Undergraduate Programs

The School of Theater + Film is committed to providing liberal arts based professional training that imaginatively balances theory and practice. Through classroom study, studio/laboratory preparation, field studies, and stage productions, students are challenged to pursue a commitment to individual excellence and collaboration, discover a passion for their discipline, and develop a firm grounding in the core components of live and mediated performance. Students seeking professional careers, preparing for advanced degree programs, training to be educators, or pursuing interdisciplinary studies in the arts participate in contemporary production and critical studies practices encompassing new, modern, and classic works interpreted to confront and illuminate the diverse concerns of contemporary life.

Production is an essential and integral part of the department’s educational mission. Students are provided with a variety of opportunities to gain experience and develop creative and collaboration skills both before and behind the scenes. In the selection of dramatic narrative and other works, the department seeks to reflect vital contemporary issues, personal and public, in varied and challenging forms, new and classic, thereby creating a forum for cultural and social concerns. The program actively pursues the development of new works and practice, collaborations with urban arts and educational institutions, and the expansion of cultural exchange.

The School of Theater + Film is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

The university’s urban location enables the School of Theater + Film to provide students with the richest diversity of teaching staff in the studio and the maximum of diverse educational experiences without. The resident faculty are active members of the region’s arts and creative community, as professional practitioners as well as educators. Their work is represented at every major theater company in the area, as well as through other arts organizations including smaller theaters, film units, dance companies, production companies, the media, and educational institutions. They frequently engage their students as assistants on creative projects, and they facilitate student placements as interns and regular employees with a variety of organizations. The associate faculty are of the highest caliber, both as practicing artists and as teachers of their craft.

Graduates of the program have gained admission to both university graduate programs and professional training programs, they have entered the profession directly, they have become teachers and university professors, and they have pursued a range of related professions in the arts, commerce, law, social services and the public sector.

Degree Maps and Learning Outcomes

Admissions requirement

Theater Arts B.A./B.S.

Theater Arts Minor

Film B.A./B.S.

Film Studies Minor

Dance Certificate

Dance Minor

Drama - Secondary Teacher Education Program

Film B.A./B.S.


In addition to meeting the general University degree requirements, the major in film will plan a program with a faculty adviser that meets the following minimum requirements:


FILM 131Film Analysis


FILM 381Film History I: 1894 to the Second World War


FILM 381LLab for Film 381


FILM 382Film History II: Cinema and Modernism (1946-1970s)


FILM 382LLab for Film 382


FILM 383Film History III: Contemporary World Cinema (1970s-Present)


FILM 383LLab for Film 383


FILM 480Film Theory


TA 301Script Analysis


16 credits chosen from the following:

FILM 384American Cinema and Culture I


FILM 385American Cinema and Culture II


FILM 484Anatomy of a Movie I: Product of the Studio Era


FILM 485Anatomy of a Movie II: The Independent Film


TA 474Dramatic Writing I


TA 475Dramatic Writing II


Film Curriculum Electives

*16 elective credits chosen from the Film curriculum courses with at least 12 carrying numbers 300 or above


Total Credit Hours: 56

Courses taken under the undifferentiated grading option (pass/no pass) will not be accepted toward fulfilling major requirements. Additional courses may be required as prerequisites. All courses used to satisfy the major requirements must be graded C or above.

At least 16 credits of upper-division major courses must be taken in residence at Portland State University.

*Students may also seek program adviser approval to substitute elective coursework from other film courses in the university.

The Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Sciences in Film is designed to offer students the opportunity to major in a diverse film curriculum that prepares them for a variety of careers in visual expression and understanding. Students in the program will study all forms and genres of the moving image, ranging from the silent film era to present day cinema, television, and digital video production. The faculty are committed to providing strong emphasis on written, oral and visual expression and critical thinking, diverse and international perspective, and creative experiences.