Make Film a Major at Rutgers
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My name is Becky Fitzpatrick and I am an undergraduate student at Rutgers University, New Brunswick. When I graduate I want to make documentaries and promotional videos for non-profit organizations. Unfortunately there is no film major at Rutgers.
The School of Arts and Sciences offers the Cinema Studies minor where studentslearn about the technical aspects and historical development of film making, and analyze films. This is not a hands-on class.
Here is what Rutgers has to offer film students:
Mason Gross offers a program for students that is neither a major nor a minor, but a certificate. The Rutgers Film Bureau has opportunities for more hands-on experience through their Film Certificate.
Mason Gross also offers a concentration in video for their Visual Arts major, but no specific major for Film.The School of Communication and Information offers a minor in Digital Communication, Information, and Media, but this is also not a film minor and offers no professional hands-on experience.
There are classes throughout other fields that offer film experience, such as the Documentary Expression class in American Studies or the Ethnographic Filmmaking class through Anthropology. But none of these classes or programs allows the students tomajorin filmmaking.
We are not getting enough of the hands-on experience that employers will need to see when we apply for jobs after graduation.
Some students have pursued individualized majors, even though many academic advisors warn against it. While these students were able to take film classes and gain experience, their diplomas read “Individualized Major”, not “Film”. Employers won’t see their film experience or understand the work they put in to make film their major, and there is a chance a potential employer will pass over their application to an application that clearly states film as a major.
There are many students who chose Rutgers for their financial aid package and outstanding reputation as a research university. But these students who want to pursue film are planning to transfer to a more expensive art school that actually offers a major in film. There are also students who chose not to come to Rutgers because they had no film major.
I have met with advisors to discuss making film my major. They told me to contact deans, who sent me back to the advisors. There seems to be no way to combine the multiple film classes Rutgers offers into one concrete major.
There are also a lot of seniors who would have majored in film had they been offered the chance or had known about the film classes.
A film major would offer knowledge in storytelling, cinematography, and directing, rather than news based film. The new classes that are being offered through the Film Certificate include classes like documentary film making, animation, digital storytelling, and directing.
If you think Rutgers should make film a major, pleasesign your name on this petition!! If you would personally major in film,leave a commentas to why you think film should be a major and explain your struggles in making it your major.