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Earn Your BA in Film Studies From Webster University

Webster University’s BA in Film Studies degree program will provide you with a comprehensive theoretical study of film. You will develop an understanding of film history and aesthetics, as well as critical approaches to the study of film. Upper-level courses focus on in-depth analysis of film genres, filmmakers or international cinema. Film studies courses move from general information to specific, in-depth studies of a genre, filmmaker or theory.

As a graduate of our Film Studies degree program, you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of global film history, including cultural, historical and social contexts.
  • Identify critical approaches to the study of film theory and aesthetics.
  • Articulate knowledge of film studies and critical thinking skills through research papers and oral presentations.
  • Apply proficiency in film theory and knowledge in your internships and future careers.

Webster’s BA in Film Studies program offers Film Studies students a curriculum that builds upon basic film production courses, which can be used as a launching pad for a career in film writing, producing and directing.


A seated man is filmed on set by students.


Choose Webster for Your BA in Film Studies

Gain Professional Experience With Emerging Technology in Media Production

Webster University's state-of-the art virtual cinema system and newly renovated facilities housed at the School of Communications were recently featured on PBS's "Living St. Louis." Our new facilities put Webster at the forefront of new media production methods, ensuring Webster's success into the next century of cinema creation.

Explore Webster University's new Virtual Cinema System below, through a video featured from PBS' series "Living St. Louis." The video dives deep into the Virtual Cinema System and how it is utilized in filmmaking, citing "The Mandalorian" as an example.



Text on screen: Lumiere No. 653

[Footage of the old film Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat plays, in low quality and in black and white.]

Brooke Butler: There's a well-known story in the world of cinema about an early film made by the Lumiere Brothers. Because the concept of film was so new, when "Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat" was shown to audiences for the first time, it was said that people ran out of the theater in a frenzy, for fear that the train would not stop and would plow right off the screen.

[The old film fades as new, modern footage appears. A group of people stand in front of a screen that shows the seating of a subway train.]

Text on screen: LIVING st. louis

127 years later, the technological advancements of filmmaking have these students captivated by a train on a screen for much more complex reasons.

Eric Rothenbuhler: This is the first virtual cinema system in the St. Louis area and it's gotta be one of very few in an educational institution anywhere in the country.

[The voice overs end as the group of people discuss in front of the virtual cinema system, speaking to the interviewer. Words are indistinguishable.]

Butler: This virtual cinema system utilizes advanced technology to create any setting or atmosphere and calibrates it to this LED studio wall as a soundstage.

[A close up of the virtual cinema system appears and a student stands in front of it, showing everyone how it works, as the background continually changes.]

Basically, it allows a video to take place in any real or imaginary location.

Rothenbuhler: You can shoot a sunrise scene inside a sound stage all day long. You can shoot a rainy day indoors; you can shoot a sunny day indoors on a rainy day.

Text on screen: Eric Rothenbuhler, Dean, Webster University School of Communications

[A close-up interview shot of Eric Rothenbuhler.]

It gives you complete freedom of production. You can also shoot actors in an imagined environment. You can invent environments and so on.

[A montage of science fiction footage mixed with real filming and behind the scenes footage of “The Mandalorian” and technology shots.]

Butler: A major production to utilize this technology was "The Mandalorian,” in which over 50% of the first season was shot with a virtual cinema system. And while these film and video production majors at Webster University probably won't be creating something as large scale as that, this technology is a recently added feature to the major renovations of the School of Communication's production facilities.

[The footage of technology is replaced with a page from Webster University’s website.]

Text on screen: The Renovated School of Communications

Text on screen: State-of-the-Art Learning Environment

[Butler tours the newly renovated School of Communications with its dean, Rothenbuhler. They walk down one of the new hallways.]

Butler: So when I was in undergrad here, this was... I'm lost right now. I don't even know where we are. The media center was this way... So what's happening here?

Rothenbuhler: So this remodeling was a complete gutting of the building.

[A photo montage of the inner renovations.]

So everything but the exterior envelope was demolished and pulled out and then reconstructed so that it could be purpose-built as a communication and media production facility.

[There is a long photo montage of the inner renovations which, as Eric speaks, changes to photos of the new production facility areas and general Sverdrup building photos.]

Butler: The Sverdrup Building was built in the 1980s before Webster even had a School of Communications. As the field grew exponentially, they built a small TV studio and fashioned classrooms into editing labs, dark rooms, and a media center.

[More before-and-after photos, showing how the facilities have grown, changed and upgraded over time.]

So now through this remodeling process, students no longer have to squeeze into makeshift studios, but have access to more intentional production spaces.

So technology has helped in a lot of ways. It's also raised the question, everyone with a phone is a filmmaker now.

[The photo montages end and change to a close up of Rothenbuhler in an interview, listening to the question.]

Everyone can go on YouTube and learn how to program a game. How has that affected enrollment?

Rothenbuhler: I believe one of the reasons we've seen growth, everybody wants to tell visual stories, and young people have more facility with visual stories than earlier generations did.

[Another photo montage of various stages of film production.]

But you may not be a master storyteller yet. We all speak English, that doesn't make us all bestselling novelists. So we can take those native skills and shape them into professional skills.

[Footage of Rothenbuhler showing and explaining technology used at the School of Communications to Butler. The two people talk back and forth.]

So this is an immersive sound system. There'll be 19 speakers in here. That creates a full 360-degree spherical sound field.

Butler: So all of this, just the process for this room, there's a lot of money in this room is what I'm saying. Do you see the return on investment happening?

Rothenbuhler: Absolutely. The facilities we're providing our students now mimic – they're designed architecturally and technically to mimic the kinds of workplaces they'll be moving into after they graduate.

[More video footage of the unique facilities and technologies that the School of Communication boasts, along with students working in and around these technologies.]

Butler: Having these educational settings that resemble real industry workplaces especially makes sense with instruction from faculty members who continue to work in the industry.

[The facility footage cuts to an interview shot of a faculty member.]

Joshua Johnson: I'm still, even though I'm full-time teaching here, I'm still out there working.

Text on screen: Joshua Johnson, Assistant Professor, Webster University

This past summer I worked on "Hocus Pocus 2."

[The close up of Johnson cuts to a new faculty member.]

Text on screen: Juraj Bohus, Assistant Professor, Webster University

So now I'm working on a film which I have 3D actors.

[Various footage of the assistant professors Joshua Johnson and Juraj Bohus instructing and working with students on using the virtual cinema.]

Butler: Joshua Johnson and Juraj Bohus are co-teaching the first class utilizing the virtual cinema system. And while most film and video production classes don't rely on a textbook way of teaching, this class is particularly flexible.

[The teaching footage ends, followed by an interview shot of a student.]

Text on screen: Vincent Italiano, Student of Film, Television, & Video Production

Vincent Italiano: It's not like other programs where you have a selected curriculum and there's a bunch of tests you have to take and materials you have to cover.

[Multiple video clips of Italiano working in production areas along with the assistant professors and other students.]

This is a process where everybody is learning, including the professors. It's completely experimental. My goals after I graduate I think are to get with some larger production houses like with LED walls and visual effects and stuff like that.

[More footage of the two assistant professors working with the virtual cinema system.]

Johnson: I think that's really important for students to have a professional, their professor,

to actually be there still working in projects. Because as you can see, technology changes pretty quickly.

Juraj Bohus: Things are kind of changing to the point where in the future it'll be very interesting to see like what is what. It's pretty uncanny.

Butler: For Living St. Louis, I’m Brooke Butler.

[The footage fades into a solid blue.]

Text on screen: LIVING st. louis

Immerse Yourself in Film Through the Webster Film Series

As hosts of the Webster Film Series, a year-round program that prides itself as the most comprehensive alternative film series in the St. Louis region, Webster University is known for encouraging film artists to display their work within the community. The Webster Film Series offers a premiere film almost every weekend and frequently screens classic cinema on weeknights. Past visiting filmmakers include documentary filmmaker Ken Burns and writer/director John Waters.

Learn From Industry Experts and Practitioners

Webster’s Film Studies faculty are professionals working in their fields, as well as being effective and caring educators. These faculty members act as mentors and advisors as they bring their professional knowledge, skills and insights into the classroom. You will learn from film history experts and filmmakers who are passionate about educating the next generation of film enthusiasts.

What Can You Do With a Bachelor's in Film Studies?

With Webster University's Film Studies degree, graduates will be prepared for both their next step in their professional journey and any bumps along the way. Film is a large industry, allowing a wide variety of careers for Film Studies graduates. With the degree from Webster, you may choose to pursue a career in:

  • Producer
  • Filmmaker
  • Cinematographer
  • Production Designer
  • Camera Operator
  • Film Editor
  • Location Manager
  • Production Assistant

Get Started on Your Film Studies Major

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Contact the Admissions Office to Find Out More

If you have more questions about the program, your application or other enrollment-related inquiries, contact our Admissions Office.

Call 314-246-7800 or 800-753-6765 or send an email to