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Creativity on the Cutting Edge

The American University School of Communication Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Arts provides you with a professional skill set in photography, film, video, and digital media.

Our undergraduates take advantage of the broad opportunities that Washington, DC offers with internships at national media organizations including USA Today, National Geographic Television, and PBS.

You'll be positioned on the forefront of social purpose filmmaking at nonprofits, NGOs, and government agencies such as the World Wildlife Fund, Smithsonian Institution, and the National Park Service. Graduates of our program go on to have successful careers in the media industry.

Declaring within SOC
Dean's Internships
Minor in Communication

The School of Communication's state-of-the-art production facilities offer our students opportunities to develop professional skills critical to success in many of today's media and communication fields. You'll have access to a wide range of hardware and software in our computing labs, media editing suites, and photo lab that will serve your varied media production needs.

The combination of technology and equipment housed in three locations on the AU campus make our facilities, particularly the Media Production Center, some of the most advanced university-based production facilities in the region.

Some of these facilities include:

  • The Media Innovation Lab (MIL), which has a nine-screen programmable video wall and a three-camera HD studio and control room.
  • Two traditional photography darkrooms and a specialized photography classroom.
  • Twelve private digital video editing suites equipped with Adobe Creative Cloud software and Genelec speakers.

Save Time and Money

Get a head start on your advanced degree with SOC's combined bachelor's/master's program and have up to six credits from your bachelor's degree count toward your master's. You may apply for admission to the program during the second semester of your junior year. Students in any undergraduate major at AU are eligible for consideration. An undergraduate degree in communication is not required.

How to Apply


When you apply to American University, you are applying to the university as a whole, not to a specific school or college within the University. 

You’ll be able to indicate your intended major on your application, but the admission decision will not be affected by the major you indicate. If you change your mind after you apply, that’s fine! Simply tell your academic advisor that you’ve changed your mind, and they will help you make the switch.

Because it’s so easy to change your major, we highly recommend that you indicate a major within the School of Communication, even if you’re not 100% certain. That way you’ll be acclimated to our community right away. The first class you’ll take for a major in the School of Communication is COMM 100, Understanding Media, which also happens to count as a general education requirement. This means that you’ll be fulfilling your first major requirement while also fulfilling one of the general education areas required of all AU students.

For current students, formal admission to this major requires a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale). You will need to declare a major in one of the School of Communication areas by the end of your sophomore year and maintain a minimum GPA of 2.50 in order to continue taking courses in the school after you have completed 60 hours of undergraduate credit. 

Meaningful Real-World Experience

Our Dean's Internships offer exceptional School of Communication students significant opportunities to earn bylines, production credits, and professional recognition for their work.

World-class partners such as Bloomberg BNA, Discovery Communications, The Washington Post, National Geographic Fox, and National Public Radio reserve exclusive opportunities for our best and brightest students, connecting you with meaningful real-world assignments that provide recognition and future pathways to jobs.

After working part-time during the academic year, Dean's Interns are often invited back by their host partner to work full time for the summer or after graduation. Dean's Internship opportunities are announced throughout the year as opportunities arise.

The same intellectual rigor that defines our bachelor's degree majors is also a hallmark of our Minor in Communication. Whether your interest is in journalism, public relations and strategic communication, film and media arts, or foreign language and communication media, this minor will build your practical professional skills, give you a broad-based understanding of communication theory, and afford you hands-on, real-world work opportunities.

Since you apply to American University as a whole, not to any specific school or college, you may choose any major, and you may also choose any minor offered by AU. Formal admission to the minor requires a cumulative GPA of 2.50 (on a 4.00 scale). You'll need to complete 18 credit hours with grades of C or better, including two required courses (6 credits) and four electives (12 credits) across a range of communication disciplines. A minimum of 9 credit hours must be at the 300-level or above, and at least 12 credit hours must be unique to the minor.

SOC's film program is ranked number 4

in the nation.

College Factual

Our faculty have won Oscars, Emmys, Peabody Awards, and more!

Frequently Asked Questions

The School of Communication has a distinct advantage among comparable institutions for the wide variety of experiential learning opportunities offered to students. Internships are a way of life here. Undergraduate and graduate students can receive course credit for one internship, but most students have two or three, thanks to faculty and alumni who share their professional contacts.

We have an active and effective alumni mentoring program that will help you bridge the gap between the classroom and the professional world. Through our Dean's Internships, we work with world-class partners to connect highly-qualified students with meaningful real-world assignments that create future pathways to jobs. And we have two full-time career advisors to help you land internships and plan your career!

The School of Communication offers a number of rare opportunities for hands-on learning that also allow you to showcase your own work. The Visions Awards celebrate the best in student visual work—documentary, fiction, digital and new media, screenwriting, and photography. Our partnership with the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague helps students develop their skills and portfolios in photography and super 16mm film. The Center for Environmental Filmmaking inspires a new generation of filmmakers and media experts whose commitment to environmental stewardship drives them to produce creative work that is informative, ethically sound, and entertaining. And our Center for Media & Social Impact empowers media that matters as an innovation incubator and research center that creates, studies, and showcases media for social impact.

No, you'll apply to American University as a whole. You'll be able to indicate your intended major on your application, but your admission decision will not be affected by the major you indicate. You can change your mind after you apply. Because it's so easy to change your major, however, we highly recommend that you indicate a major within the School of Communication, even if you're not 100% certain. That way you'll be acclimated to our community right away.

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