Cinema and Media Arts, B.A.


Biola's Cinema and Media Arts major seeks to usher in a new renaissance in media arts. We follow God as the ultimate creative force and communicate this with the world around us. Our location in Southern California allows us to access media professionals working in Hollywood, securing guest speakers, prime internships and additional resources via our Biola Studio Task Force.

Degree Program

Upon completion of the University baccalaureate and major requirements, the Cinema and Media Arts Department offers the Bachelor of Arts degree in Cinema and Media Arts.

A Cinema and Media Arts degree is 45 credits, of which 24 must be upper-division. Choose one of the concentrations listed below.

On-Campus Study Opportunities

Guerilla Film Society

A student created, student led organization dedicated to the art of filmmaking. Weekly GFS meetings allow CMA majors to exchange information, announce upcoming projects, connect and collaborate with potential crew members, and rally around new and classic films.


Sophia is Greek for wisdom and is the name of the club for the support of female film majors. Weekly meetings encourage and support members and allow for unique interaction with guest speakers. Regular social activities are held.

Biola Film Festival

An annual celebration of the best films created by CMA and other students. This campus-wide event recognizes and awards achievement in acting, directing, screenwriting, production design and editing.

Studio Task Force

Over 250 media professionals gather on a quarterly basis to support and empower Biola's Cinema and Media Arts department. These committed Christians work throughout the Entertainment Industry, allowing Biola students to draw upon their expertise and connections. The Parents Task Force comes alongside Biola's students to complement the Programs and activities of the CMA department, including special premiers, fundraisers, and galas.

Biola Media Conference

Once a year we bring hundreds of media industry professionals together for an all-day conference on a wide range of media related topics. Given Hollywood's global influence, this event attracts participants from around the world and has grown into the largest gathering of Christian media professionals in the nation. For-up-to date information visit the Biola Media Conference website.

Cinema and Media Arts Chapel

CMA majors meet monthly for a unique time of worship, fellowship and exploration of the abilities God has granted us and others. A wide range of special guests and experiences makes this "family time" an essential part of our growth as an artistic community.


Biola's proximity to Hollywood and the entertainment industry affords CMA majors prime internship opportunities. Our Studio Task Force has extensive contacts in all facets of mass media, from massive movie studios to smaller production companies. Our students find internships to suit their interests and career plans. An internship is required of all majors.

Off-Campus Opportunities

Biola offers several off-campus study opportunities fitting for students earning a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Arts. More information about these experiential learning programs can be found in the Study Abroad and Study USA section of this catalog, or on the CCCE website. Students interested in one of these programs should consult with an advisor as early as possible.

Los Angeles Film Studies Center

An intensive semester-in-Hollywood program. Students get a taste of Hollywood by living and working in proximity to the Studio System.

Biola Sundance

Students attend Sundance Film Festival, the leading venue for independent film, where they sit in on screenings, filmmaker interviews, course lectures, and participate in dialogues on film and faith. This experiential class is held in Park City, Utah.

Japan Film Program

Biola's Cinema and Media Arts department offers a course where students produce short or feature length films in conjunction with writers and producers in Tokyo, Japan. When this course is offered, a typical cycle will encompass two semesters and travel to Japan.

Contemporary Music Center

For musicians or sound recorders who wish to work behind the scenes in the music industry, this program gives you a semester-long opportunity to study the music industry. You spend most of the semester in beautiful Martha's Vineyard, plus have an intensive field experience in Nashville.

Program Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Arts, students will be able to:

  1. Identify the basic components of theory, history and practices of cinema and media arts (ULO 1).
  2. Demonstrate their ability to integrate their faith and distinguish between biblical and unbiblical practices in the cinema and media arts discipline (ULO 2).
  3. Apply their knowledge of cinema and media arts to the world of their craft (ULO 3).

Each Program Learning Outcome (PLO) listed above references at least one of the University Learning Outcomes (ULO 1, 2, 3), which may be found in the General Information section of this catalog.

Admission Requirements

The Entertainment Industry is a highly competitive, creative, and demanding business. Admission to Cinema and Media Arts (CMA) is separate from and contingent upon your admission to Biola University. Admission to Biola University does not guarantee admission into the CMA major. Applications to the CMA major will not be considered until after the applicant has been admitted to Biola University. Notifications concerning your acceptance to the CMA major will be processed by groups as listed on the application schedule page available from the Admissions Department.

After you have completed your application to Biola University, complete your application online by the appropriate deadline indicated on the website.

Please be assured that media production experience is not a prerequisite for admission into the CMA major. Our program will show you how to use the tools. We are more interested in leadership ability, creative thinking, problem solving, and dreamers of credible character. The full department faculty will prayerfully review your application. Notification letters will be sent out by the deadlines listed in the schedule. You will be notified of your acceptance, placement on a waiting list or rejection.

If you have any questions about the status of your application, please call the department administrative assistant at (562) 777-4052 or write to:

Acceptance Committee
Cinema and Media Arts Department
Biola University
13800 Biola Avenue
La Mirada, CA 90639

CMA Students are encouraged to purchase a computer with video editing software. While we understand the financial strains of such equipment expenditures, we also recognize that this technologically driven major involves costs well beyond the textbooks that serve as the essential tools for many other undergraduate departments. Contact the department for specific equipment recommendations.

General Requirements

All Cinema and Media Arts majors must achieve a minimum grade of "C" in all major courses taken at Biola. Anyone receiving a lower grade must repeat the course and receive a "C" or better.

The total number of credits for major area credit from practicum, internship and directed research courses may not exceed 9 credits.

Curriculum Requirements


Media Management

A media management concentration introduces students to the business principles that drive the entertainment industry. Media managers make strategic decisions regarding what films get produced and what TV shows get broadcast. By combining classes in mass media and business, students are equipped to serve as producers or development and marketing executives, en route to corporate management.

Program Courses
CNMA 204The Entertainment Business3
CNMA 301Transmedia2
CNMA 353Media Literacy3
CNMA 359Motion Picture Production3
CNMA 433Mass Media Law and Ethics3
CNMA 440Cinema and Media Arts Internship 14
CNMA 455Media Management3
CNMA 456Senior Media Project3
CNMA 458Mass Communication Research3
or CNMA 470 Cinema and Media Arts Seminar
BUSN 211Principles of Accounting I3
or CNMA 101 The Art of Storytelling
BUSN 212Principles of Accounting II3
or CNMA 302 Production Management
CNMA 355History of Television Programming3
or CNMA 449 The Role of the Producer
CNMA 358Motion Picture Pre-Production3
or CNMA 452 Motion Picture Post-Production
BUSN 230Introduction to Marketing3
or CNMA 392 Principles of Advertising
Select one of the following:3
Organizational Communication
An upper-division CNMA elective
Total Credits45

CNMA 440 must be taken multiple times for a total of 4 credits.


A production concentration offers students a thorough grounding in the creation of film, television or audio and new media. Students are encouraged to develop their technical skills, training for positions as director, cinematographer, gaffer, editor, sound designer, recording engineer, new media creation and/or production designer. Whether pursuing careers in the entertainment industry or media ministry, students discover a spirit of cooperation and collaboration is essential.

Program Courses
CNMA 101The Art of Storytelling3
CNMA 102Visual Aesthetics3
CNMA 104History of Cinema3
CNMA 251Sound Recording2
CNMA 262Directing for TV and Film2
CNMA 301Transmedia2
CNMA 302Production Management3
CNMA 303Cinematography2
CNMA 315Editing for Film and Television2
CNMA 353Media Literacy3
CNMA 359Motion Picture Production3
CNMA 440Cinema and Media Arts Internship 13
CNMA 456Senior Media Project3
CNMA 358Motion Picture Pre-Production3
or CNMA 452 Motion Picture Post-Production
Select 8 credits of upper-division Cinema and Media Arts electives8
Total Credits45

 CNMA 440 must be taken for a total of 3 credits.

Writing for Film and Television

The Writing for Film and Television concentration covers the fundamental elements of storytelling—from conception (the pitch and the outline), to execution (the script), to the all-important rewriting and polishing process.

Program Courses
CNMA 101The Art of Storytelling3
CNMA 102Visual Aesthetics3
CNMA 104History of Cinema3
CNMA 203Screenwriting I3
CNMA 204The Entertainment Business3
CNMA 312Screenwriting II3
CNMA 351Writing the Scene3
CNMA 352Character Development and Dialogue3
CNMA 353Media Literacy3
CNMA 354The TV Writer's Room3
CNMA 405Understanding Representation2
CNMA 420Coverages and Rewrites2
CNMA 440Cinema and Media Arts Internship 13
CNMA 453Beauty as Truth2
CNMA 456Senior Media Project3
ENGL 344Creative Writing: Fiction3
Total Credits45

CNMA 440 must be taken for a total of 3 credits.