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Cinema Major


A cinema degree provides a well-rounded education in the history, art, technology, and methods of the cinema and theatre industries. Through a high-quality classroom experience and hands-on collaborative work with other performing arts students and faculty, prepare for a career in the film industry. 








Total Credit Hours: 120

Theatre Arts Core Requirements (27 hours)

Cinema Major Courses (15 hours)

Theatre Arts Electives (9 hours)

Other Required Courses (6 hours)

General Education (45 hours)

Free Electives (9 hours)


What You'll Study

The cinema curriculum features courses in film history, criticism, and production, along with a strong foundation in the fundamentals of theatre performance, history, and production, while earning a B.A. degree in Theatre Arts with a cinema major.

You'll learn about the history of cinema, its visual designs and production methods, its role in modern social and political movements, and its business operations. Through hands-on projects, gain experience in the art and practice of cinematography and filmmaking.

These hands-on projects are not only guided closely by our esteemed faculty, but feature strong collaboration with students and faculty of the theatre arts program.

You'll take 120 credit hours for a bachelor of arts degree, including Virginia Tech's Pathways.

Curious how the degree requirements will fit into your experience at Virginia Tech? See the roadmaps below for a sample schedule of courses each year. Your academic advisor will help you create a personalized version based on your goals and other areas of interest. The individualized plan will also include your AP, IB, dual enrollment, or transfer credit.

Related Links

What is a Major in Cinema?

Do you like capturing life on film? A major in cinema provides a strong foundation in history, criticism, and production preparing young filmmakers and lovers of film for a future career in the cinematic arts or graduate studies, such as a PhD in film studies or MFA in film production. It combines academic study with hands-on action, giving students a chance to create and practice the knowledge they gain.

Why Study Cinema Here?

To study cinema at Virginia Tech is to enter into a strong community of collaborators, both within the cinema program and in theatre arts. The program offers multiple opportunities to work through complex problems and gain experience by completing projects, internships, study abroad, and undergraduate research. In addition, our students have access to an impressive inventory of equipment they are encouraged to use, and several editing labs as well. Our students learn by doing – continuously!

Beyond the Classroom

Get Involved

Learn more about the community-based opportunities the cinema program offers, including film screenings, guest speakers from within the cinema industry, and other public events. 

Cinema students also have the opportunity to perform various roles within the theatre arts program, such as set building, projection design, and recording performances. 


Film Festival

An annual event, Progeny's mission is to foster and showcase short, thoughtful, independent-minded, DIY-spirited regional filmmaking by independent filmmakers and students.

Cinema student camera

Developing You as an Artist

Virginia Tech offers lots of options to help start your career out strong in any area that interest you. Exploration and discovery are always encouraged! Access the wide inventory of film equipment, labs, and recording booths as you learn by doing. 


Sound booth

Expert Faculty 

We have a wide range of esteemed faculty members who are passionate about your education.


What Our Students Are Saying

Careers and Further Study

What do I do with a major in cinema?

An exciting career in cinema awaits you, and the possibilities are endless. Options include:

  • Film Director
  • Film Editor
  • Cinematographer
  • Screenwriter
  • Producer
  • Gaffer
  • Grip 
  • Actor