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Film and Media Studies Program

film director on set


The Film and Media Studies program is devoted to the critical study of moving images. The program offers unique opportunities that include production collaboration with Media Arts, and engagement with the remarkable film and television archival content of Moving Image Research Collections, which has grown to an estimated 6,000 hours of material.

Your Future

Students who have earned a bachelor’s degree in Film and Media Studies have gone on to work in film and media production – both independent and industrial -- in Los Angeles, New York, and the Southeast.  Some have entered graduate programs at top universities.  Others are pursuing careers in the fields of archiving and library information science, business, and education. 


Undergraduate: B.A.

In this program, you'll learn how to:

  • analyze persuasively moving image media (including their sounds)
  • research histories of  about the international production, distribution and reception
  • map media industries globally and describe their functions
  • defend your own explanation of media’s power in everyday life.

The program regards basic knowledge of media production as essential; the major requires coursework in this area, although it is not primarily a production degree. The Undergraduate Bulletin lists the requirements to major or minor in film and media studies, and we provide more detailed descriptions of courses on this site. We recommend that you take advantage of the plentiful opportunities to enhance your degree.



Most of our classes require students to experience media (films, television shows, games) as preparation for class lecture and discussion. Designated screening times are provided to facilitate collective big-screen experiences. Accomodations can usually be made for students with time conflicts.


Ina Rae Hark Award

Dr. Ina Rae Hark, founder of the Film and Media Studies major at the University of South Carolina and beloved professor, retired from teaching in 2009 after an academic career marked by original scholarship on popular media culture. Dr. Hark published on many topics—from American cinema of the 1930s, to Star Trek and Deadwood. In Spring 2015 she returned to USC to give a talk on the film Ben-Hur in the College of Arts and Sciences lecture series “Classics and Contemporary Perspectives.”

To honor Dr. Hark’s legacy, we created the Ina Rae Hark Award in 2015 to recognize a rising senior in Film and Media Studies with a strong academic record who has demonstrated outstanding scholarly engagement. The first recipient of the Ina Rae Hark Award was Sara Emory Cannon, an exceptional student who is expertly combining her studies in media history with media production. Ina was in attendance in April 2015 when Sara received the award.

We continue to seek donations to sustain this $100 annual award. Please consider a donation in honor of Dr. Ina Rae Hark. Your donation can be earmarked to support the Ina Rae Hark Award. Any amount you contribute will help. When making your donation, in the “Add Dedication” field indicate that you would like to support the Ina Rae Hark Award.

If you would like to make a donation to the Film and Media Studies Program more generally instead, your donation would support ongoing work with our students in the classroom— for example, support for visiting artists, scholars, and workshops.

On behalf of the faculty and students in the Film and Media Studies Program, thank you for your consideration and support.

Mark Cooper
Director, Film and Media Studies Program