Cinematic Arts emerged from the Program of Arts of the Moving Image (AMI) to not only include its curriculum, but to also more broadly assimilate film studies across Duke University. Former AMI classes are now part of Art, Art History & Visual Studies, which now includes a major in Visual & Media Studies with a concentration in Cinematic Arts, and a minor in Cinematic Arts.

Cinematic Arts is also affiliated with several other departments across Duke that feature classes and activities regarding film, the film industry, and visual media. These include English and the Program in Literature, Asian & Middle Eastern Studies, Romance Studies, and others, as well the Center for Documentary Studies, which also runs the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. There are also substantial co-curricular programs that support exploration in the film industry, like Duke in LA, Duke in NY, and the Duke Entertainment, Media & Arts Network (DEMAN).