School of Interdisciplinary Studies Film & Video Studies

Film and Video Studies

Film & Video Studies (FVS) is an interdisciplinary major grounded in film and communication theory and history. In FVS you will learn how to think about, analyze, integrate, and apply the foundational theories of the film/video discipline through production and theory courses. Self-motivated students can create an interdisciplinary, individualized program for further study of film, video, and developing media or to enter the workforce in a creative capacity. To maximize your job prospects after graduation, you will be encouraged to pursue a second major in a related field connected to your interests and abilities, and to seek internships to enhance your abilities.

Ben Lawton, Ph.D. ( Interim Director, Film and Video Studies

Career Prospects

Individuals who intend to work in any artistic and highly competitive field should maintain a realistic perspective about the personal and professional demands one must face in choosing such a career. While no degree or school can guarantee a livelihood in this area, Purdue's Film/Video Studies program can allow the self-motivated student to create a solid interdisciplinary, individualized foundation program for further study of film, video, and developing media or entry into the workforce in a creative capacity. Many of FVS graduates have successfully used their major in a variety of creative occupations.

To maximize their job prospects after graduation, students are encouraged to pursue second majors in related fields connected to their interests and abilities and actively seek real-world opportunities through internships.

A Film/Video Studies major can be the foundation for a wide variety of career choices. Students with a strong interest in game design or computer animation might choose to combine courses from Film/Video Studies, Creative Arts, and Computer Graphics Technology. Students work closely with the Chair of Film/Video Studies and with their Liberal Arts adviser to select coursework both inside and outside the major. This requires planning at three levels:

  1. Selecting the right courses from within the Film/Video Studies program.

  2. Selecting complementary courses from the second major or from outside electives.

  3. Developing an internship.

An internship is a semester or summer long opportunity to work in a campus, community, or national organization or company as a student employee. The work provides the students with opportunities to learn about various jobs and to gain exposure to occupations and aspects of their field of study that they might not have known about. 

As an intern, the students are basically employees of the company or organization.  If receiving academic credit, the students may not be paid for their work.  If the internship experience is out-of-town or on-location, the student may receive a room and board allowance from the employing company.

Students selected for the program are expected to perform duties, meet deadlines, develop good work ethic, and behave professionally at all times.  The amount of responsibility assigned will depend on both the organization and the intern’s skill level.

The internship is open to ALL FVS majors and minors that have completed Technical Video Production I course with a B or better and have maintained a minimum overall GPA requirement of 2.7.

Film & Video Studies - Internship Program (PDF)

FVS Internship Learning Agreement (Word)

Educational Goals

  • Present specific viewpoints in creative and cultural context

  • Develop influential/persuasion skills

  • Learn to synthesize information

  • Acquire interpretation skills

  • Practice reporting and editing skills

  • Create entertaining and persuasive messages

  • Evaluate ideas and presentation

  • Gather information and data; Compare and contrast evidence

  • Evaluate information and sources

  • Develop critical thinking skills

  • Encourage creativity and self expression

  • Measure media effects

  • Learn planning and managing skills

  • Work with deadlines

  • Work independently

  • Increase attention to details

  • Work in teams/small groups

  • Identify and manage different needs of individuals, groups, etc.

  • Understand institutional and cultural values

  • Collaborate in rewriting and editing with others

  • Explain processes, plans and concepts

Film Studies Related Occupations

Film Archives/Television production/Animator/Assistant Director/Camera Operator/Casting Director /Cinematographer/Censor Colorizing technician/Independent Filmmaker/Industrial Filmmaker/Producer/Script Supervisor/Screenwriter/Sound Editor/Visual Effects/Dramaturge/Critic/Lighting Technician/Production Assistant/Press Agent/Actor/Drama Coach/Sound & Special Effects/Prop Maker/Scriptwriter/Studio Merchandising/Distribution Company/Personal Assistant/Theater Manager/Film Production Instructor/Casting Assistant/Costume Design/Publicist/Rerecording mixer/Film Director/Story Editor/Talent Representative/Film Editor/Talent Agent/Multimedia Designer/Advertising Creative/Art Director/Teacher/Librarian/Professor

Note: No university can assure a career in film, television or multimedia - your success is based solely on your personal drive, dedication, attitude, and hard work toward specific career goals. As with any other field, obtaining your degree should be viewed as the beginning of your journey, not the end.

Lamb School Noticings

Purdue Admissions Website

Film/Video Studies Major

Film/Video Studies Minor

Film and Theatre Production Concentration

Beering Hall
Purdue University 
100 North University Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907-2098
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(765) 496.1910 (FAX)

Undergraduate students



April 2016
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Congratulations to Mallory Gieringer, a senior in film and video studies, whose short film, ‘Esoteric’, was recognized as the ‘Best Experimental Short’ at the Hollywood Short Film Festival in Santa Monica, CA on January 14, 2017. The short film can be viewed here.

mallory gieringer award image

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