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Film Tutorial Major (B.F.A. in Film) [offered through Honors Tutorial College]

Program Overview

The Honors Tutorial program in film combines a broad background in the liberal arts with professional study in film offered by faculty of the internationally recognized graduate program in the School of Film. This is a four-year program of study for exceptional students culminating in a thesis leading to the degree of Bachelor of Fine Arts. This program is vigorous and comprehensive and is designed for highly motivated undergraduate study within the environment of a graduate film school. Curriculum goals must include breadth of experience, depth in the selected area of concentration, and superior achievement demonstrated by tutorials, coursework and the thesis.

There are five elements to the tutorial program in film:


Six individual tutorials (one per semester) on topics are required during the freshman, sophomore and junior years. Possible tutorial topics in film production include all aspects of film and video preproduction: screenwriting, producing, directing, and special topics in film/video production. Possible tutorial topics in film studies include: film theory, criticism, history (including history of experimental, documentary, and narrative film/video), historiography, film and society, research methods, and international cinemas. Tutorials may be taken in departments outside the Film Division with permission. The Director of Studies assigns and/or approves tutors in accordance with the student's interests.

Liberal Arts Education

The nature of the film medium requires a broad background in liberal arts and a multidisciplinary approach to learning. Students are expected to select 12 hours of elective courses in history, English, media arts and studies, comparative arts, foreign languages, and other disciplines.

Production and Scholarship Courses in Film

Breadth of understanding can often best be achieved through practical courses in film and video production and courses in film scholarship. Because film is a collaborative art, tutorial students will join with other students in appropriate courses.

Minor Area of Specialization

The student will plan a cognate minor consisting of three courses in a single area of study outside the School of Film. These courses will be chosen according to an individual plan developed by the student and the Director of Studies.


Each HTC film student is required to complete a thesis which may take the form of a completed film or feature-length screenplay which will be accompanied by a scholarly paper requiring approval by the student's School of Film Thesis Committee and the Director of Studies. As an alternative, the thesis can take the form of a major scholarly paper. Its acceptance, dependent upon an appropriate mixture of research and analysis, relies upon the judgment of the student's Thesis Committee and the Director of Studies. It is expected that this major paper will constitute work of the highest quality in investigating a problem of concern to both scholars and practitioners.

Admissions Information

Freshman/First-Year Admission

Students are selected by the director of studies of the film tutorial program and the Honors Tutorial College on the basis of superior academic ability and the potential for self-motivated study and research. Applicants typically are required to submit additional essays, and an interview with the director of studies is required for admission. More information, including materials and deadlines, is available at Candidates for admission should submit two letters of reference, a portfolio of recent creative work and a writing sample from a high school assignment. 

Change of Program Policy

Transfer opportunities are limited. Students are admitted only as freshmen. They are urged to contact the HTC Office for guidance.

External Transfer Admission

Transfer opportunities are limited. Students are admitted only as freshmen. Freshmen from other institutions are urged to contact the HTC Office for guidance.

Opportunities Upon Graduation

Graduates of the Honors Tutorial program in film are prepared to begin careers as independent filmmakers and film and television industry professionals. They are well-positioned to seek and gain admission into M.F.A. programs in film and media arts.

Academic Catalog

The academic catalog provides additional information about curriculum and courses for this major.
Academic Catalog

Program Details

Bachelor of Fine Arts


Administrative Contact

Justin Daering, contact person