Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why should I choose UCSB?
A: UCSB is not only located in one of the most beautiful spots along the California coastline, but it is also known worldwide for its academics and opportunities. UCSB offers countless courses and organizations, providing students many ways to become a part of the community.

Q: What does the Film and Media Studies program entail?
A: The UCSB Film and Media Department emphasizes the history, theory, and criticism of film, television, and digital media. This program is designed to hone a student’s critical and analytical skills through the study of film and digital media. Students learn not only the technical aspects of filmmaking, but the historical and cultural elements as well, providing them with a comprehensive understanding of the industry. 

Q: How do I apply for the major?
A: There is no separate application for the major. You can declare Film and Media Studies as your major of choice when you file your UCSB application, or after you have completed Film and Media Studies 46 (Introduction to Cinema) and one other preparatory class. 

Q: How can I get involved as a freshman or transfer-student?
A: There are many ways to get involved in the Film and Media Department. Several internships are offered on campus, in which students have the opportunity to work in the Pollock Theater, the main office, and with academic advisor, Joe Palladino. There are also many clubs and organizations related to the department such as Women in Media, Filmmakers Co-Op, and Writers Room. 

Q: What will my schedule look like?
A: Courses range in days and times throughout the school week. They can be offered as early as 8:00 AM as well as into the evening. Most students take 3-4 courses per quarter, which can be 12-17 units. 

Q: What is the quarter system like?
A: The quarter system consists of 4 terms: Fall, Winter, Spring, and optional Summer. Each quarter, students register for new courses. The quarters last ten weeks with one additional week for final exams, while Summer courses can last 3-6 weeks. While it may seem fast-paced, it allows students to take more courses, and thus study a greater variety of material. 

Q: Will I have opportunities to make films?
A: The UCSB Film and Media Department offers several production courses that will not only teach you the basics, but also give you the chance to fill various crew positions and create some short films. Outside of class, you can also get involved in film production through film clubs and AS Media Center workshops, designed to help students master the equipment involved in filmmaking. 

Q: How can I get involved with the Santa Barbara International Film Festival?
A: Many students intern or volunteer for the film festival each year. In addition, there is the 10-10-10 (Ten Writers – Ten Directors – Ten Films) competition, which many students apply for and take part in. 

Q: Can I double major?
A: Many students in Film and Media Department choose to double major or study a minor. Though there is no minor for Film and Media Studies, a number of classes can be taken by non-major students to provide them with a background in the field. 

Q: Does the department offer a minor?
A: There is no minor in Film and Media Studies, but a number of classes can be taken by non-major students to provide them with a background in the field. 

Q: What are my career options after graduation?
A: A Film and Media Studies degree prepares students for variety of careers, including cinematography, directing, producing, writing, editing, animation, programming, archiving, teaching, and journalism. Students in the Film and Media major frequently refine their critical thinking and writing skills, also making them excellent candidates for jobs outside of the entertainment industry. 

Q: Do you offer tours of your facilities?
A: Visitors are welcome. They should contact Lola Macaulay, our academic advisor, to schedule a time to discuss and to walk through the department’s facilities. While Fridays are often the most convenient days for a visit, you may find that there are fewer classes scheduled on Fridays, which makes it more difficult to sit in. Appointments may be made by calling (805) 893-8675 or by e-mail to lola@filmandmedia.ucsb.edu.


Q: Can I take the preparation for the major classes pass/ no pass?
A: No, all preparation classes and all upper and lower- division classes used to fill requirements must be taken for a letter grade.

Q: Prior to my enrollment at UCSB I have attended another college. If I have already gone through a Film Studies Intro class at the last institution I have attended, do I need Film and Media 46, the introductory course? 
A: This will decided after an examination of the syllabus for the course you have taken and a sample of your writing for that course. The decision will be made after an evaluation of the structure of the course you have taken and of the level critical thinking you have demonstrated in you work. 

Q: How do I register for a Seminar class?
A: Seminar courses are not open for registration through GOLD. If you have an interest in a class offered as seminar, you should contact the instructor of the course via e-mail. Priority for the class will go to seniors for whom graduation is imminent. After that, the enrollment is based on an evaluation of the student’s preparation and background, as they relate to the course in question. Some seminars may require prior preparation in related subjects. The department offers at least 2-3 seminars each quarter. You are encouraged to consider attending a seminar course early in the academic year (fall or winter quarters), as spring often becomes the time when demand by graduating seniors is most pressing.