Academic Communities

Make new friends. Explore your intellectual interests. Achieve your academic goals. 

In an Academic Community, in your first term you take up to three classes, including Academic Foundations, with the same small group of students. These classes focus on a specific area of study that speaks to your own unique interests and goals. It’s an unmatched opportunity to meet like-minded students right away, and to explore your interests and possible major with others who share your passion for the subject.  Click here for full details about the Academic Communities at Pitt.

Academic Communities Within The Film and Media Studies Program:

How to Make a Movie

“Hollywood in Pittsburgh” is a common phrase here. Learn the important role Pittsburgh has had in the production and creation of films, both past and present. Learn the processes of movie-making by scripting, creating, and editing your own film. Write about your own engagement with film and film production, and discover where you fit in Pittsburgh’s vibrant film community. This community provides 7 credits in your first-term schedule.

NOTE: To enroll in this Academic Community, students must place into Seminar in Composition. ENGCMP 0205 fulfills the Seminar in Composition requirement.

Class Number Department & Catalog Number - Course Title Day(s) Time Credit(s)
10750 ENGCMP 0205 - Seminar in Composition: Film MW 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. 3
27739 FMST 0800 - Filmmaking 1: Fundamentals F 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 3
30049 FP 0002 - Academic Foundations W 4:00 - 4:50 p.m. 1

Bytes & Pixels

Are you intersted in learning more about visual arts, digital images, or social media? Take a hands-on approach to digital experimentation as you create visual and aural art using the open-source electronics platform, Arduino. Explore the history and development of various forms of digital media while also examining the changes they have produced in our society. This community provides 7 credits in your first-term schedule.

Class Number Department & Catalog Number - Course Title   Day(s) Time Credit(s)
26285 ENGFLM 0570 - Introduction to New Media M 1:00 - 4:50 p.m. 3
31139 SA 0170 - Digital Studio: Creative Coding TuTh 10:00 - 11:40 a.m. 3
30051 FP 0002 - Academic Foundations W 1:00 - 1:50 p.m. 1


"The How To Make a Movie academic community was one of the most valuable experiences of my freshman year. Being one of the only freshman programs for film students, it provided me with a supportive group of people with similar interests to me, all of whom have stayed in touch even after the semester ended. Additionally, the program made it easy to get involved on campus and gave me the confidence to try things I never would have thought myself qualified for."  

-Livia Rappaport 

"This community was an incredibly formative experience for me, academically as well as extra-curricular.  While I was learning foundations of film studies and production, I was also meeting people who I will be working alongside throughout my career at Pitt.  Having this foundation of film studies at Pitt has vastly shaped my experience within the department and I am so grateful for what I learned and how I continue to use it. "

-J. Claire Carpenter

Benefits of Joining an Academic Community 

  • Connect with your peers and make friends. Pitt’s a big place. Academic Communities offer built-in opportunities to socialize and connect with like-minded students and find your fit on campus.
  • Connect with Pitt’s premier faculty. Focused groups allow for more personal interaction with our world-class faculty members.
  • Connect with the academic tools you need. College is different than high school, and you need different tools. In an Academic Community, you have peer support for writing and studying, and you’ll receive a comprehensive, robust, and supportive introduction to academic life at Pitt in the Intro to the Arts and Sciences class.
  • Connect your interests to your academic plan. When you register for an Academic Community for your first term, you’re taking on a partial course load catered to your specific interests, helping you build a meaningful and efficient schedule of classes.
  • Connect to the campus and city. You’ll get insider insight from experienced staff and other students into all of the resources and amenities that Pitt’s campus offers. And, you’ll explore the “little big” city of Pittsburgh, from investigating diverse and unique neighborhoods hands on, to attending cultural events, to exploring what opportunities await for internships and career experiences throughout town.

Frequently Asked Questions

Apply to an Academic Community