Cinema? Yes, We Offer It Here! Discover the Benefits of Studying with Us

Student filming behind camera

Daveisha Gibson

Cinema, Story

December 17, 2014

Did you know…

The Virginia Tech class of 2017 welcomed the highest number of out-of-state freshmen from Maryland? The second highest was New Jersey.

The University shield reflects the War Memorial Pylons- the location for the Virginia Tech motto Ut Prosim (That I May Serve).

The School of Performing Arts at Virginia Tech offers undergraduate students the opportunity to explore the art of cinema through either a major in theatre with an emphasis in cinema or a minor in cinema.

If you were unaware of these notable facts before, now you know! 

As you may have guessed from the title, the third fact is the main topic of today’s CreatiVe ConnecTions blog entry. 

I first heard about the option to study cinema from Caitlyn, a first year undergraduate student enrolled in my Theatre Arts Management Lab course this fall. From the onset of class Caitlyn showed herself to have a strong sense of self. She was reliable, creative and great at relating to others. When Caitlyn shared her plan of majoring in multimedia journalism and theatre with an emphasis in Cinema my response was, “That’s perfect!”

I could see the possibilities available to her post graduation as she shared her big dreams with me.  In my opinion, her reasoning was not only well thought out, but true to her personal strengths.   

Can you relate to Caitlyn? Are you considering attending or already enrolled at Virginia Tech?  Do you too have big dreams about pursuing a career requiring knowledge in cinema? Big dreams require big opportunities.

Here at Virginia Tech, the School of Performing Arts is positioned to provide big opportunities for those with the desire to study cinema arts.

According to Patricia Lavender, Director of Undergraduate Advising for Theatre & Cinema, the program regularly has about one fourth of its majors declare a focus in cinema.

At this time 25 students are pursuing theatre with a cinema emphasis- others a minor in cinema.  

The cinema program is crafted to allow learners to pursue their passions. It allows space for interdisciplinary study and equips you with essential skills for the workforce.

Speaking of life after college, do you know the five things employers wish you learned in college? Lindsey Pollak, a leading expert on the workplace, believes she does--and the cinema program at Virginia Tech cultivates learning experiences that impart each of them. Pollak has identified skills in communication, leadership, organization, personal finance and street smarts as skills employers are looking for from college grads.

Wondering how the cinema program cultivates these learning experiences?  Take a look.  


Students work collaboratively, benefitting from cross-disciplinary hands on projects and lectures. Creative student work encourages communication.

“There are literally tens of thousands of different opportunities a Cinema student can pursue after graduation. The experience a cinema student has had with accepting responsibility and managing different aspects of different projects makes them a natural for any collaborative enterprise--pick your field or industry!” – Professor Charles Dye


Classes are offered in stage management and arts management, along with a variety of labs. The management and lab courses provide learning experiences in budgeting, time management, decision-making, economic principles, and creating systems for productivity. 


Students are encouraged to venture away from the classroom to film and create.  Students are given the permission to access tools and technology to act independently.

“As for leadership, there are many places in Cinema where this is critically important. Luckily with good communication skills comes the ability to be a better leader. Of course good leadership is also about management, so management training is a part of our courses as well.” – Professor Charles Dye


Faculty members share their knowledge and skills with undergraduates ensuring that upon graduation students will be professional artists and engaged citizens, working in and with community in an innovative way.

You see! Cinema study has much to offer.

Until next time, in what other ways do you see cinema preparing students in the areas of communication, leadership, organization, personal finance and street smarts?

Give us your take in the talk back.

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Daveisha Gibson

Daveisha is a candidate in the MFA in Arts Leadership program at Virginia Tech.

To make a gift to the School of Performing Arts visit the link below. Designate your gift to the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences. Once you select the College a secondary field will open and you may then designate the School of Performing Arts.

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