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Degree Requirements

SIU Cinema students learning in the studio

Visual storytelling starts day one.

Explore the moving image as a springboard to developing your expressive voice, creative vision, and a way to make a difference in the world. The aesthetic, social, political, and economic importance of the cinematic experience in our lives is undeniable.

Our program will help you become a critically aware, historically grounded, globally conscious, and skilled media maker. You will be unafraid of independent thinking and new media technologies.

Program Requirements

The major in cinema is focused on the history, theory, and practice of the still and moving image within the broader framework of evolving technologies and an education in media arts that is grounded in the arts and the humanities. Beginning with a set of foundational courses that integrate theory and practice and offer an interdisciplinary introduction to media arts, students may select from intermediate and advanced courses to progress their academic goals.

Areas of Study

Students majoring in cinema can choose an area of study such as:

  • Screenwriting
  • Cinema Production and Studies
  • Experimental Processes
  • New Media History and Production
  • Documentary Practices and Studies
  • Special Topics

Required Materials

Students must purchase materials for some Cinema production courses. These materials include:

  • DSLR Camera capable of capturing still photos and recording video
  • Laptop
  • Video editing software as needed
  • External hard Drive
  • Additional materials may be required depending on classes

Compass IconCheck out the Course Requirements and specialized curricular guide (PDF) which helps you outline what courses you would want to take each semester for this four year degree.  Also you can view all related Cinema courses.

SIU cinema student with camera


Our facilities are the basis of intensive, hands-on media training. We emphasize the foundational principles of the still and moving image, such as framing, lighting, and cinematography while encouraging flexibility across media. Whether in the classroom or utilizing equipment, you will be able to take full advantage of your talent as you hone your skills. Our unique facilities include: 

  • Emerging Media Studios
  • Animation and Game Design Studio
  • Analog Media Studios
  • Video/Audio Post-Production Studios
  • Multi-Purpose Studios
  • Equipment Checkout Room
  • Access to Adobe Creative Suite

Our Equipment Checkout Facility has everything you need to complete your class assignments and projects.

Student Organizations 

We believe that you can find your strengths and unique voice in a collaborative and cooperative atmosphere. Our students join others who share their passion for making media and find life-long friends and collaborators. We have two thriving registered student organizations (RSO): 

Other opportunities for Cinema Students: 

  • Big Muddy Film Festival 
  • LLC at Kellogg Residence Hall 
  • WSIU Public Radio & Television 
  • Registered Student Organizations 
  • Study abroad and expand your horizons 
  • Internship programs and work experiences 

Live and Learn

The College of Arts and Media has a dedicated academic Living Learning Community (LLC) for students in its majors. Kellogg Hall, located on West Campus on the banks of scenic Campus Lake and a quick five-minute walk to the Communications Building, is a dedicated residence hall for CAMS majors from Cinema; Radio, Television, Digital Media; and Journalism.

This common living space promotes community building within the college and supports the transition for many new students as they acclimate to life at the university.

SIU Cinema Living Learning Community roommates

Contact Information

Robert Spahr
Director and Associate Professor
1056 B Comm Bldg
1100 Lincoln Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901

Todd Robinson
1121 Comm Bldg
1100 Lincoln Dr.
Carbondale, IL 62901


We encourage students to learn the skills they need to be competitive in their field, no matter what changes may happen in the world of technology.

Students are given several opportunities to learn outside of the classroom in leadership roles, through mentorships, internships, and through the various professional development opportunities offered by the college and SIU's Career Development Center, gain practical experience, develop their professional networks, and explore career paths in their fields.


Communication and Media students are eligible for a variety of scholarship opportunities through the University, as well as degree specific scholarships available specifically for communication and media students.

School of Media Arts | College of Arts and Media | 618-536-7555 |