability to employ knowledge outside the classroom. Internship opportunities in the media industry are an excellent way to apply the knowledge you will obtain through your Film and Media studies program. To learn more about internships, consult the Career Center website http://www.jhu.edu/careers/students/ApplyforOpportunities/internships.html.
- Research experience and the creation of your own film or media projects also provide opportunities to showcase your transference of skills from coursework to the workforce. For comprehensive information on researching film topics, please contact Donald Juedes, Resource Services Librarian at MSEL: at firstname.lastname@example.org or (410) 516-0605. To stay updated on projects completed be fellow Film and Media Studies students visit the department’s Films web page.
Extracurricular and Volunteer Activities
- Employers want to see your leadership skills and ability to work on a team. Involvement in extracurricular and volunteer activities is the most effective way to develop and hone these skills. Film and Media Studies majors often participate in projects of the Hopkins Film Society and or enter their work in film festivals across the nation. For comprehensive infromation on funding, festivals and other resources, follow the link to the department’s resources at http://krieger.jhu.edu/film-media/resources/resources.html . Meet with your Career Counselor and/or Academic Advisor for more information on volunteer opportunities and extracurricular activities.
Develop Skills and Abilities Associated with Film & Media Studies
- As a Film and Media Studies major, you not only have the unique opportunity to specialize in the skills needed to write, analyze, and critique film/media projects, but you will also learn to apply these skills to your own creative work, developing the craft of filmmaking as a skilled professional. In addition, you will learn the crucial skills of operating technological apparatus that aid in the creation of film. There are many other skills you will develop as a Film and Media Studies major.
Other skills you will acquire as a JHU student applicable to careers in the film and media industries:
- Creating entertaining and persuasive messages
- Working both independently and in teams or small groups
- Creating powerful images with sight, sound, motion, and words
- Reporting and editing skills
- Use various media to present ideas imaginatively
- Create innovative solutions for complex problems
- Analyze the interrelationships of events and ideas from several perspectives
- Use a variety of sources of information and apply a variety of methods to test the validity of data
- Appreciate the contributions of art, literature, science and technology to contemporary society
- Predict future trends and patterns
- Create, imagine and develop new concepts; approach existing elements in new ways and merge abstract ideas to form original solutions to problems
- Develop programs/ideas through rigorous preparation and task arrangement
- Develop personal growth goals that are motivating
- Identify, describe and assess one’s needs, values, interests, strengths, weaknesses and skills acquired through formal education and general life experiences and their relative importance
Film and Media Studies graduates from John Hopkins University go into a variety of fields. Since 2003, the Career Center has surveyed recent graduates about their academic and career plans six months after graduation. Here is a summary of their responses.
Here are examples of some of the fields alumni go into:
- Communications Manager
- Digital Artist
- Head of Production, Branded Entertainment
- Legal Analyst
- Marketing Manager
- Online Media Product Management
- Production Coordinator
- Social Media Producer
- Strategy Manager
- Technology Writer
- Television and Film Producer
- Video Media Producer
- Web Strategist
Alumni work at diverse organizations like Voice of America, NBC Universal, the William Morris Agency, MTV, Amazon.com and Google.
Hopkins Alumni in Film & Media Studies
The Program in Film and Media has many alumni profiles available on their website at http://krieger.jhu.edu/film-media/alumni/alumprofiles.html.
Additional Alumni Profiles
Networking with alumni and other professionals who work in these fields can help you learn very specific information about a career field. Use Johns Hopkins Connect to contact alumni to ask for their advice. You may also find professional contacts through professional associations, faculty, friends and family.
For more information on what you can do with a Film & Media Studies Major go to What can I do with a major in Theatre or What can I do with a major in Electronic Media & Broadcasting.
Want to know more? Read our Hopkins Career Profiles on Journalism, Public Relations, Publishing Advertising, and Media & Entertainment.
If you would like to talk about how your search is going, we invite you to make an appointment with a Career Counselor by calling 410-516-8056.
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The Career Center is here to help you navigate the graduate school search process. Click here for guidelines and preparing for Graduate School and Professional School.
For information on the specific programs, the best people to talk to are the experts in your field you wish to study, faculty members and graduate students in that specific discipline. We strongly encourage you to talk with your advisor and other faculty members with whom you have a good working relationship. This will also help when you request letters of recommendation. The Career Center has a handout to guide you in asking for letters of recommendation.
Involvement with professional associations is a great way to further explore your potential career paths as a Film and Media Studies major. These groups will not only provide materials and further resources to help you make your career decision, but they also provide essential networking benefits. In addition, many professional associations have student chapters at JHU. Experience with the software and equipment available through the Digital Media Center http://digitalmedia.jhu.edu/ will also enhance your marketable skills, so take advantage of their workshops and lab resources
If you are interested in joining any of the JHU chapters/groups, contact the group and/or its advisor. Click here to find more information.