Mizzou’s Cinematic Major and Minor

In 1942, Ginger Rogers and Ray Milland starred in The Major and the Minor, little knowing how film and business would, in the new millennium, affect … independent study. 


We all know that independent study provides opportunities for students when classes are closed to enrollment on campus, but how often do we get to help with majors or minors?


At the University of Missouri, Film Studies is a program and a minor, but not yet department or a major. Missouri’s CDIS has commissioned and opened two Film Studies courses, with one recent minor revision, in the last 3 years.



Another is looming on the horizon, and several related literature or religion courses feature films rentable from national online services. The chair has been very supportive, having written the first course and part of an upcoming civilization course. Further, he has solicited enrollment and financial information from CDIS to send on to the dean’s office in hopes of making the program into a degree-awarding department. Time will tell the outcome, but fortunately, there are about 130 students in the first Film Studies course, Introduction to Film Analysis, making it one of our highest-enrolling courses and offsetting some of the losses incurred from certain other courses closing at inopportune times. The course grader is rather busy, needless to say.


On the minor front, CDIS has been helping with the Business Minor—by request from that college! In July 2006, Business asked us to help with overflow in classes, knowing we already had offerings in Accountancy, Economics (under Arts and Science but applicable to the minor), Management, and Marketing. This has not only led to increased enrollments in some courses but also to commissioning of new or rewritten courses in Management, Economics, and Finance. In most cases, the authors have been adjuncts due to fiscal need and to correlation with online summer offerings. Some of the courses have taken us outside the box, utilizing audio or streaming video, while others were much more linear and textbook- or lecture-note-based.


Luckily, both Film Studies and Business fit right into the Bachelor of General Studies (BGS) degree completion program, which includes Humanities and Business components—areas of concentration worth 15 credits each. Thus developing these courses helps more than one curricular niche.


Stay tuned in future years for updates on “the major and the minor.”



Evan Smith


5 Responses to “Mizzou’s Cinematic Major and Minor”

  1. Evan Smith Says:

    Update 7/08: A third Film Studies course has been commissioned and is several lessons underway.–ESS

  2. Evan Smith Says:

    Update 10/08: The third Film Studies course, on adapting Shakespeare to the screen, is in production and may open in early 2009.

  3. Evan Smith Says:

    The Film Studies major should be approved in 2009, according to their website.

  4. Evan Smith Says:

    The third Film Studies course through CDIS opened in February 2009; see our website; University credit–Film Studies–2005.. .

  5. evan smith Says:

    Now the third course must be renumbered because it is a topics course (temporary number).

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