The Department of Cinematic Arts approaches cinema from both a critical and creative perspective, in relation to the other arts, and within a global and interdisciplinary frame.  We seek to provide students with the critical tools necessary for the theoretical and historical analysis of cinema, as well as the creative skills required to write and produce for film, video, and digital media. The department offers undergraduate degrees in Cinema and Screenwriting, as well as graduate degrees in Film Studies and Film and Video Production. These programs and degrees build on a long and illustrious tradition of media education at the University of Iowa, which has pioneering teaching film and television production since the 1950s and largely shaped the discipline of Film Studies.

Currently, our students benefit from a comprehensive and integrated range of course offerings and degree possibilities in film production, film history/theory, and screenwriting. Students have access to a professional infrastructure for production work, and numerous opportunities for community involvement in one of the country’s most cherished university towns. As we emerge from the pandemic, cinephilia has never been stronger in Iowa City!


"When I was a junior at high school in New York, my high school adviser said, ‘Well, you’re interested in liberal arts, you’re interested in literature, you’re interested in film, and you’re interested in theater.’ There are basically only one or two universities in the country that are offering that, particularly with film as part of the undergraduate thing, and the one that he named was the University of Iowa. He also named USC and Boston University, I think. I went to those places and I looked at them, and I went and looked at this, and I just fell in love with it. I’d never seen anything like this in my life, and it spoke to me.”
-Nicholas Meyer, Uiowa alumn and director and screenwriter for films including Time After time (1979) and several Star Trek films.