Cinema Studies explores how audiovisual media impact our daily lives. How do films shape our impressions of the world? How do different cultures—historically and today—use movies as forms of collective and individual expression? Cinema Studies promotes critical and practical methods for answering such questions—and more.

First Semester Planning

We recommend that students register for approximately 15 credits each semester and no more than 16 credits in their first semester. Your schedule should be well-balanced and include coursework from a variety of subjects. A diverse schedule will help you begin your studies in potential majors and minors; explore a breadth of new knowledge across departments at Rutgers to meet SAS Core Curriculum learning goals; and survey broader academic interests through elective courses as you work to attain the required 120 degree credits for graduation.

Your schedule will look something like this: 

College Writing or English course per placement results (3 credits)

Major Exploration course (3-4 credits)

Major or Minor Exploration course (3 credits)

Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

     Course beyond main academic interest, such as SAS Core or elective course (3 credits)

 Byrne or First-Year Interest Group Seminar (FIGS) (1 credit) 

 Total Credits: 15-16


Introductory courses recommended by faculty. Include at least one of these in your schedule:

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Introduction to Film I



Cinema Studies (175)


Your first year of college is an opportunity for you to explore fields of interest to enhance your understanding of yourself, the world around you, and your main academic and career goals. Think of your schedule as including courses you must take (English, courses to explore potential majors, etc.) and courses you can take (everything else!) All courses are part of your degree - if necessary, review the components of the SAS degree on this page.

Through these degree components, you will curate your own unique educational experience - but we understand that this level of flexibility and freedom can feel overwhelming for new students. Like a recommendation based on a book or TV show you enjoyed, the information below can help you identify related courses to consider in your first semester.

Course Title

Course Number


Subject on University Schedule of Classes

Intro to Creative Writing 01:351:211 3 English - Creative Writing (351)
Writing for Media 04:567:200 3 Journalism and Media Studies (567)
World History 01:506:101 3 History - General/Comparative (506)
Black Experience and Film Medium 01:014:132 3 Africana Studies (014)


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The Schedule of Classes provides information about the courses being offered in a particular semester. There are literally thousands of courses offered each semester at Rutgers, and you may find it helpful to narrow down your options by looking for courses in subjects related to your potential major or minor. Use the recommendations below to find possible introductory courses in other subjects. 

To find potential courses in other subjects related to this one:

1. On the Schedule of Classes, select the current term, location "New Brunswick" and level "undergraduate". Click continue.

2. In the Search By box, click the "search multple subjects" link. Select the following departments:

Communication and Media Studies (189)

English - Creative Writing (351)

Journalism and Media Studies (567)

3. In Section Status, deselect Closed

4. In Level of Study, deselect 300 and 400. In general, 100 and 200 are appropriate for first-year students, 300 and 400 are often more appropriate for students with more familiarity with the subject. If you are interested in registering for a 300 or 400 level course, consult with an advisor before registering. 

Review these courses for possible inclusion in your first-semester schedule, or to consider for future semesters.


Additional information Beyond the Classroom

For your first semester, we want you to focus on selecting appropriate courses, begin to understand the expectations and rigor of college, and identify resources to help you succeed at Rutgers. But, we also know that it is important to provide information for future planning.

In addition to the information below, students interested in exploring possible career options may find this resource from the Office of Career Exploration and Success helpful - you'll find that a degree in this subject prepares you for a wide variety of career options!

Many Cinema Studies graduates successfully pursue careers in film education, criticism, production, and distribution. While they are enrolled at Rutgers, Cinema Studies students may undertake internships on campus with the Rutgers Film Co-op/NJMAC, which presents three nationally recognized film festivals (the New Jersey Film Festival, the New Jersey International Film Festival, and the United States Super 8 Film and Digital Video Festival).

They may also intern with New York City-based film production and distribution companies, or with film festivals such as the Tribeca Film Festival or the Margaret Mead Film Festival. A significant number of our students are involved in filmmaking, writing their own scripts and shooting their own films, as well as working on independent and industry films in the area. The new major also offers a track in Production and Criticism for students who are interested in combining filmmaking and film analysis.