University Communications

St. Cloud State’s Film Studies program receives national recognition

Among the 19 St. Cloud State University programs recognized by Intelligent as some of the top programs in the country in 2022, the Film Studies program has made its second consecutive appearance on the annual list curated by the online and on-campus program ranking company.

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Intelligent ranked St. Cloud State’s Film Studies program No. 15 in the Best Film Degree Programs category, a list focusing on undergraduate and certification degree programs related to film, television, media and video. Intelligent evaluated each program based on flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost and reputation, then calculating the score for each program on a scale of 0 to 100.

Of the 198 colleges and universities assessed and 240 programs compared against each other, the Film Studies program received an Intelligent Score of 86.55 while being awarded “Best for International Students” under the Best Film Degree Program category.

Film Studies Program 

Film Studies is one of two programs housed in the Department of Theatre and Film Studies at St. Cloud State, providing students with rigorous study of the art of cinema that emphasizes critical and creative thinking as they work closely with other students and faculty advisers. Popular careers within the program include production and post-production, media education, media criticism, advertising and marketing, social media directing, moving image preservation and restoration, film festival directing and curating, and more.

The program was created as a minor in 1992 and was upgraded to a major in 2004, also adding a Film Production minor in 2019. It includes courses in Film Making and Screenwriting, and students can simultaneously major in Film Studies and minor in Film Production.

“I have been teaching film at SCSU for 28 years, and frankly, I have the best job in the world,” Film Studies Department Chair and Professor Brad Chisholm said. “When people love what they do, it becomes infectious. The students sense it. And us teachers, in turn, pick up on the students’ enthusiasm. That sharing of the love of cinema and the love of learning among students and faculty results in a very special, very positive vibe.”

Each year, the Film Studies program brings in well-known guest filmmakers to work with students, also putting on the annual International Film Series which has served as Central Minnesota’s premier foreign cinema showcase since 1996.

“We have a big commitment to global education. Our students routinely get exposed to films from all over the world,” Chisholm added. “Many of our alums have told us that they felt so much better educated than their peers in the industry.” 

The program has also seen success of its alumni in landing competitive jobs in the film and TV industry, including Jennifer Mochinski ‘16, VFX Coordinator on Riverdale and other productions, and Ryan Thielen ‘14, Founder of Triglass Productions whose clients include the Minnesota Vikings.

Film Studies has prepared students for life, work and citizenship throughout its history as a program. The 2022 Intelligent ranking is part of the recognition of that, and the faculty and staff within the program are determined to continue that trend for years to come.  

“We have passionate teachers who love what they do. Our students have been telling us how much they appreciate this consistently since the 1990s,” Chisholm continued. “After 25-plus years, I think we have a lot of our alums out there in the world talking us up and telling people that we are a stimulating, inspiring program.”

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