Media & Cinema Studies

Major Description

Media and Cinema Studies provides students a critical understanding of multiple forms of media and communications from a liberal arts perspective, in addition to training them in the critical production of cinema and digital media. Students explore the theory and history of contemporary media as they relate to questions of culture, industry, representation, technology, politics, society, social justice, and aesthetics, both in the United States and internationally. Students can choose to focus their studies around thematic areas related to Cinema Studies, Media Industries & Cultures, Difference & Power, Science, Technology and Visualization, Global Media and Cinema, and Media Making.

Courses That Introduce the Major:
  • MACS 100—Introduction to Popular TV & Movies
  • MACS 101—Intro to the Media
  • MACS 150 - Introduction to Digital Media Production 
  • MACS 203 - Contemporary Movies

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

Media and Cinema Studies graduates develop critical media literacy skills that contribute to a more informed and active citizenship, as these are the skills that guide workers of the new century.

  • Ability to collaborate
  • Ability to think logically and critically and make analogies
  • Ability to understand ideas and values
  • Attention to detail
  • Careful record keeping
  • Communication skills
  • Creative decision-making
  • Knowledge of design and composition
  • Managing a budget
  • Networking Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Possess strong skills in computer technology
  • Proficiency with media technologies
  • Strong research skills
  • Writing and editing skills
  • Digital media literacy
  • Basic media production fundamentals
  • Audiovisual postproduction skills
  • Design fundamentals
  • Inclusive and accessible content creation
  • Cinematographer
  • Columnist
  • Commentator
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Consumer Advocate
  • Content Creator
  • Copywriter
  • Director
  • Documentary filmmaker
  • Editing and Postproduction
  • Festival Programmer
  • Film and Television Critic
  • Film and Television Development
  • Grant Writer
  • Location Scout
  • Media Archivist
  • Media Production Assistant
  • Museum Curator
  • Podcaster
  • Public Information Officer
  • Public and Media Relations Specialist
  • Producer
  • Screenwriter
  • Script Supervisor
  • Social Media Strategist
  • Station Programmer
  • Technical Writer
  • Video Essayist

Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree.

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:
  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • Illini Film and Video: Produces high quality independent projects to be screened on campus and beyond.
    • Focus Pull at UIUC: Focus Pull at UIUC is an organization built by and for Black UIUC students with interests in any area of film production. Through workshops, club discussions, and movie nights, we help our community of prospective filmmakers access information, equipment, and on set experience while building a network of brilliant minds.
    • UIUC Student Film Festival: The UIUC Student Film Festival is an annual celebration of the creativity and diversity of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign filmmaking communities. Each spring, students in MACS 464: Film Festivals learn the history, functions, and value of film festivals, and then gain experience organizing, producing, and promoting their own film fest
Further Information:

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Media and Cinema Studies.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Media and Cinema Studies.  These organizations include Association for Women in Communication and Society for Cinema and Media Studies.