Columbia College Chicago

Cinema Art and Science

The Cinema Art and Science Department cultivates artists with unique visions and the desire to express that vision cinematically. Then we provide you with the technical skills to support it. We offer several courses of undergraduate and graduate study: a Bachelor of Arts as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Cinema Art and Science, BFA degrees in Computer Animation and Traditional Animation, an MFA in Directing, and an MFA in Creative Producing.

Majors & Programs

For requirements and more information about these programs, visit the course catalog.


Cinema Art and Science, BA

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Great filmmakers start with a clear, independent vision, but bringing it to the big screen is all about collaboration. As a Cinema Art and Science major, you’ll sharpen your creative voice while collaborating with your peers to produce character-driven films. You’ll learn the fundamentals of film production and leave prepared to succeed on any set in the world. The flexible curriculum allows you to specialize in a particular area or take a wide variety of courses to diversify your skill set.

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Cinema Art and Science, BFA

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The Cinema Art and Science BFA is a comprehensive degree designed for students who want to specialize in a particular area of film production. You can choose from one of eight areas of concentration. The program is modeled on professional practice, and your coursework will equip you with the technical skills necessary to succeed in the film industry. This degree requires a collaboratively produced thesis—an intensive project that prepares you for direct entry in your chosen profession.

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Concentrations:
Cinema Art and Science, Cinematography, BFA

Our Cinematography students acquire proficiency in photography for the screen. You’ll conceive and produce images that advance the thematic aspects of a script and work closely with the film’s director.

Cinema Art and Science, Cinema Visual Effects, BFA

As a Cinema Visual Effects student, you’ll study the technical, creative and physiological application of visual effects technology used to create and support cinematic stories.

Cinema Art and Science, Directing, BFA

This concentration is designed to prepare students in all aspects of film direction. Our course offerings allow you to hone your storytelling craft in collaboration with screenwriters, casting directors, editors, cinematographers and production designers.

Cinema Art and Science, Editing and Post-Production, BFA

Our Editing and Postproduction students learn to edit raw footage, manipulate audio files and add digital effects to film. You will be prepared for a career in film editing and other postproduction specializations.

Cinema Art and Science, Producing, BFA

This concentration highlights production management, legal affairs and a fully realized array of creative producing techniques. Choose from a wide array of Producing-specific electives to learn crucial techniques such as how to cast, scout locations, pitch a film or polish a script.

Cinema Art and Science, Production Design, BFA

This concentration provides training and practice in all aspects of cinema production design. As a Production Design student, you’ll explore the design and construction of studio sets, props, set decoration, special effects, costumes and makeup. The curriculum emphasizes collaboration with directors, producers and cinematographers; previsualization through research and concept art; time and resource management; and handcrafted fabrications.

Cinema Art and Science, Screenwriting, BFA

Screenwriting students hone their writing and communication skills to construct a cinematic and emotional experience for their audience. You will craft and edit scripts with your peers and master the fundamental elements of storytelling.

Cinema Art and Science, Sound for Cinema, BFA

The concentration prepares students to handle the various audio steps involved in preproduction, production, postproduction and the release of the motion picture. You’ll learn industry techniques such as how to mix sound, dub and craft believable sound effects.


Animation, BA

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Whether you’re interested in classic 2D animation or interactive 3D worlds, our BA in Animation provides you with the technical skills to succeed in this growing, highly collaborative industry. The BA offers more curricular flexibility than the BFA, making it easy for you to take courses outside of the major. You’ll choose one of two concentrations: Computer Animation or Traditional Animation. Areas of study within these concentrations allow you to customize your degree. See the concentration descriptions for more information.

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Concentrations:
Computer Animation, BA

As a BA candidate in Computer Animation, you’ll take interdisciplinary coursework to prepare for graduate studies or a career in animation. In addition to core courses in Cinema Art and Science and Animation, you’ll choose a concentration sequence in either Computer Animation or Visual Effects. You’ll have flexibility with electives, either working collaboratively with peers to create a six-minute animated film over two semesters or taking any three animation electives of your choosing.

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Traditional Animation, BA

As a BA candidate in Traditional Animation, you’ll take interdisciplinary course work to prepare for graduate studies or a career in animation. In addition to core courses in Cinema Art and Science and Animation, you’ll choose a concentration sequence in either Hand-Drawn or Stop-Motion Animation. You’ll have flexibility with electives, either working collaboratively with peers to create a six-minute animated film over two semesters or taking any three Animation electives of your choosing.

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Interdisciplinary Documentary, BA

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Documentary filmmakers wear many hats. They’re directors and writers, photographers and voice actors. But above all else, documentary filmmakers are compelling storytellers with a passion for spreading the truth. As an Interdisciplinary Documentary major, you’ll take courses in a variety of departments and gain a comprehensive education that covers nonfiction storytelling through story, image and sound. You’ll graduate with a wide knowledge of documentary theory and practice and a portfolio of nonfiction work that spans disciplines and media formats.

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Computer Animation, BFA

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Computer-based animation and imagery has transformed cinema, television and interactive gaming. As a Computer Animation major, you’ll gain technical skills in advanced computer-generated filmmaking and take electives in areas such as motion capture, character modeling and animation performance. In your final year, you’ll collaborate on a team project and develop your own solo short film. You can apply to enter the BFA program after earning 45 credit hours.

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Traditional Animation, BFA

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As a BA candidate in Traditional Animation, you’ll take interdisciplinary course work to prepare for graduate studies or a career in animation. In addition to core courses in Cinema Art and Science and Animation, you’ll choose a concentration sequence in either Hand-Drawn or Stop-Motion Animation. You’ll have flexibility with electives, either working collaboratively with peers to create a six-minute animated film over two semesters or taking any three Animation electives of your choosing.

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Animation Minor

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Designed for students outside the Cinema Art and Science Department, the minor in Animation provides you with a solid grounding in the technique and theory of animation. In required core courses, you’ll study the history of animation around the globe; explore basic techniques, including object, hand-drawn and stop-motion animation; and draw digitally using industry-standard editing and storyboarding software, creating a story reel for a final project. Complementary majors include Game Art, Video Production and Audio Design.

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We’re happy you’re thinking of joining our creative community. We work hard to make our application process as simple and fast as possible, but should you run into any concerns, we're here to help at any time.

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