Film and Television

The Film and Television major takes a critical and practical approach to the study of both media in their shared and distinctive artistic and industrial elements. It draws from a broad tradition of historical, theoretical, and creative practices to best prepare students with the skills they need in the rapidly evolving media landscape.

With our location in New York City and with Fordham's Jesuit mission, we are uniquely positioned to offer students cultural and career opportunities in film and television and a curriculum that trains them in ethical approaches to media studies and practice.

The major offers a concentration in either film or television, with courses designed uniquely for each concentration and with courses that bridge both tracks. It also offers flexibility for those students wishing to focus on film and/or television writing and production and those wishing to concentrate on critical, historical, and theoretical concerns.

Through our screenwriting courses (FITV 2511 and FITV 3511), students learn the core fundamentals of the craft, write an original screenplay, and receive instruction in story structure, character, dialog, theme and more. Students will also gain insights into the practical realities and inner workings of the film and television business as well. In our more rigorous courses in writing for television, students learn all the basics of storytelling for series television, while also completing a spec teleplay of a currently airing one-hour TV series (FITV 3624), half-hour comedy series (FITV 4625), or create a spec teleplay and pilot script of their own original TV series (FITV 2623).

Learning Outcomes

  • To understand the historical, economic, and creative interrelationship between film and television, and their distinctive practices
  • To understand the formal elements of film and television language
  • To expose students to ethical issues in film and television practices, as well as their absence
  • To understand the cultural politics of film and television, their ideological messages, and the ways in which they reinforce and/ or challenge prevailing social norms
  • To gain practical experience in film and television creative production
  • To foster multiple modes of theoretical and critical analysis

Major Requirements

The Film and Television (FITV) major requires eleven (11) courses. Students must declare a concentration in Film or Television. Required courses are:

  • Departmental introductory course: COMM 1000 - Fundamentals of Communication and Media Studies (new) or COMM 1010 - Introduction to Communication and Media Studies
  • One Ethics, Law and Policy course.
  • Film Concentration Series: FITV 1501 - Understanding Film;FITV 2501 - History of Film, 1895-1950; and FITV 3501 - Film Theory and Criticism
  • Television Concentration Series: FITV 1601 - Understanding Television; FITV 2601 - History of Television; and FITV 3601 - Television Theory and Criticism
  • One FITV production course
  • Two FITV courses at the 3000/4000 level (excluding production courses)
  • Three additional electives: any course with the FITV subject course, plus those on an approved list, may be used for this requirement

View the requirements checklist.

*To become a film and television major, a student must demontrate an earned cumulative GPA of 2.5 or better or receive written permission from the associate chair or chair of the department. In addition, no D-grade work will be credited toward the major or minor.

**Double majors may count up to two courses from another major within our department, excluding any course with a COMM designator.

Minor Requirements

The Film and Television (FITV) minor requires six courses. Students must declare a concentration in Film or Television and complete two of the three courses within the series. Required courses are:

  • Department introductory courses: COMM 1000 - Fundamentals of Communication and Media Studies (new) or COMM 1010 - Introduction to Communication and Media Studies
  • One Ethics, Law and Policy course.
  • Film Concentration Series: FITV 1501 - Understanding Film; FITV 2501: History of Film, 1895-1950 or FITV 3501: Film Theory and Criticism
  • Television Concentration Series: FITV 1601 - Understanding Television; FITV 2601 - History of Television or FITV 3601 - Television Theory and Criticism
  • Two courses with the FITV subject code

Ethics, Law and Policy Courses

  • COMC 3340/ COMM 3103: Freedom of Expression
  • COMC 3370/ COMM 3476: Ethical Issues and the Media
  • COMC 3330/ COMM 3110: Peace, Justice and the Media
  • COMC 3350/ COMM 3112: Media Law
  • COMC 3380/ COMM 3106: International Communication
  • DTEM 4440: Privacy and Surveillance
  • DTEM 4480/ COMM 4005: Digital Media and Public Responsibility
  • FITV 4570/ COMM 4001: Films of Moral Struggle