BS Media & Cinema Studies

The BS degree in Media & Cinema Studies provides students with essential competencies in media studies and a relevant, future-focused interdisciplinary education. 

Core courses are organized around foundational concepts and methods that students will need as media producers, consumers and citizens.

Majors additionally take MACS courses grouped according to Thematic Areas reflecting the strengths of the faculty and subjects of critical importance within media studies. 

Thematic Areas assist students in identifying connections between courses’ topics and approaches, while also empowering them to construct a plan of study that flexibly responds to their interests and goals, giving them confidence to work in a rapidly changing media environment.

Thematic Areas direct students to consider questions of inequality, difference, technological change, and global exchange embedded in media texts, industries and cultures, and offer students the opportunity to develop skills in media research and content generation so they will be poised to impact the future of media.

Students are required to take courses across at least 2 Thematic Areas, to provide breadth to their media studies education, and are encouraged to take 4 courses within a single Thematic Area to develop a specialized knowledge area.

As seniors, MACS majors will put these skills to practice in a Senior Project.

Core Curriculum 

Students complete 5 core courses.

  • MACS 203 Contemporary Movies
  • MACS 264 Creative and Information Economies
  • MACS 317 Media History
  • MACS 320 Popular Culture
  • MACS 351 Social Aspects of the Media


Thematic Areas

Students complete 5 courses in at least 2 of the following Thematic Areas below. Each class can be counted for only 1 theme below. Students can declare a specialization by taking 4 courses in 1 thematic area or by completing the requirements of a related certificate program.

  • Cinema Studies
  • Media Industries & Cultures
  • Difference & Power
  • Science, Technology, and Visualization
  • Global Media and Cinema 
  • Sports Media 
  • Media Making, Design and Research

See the Classes & Requirements page to view previously approved courses for each Thematic Area.


Senior Project

All students must demonstrate proficiency in media research and production by completing a required Senior Project: Media & Cinema Studies – Senior Portfolio.

Additional Requirements

College of Media Electives
Students complete a minimum of 5 hours of elective coursework in the College of Media, in Media & Cinema Studies, Advertising, Journalism, or Media courses.

Area of Study or Minor outside of Media
Finally, to ensure engagement with complementary disciplines, students take a minimum of 9 hours of coursework in an approved area outside of the College of Media.


For more information about admission as a freshman or off-campus transfer student, please visit the Office of Undergraduate Admissions.

If you are interested in transferring to the Media & Cinema Studies program from another University of Illinois major, please visit the Intercollegiate Transfer (ICT) information page for the transfer requirements.

Learn about admissions statistics for this major.