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College of Arts and Sciences
Film Studies

Film Studies

Film Studies at Seattle University gives students a disciplinary knowledge of film as an art form – its history, aesthetics, craft, genres, and great directors – and it situates film in its global context with studies of cinemas all over the world.

Students especially interested in digital filmmaking can study screenwriting and film production, and undertake off-campus film projects and internships in Seattle, one of the most vibrant film communities in the nation.

Why pursue a Film Studies degree?

Because we live in an image-dominated culture, we need to acquire the “visual literacy” required to understand, critique, and use moving images intelligently and creatively. Knowledge and competency are the first goals of a university education.

  • Career opportunities for filmmakers are increasing dramatically. Talented young filmmakers can pursue careers in narrative and documentary filmmaking, media journalism, and television and internet marketing; produce films for businesses, education, government, and non-profit organizations; and combine film with other media and technologies in ways now unimagined.
  • Students of film can pursue careers in teaching at secondary school and college levels, writing about movies, entertainment law, film producing, film industry executive leadership, film and digital technology, and the wide range of businesses that focus on moving-picture media and the entertainment industry.

Degrees offered: B.A., minor

Students can major (55 credits) or minor (30 credits) in Film Studies and easily coordinate their Film Studies major with a second major in another discipline.

The uniquely Seattle University experience gives added-value to Film Studies thanks to easy access to internships, professional mentoring, and film industry networking in a city that is home to dozens of production companies, art-house theaters, and film festivals – including the prestigious Seattle International Film Festival and the National Film Festival for Talented Youth, both of which Seattle University sponsors.

The emphasis on critical thinking, ethics, social justice and service, small classes, and personal attention from faculty are hallmarks of a Jesuit Catholic education.

"Fostering. Encouraging. Promoting. What Seattle University does for its students, WashingtonFilmWorks does for local filmmakers and the state film industry. We are tremendously excited to welcome the University’s new Film Studies program, and the exceptional talent it will generate and support in its graduates, ensuring that Seattle and Washington State will long be recognized as a locus for creativity and proficiency in the trade."

~Amy Lillard Dee, Executive Director, WashingtonFilmWorks


News and Events

Illuminating Kubrick at SIFF, Fall 2017

Click here to learn about the upcoming class series, to be taught by SU film professor John Trafton.

Alumni Featured on Wallflower Soundtrack

Click here to read the details!

Alumni to be Featured at Frameline
Film Studies alumni Christopher Schaap will have his SIFF-sponsored film, Prom King, 2010, featured at the Frameline LGBTQ film festival in San Fransisco, June 15 - 25, 2017.

Click here to learn more!

SIFF is underway! May 18 - June 11, 2017

Learn about this year's featured screenings that are sponsored by the Seattle University Film Studies Department: SIFF 2017 Promo Flyer

Val Kilmer at Seattle University!
Special guest Val Kilmer visited Seattle U on May 4 to participate in a Q&A about his film career, and share details about the creation of his one-man play, Citizen Twain. Learn more here.

Visiting guest Val Kilmer discussed his film career, and shared about his one-man play about Mark Twain, titled Citizen Twain.

Want to learn more about the Film courses offered in Spring 2017?
 Click here to check out this exclusive preview!