Some of the best film schools are scattered through the country, and they offer extensive programs that provide plenty of hands-on experience to students.
From Loyola in Los Angeles to Taylor in Indiana, you’ll find that obtaining a Bachelor’s degree in Film is all that you thought it would be and more as these top schools offer film programs that are designed to prepare you for the film industry one step at a time.
Want to see how these schools stack up for excellence, return on investment, and student satisfaction against the Best Colleges and Universities in the nation? Check out our national ranking.
What kind of Film Degree Should You Get?
Obtaining a film degree is valuable if you intend to work in the movie industry. Whether you want to work lighting or be the director of a film, a Bachelor’s degree in film will provide you more opportunity. Deciding what type of Bachelor’s degree to receive is a matter of your plans after college. Some schools offer more extensive tracks with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. These degrees typically take more course hours and additional studies. Other schools offer Bachelors of Arts degrees that are beneficial to the technical aspect of filmmaking.
How Much Money Do People Make with A Film Degree?
With a Bachelor’s degree in film, many students can go on to have very lucrative careers. Film and video editors can make on average $59,040 a year as well as camera operators. A producer or director can earn $70,950 a year. If you are particularly well-known in your field, your earning potential can increase significantly. With film industry jobs looking to increase by as much as 9 percent over the next few years the amount, you could earn be, even more, making your Bachelor’s degree in Film quite valuable.
What Can You Do with A Degree In Film?
There is an array of jobs that you can secure in the film industry when you have a Bachelor’s degree. These can include the technical aspect of the field from lighting and camera work to audio and mixing. Others may find that they are naturals at writing and can produce scripts for movies. Some may want to take on the important role of producer or director while others may be more comfortable editing the video for production. All of these roles and more can be found within the film industry.
What Are The Requirements For A Degree In Film?
The requirements for a Bachelor’s degree in film are similar to the entry to any college. You will need to provide your high school transcripts as well as a SAT or ACT score. Some colleges may also require you to present a portfolio of film or videos that you have created to showcase your talents. While this is not a requirement of every school, it should be something you have on hand to highlight your abilities. Other schools may have you come in for a formal interview.
What Are the Best Film Degrees?
Following you will find the best schools to obtain the Best Bachelor in Film degrees. These schools are well known for their film programs and have been ranked according to instructional excellence, student success (or ROI) and student satisfaction. We used this methodology to provide a fair and accurate standing of each school that has made it to our list. Our studies also looked at the way that each school approaches its film studies and how well they serve their students.
Loyola Marymount University
College Choice Score: 100
Average Net Price: $40,946
Loyola Marymount University (LMU) is a top-notch Jesuit school that offers a media training as part of its educational offerings. Its LMU School of Film and Television (SFTV) has been ranked within the top 10 and is close to many major Hollywood studios, providing students will access to film and TV jobs. The school is located right in Los Angeles, Calif., and is staffed with 40 instructors on the subject. Students that enroll in SFTV are exposed to array film and television courses as well as hands-on experience with 790 film productions being produced by students from 2014 to 2015.
The Bachelor of film and television production program at Loyola Marymount University’s SFTV is comprised of 18 units of online or in-class work. During these classes, students will be able to complement their production, recording arts, screenwriting or animation studies. The Bachelors in Film program at Loyola Marymount University divulges deep into the history of film and TV with notable courses such as:
- Art of the Cinema
- Art of Television
- Survey of American
- International Film
- Film Authors
Graduates of SFTV are in high-demand, according to the college, with many students having careers in a multitude of film and TV production that ranges from art direction to 3D animation. Students that take the film program will be intimately involved in every aspect of film including features, short films, documentaries and global film. This is designed to expose students to other cultures as well as the national histories and beliefs of others through film. The average student GPA within in the film school is 3.7.
College Choice Score: 99.80
Average Net Price: $31,539
The Boston University College of Communication Film and Television program is a progressive learning environment that is set within the prestigious school’s two campuses. Located in Boston, this university has a history that dates back to 1839 and is well established in the film industry with notable instructors including documentary filmmaker Sam Kauffmann and award-winning producer-writer-director Garland Waller and Mary Jane Doherty.
The Bachelors of Film and Television at Boston University is comprised of 128 credits and 32 four-credit courses. Here, you’ll learn the art of storytelling along with writing, image creation, and managing and producing films and television productions. The history of film and television is also explored, giving students the skills they need to excel in a career in film or television. Some of the courses include:
- Storytelling for Film and Television
- American Masterworks
- Television Drama
- The Holocaust
- Film Industry
Boston University’s involvement in the film and television world runs deep as it offers a student content distribution network with butv10 and is intimately involved in the Redstone’s film festival in New England. It also has its own production house with Hothouse Productions, where it encourages student ideas and growth. The classes for the Film & Television program are designed to be small, giving each student the opportunity to work personally with the faculty that is made up of internationally acclaimed writers, filmmakers, and media professionals.
College Choice Score: 99.58
Average Net Price: $35,049
Ithaca College was established in 1892 and is stationed in New York’s Finger Lakes region. Here, students are able to thrive in a campus setting that is both close to Manhattan and Toronto, both bustling districts for the film industry. The school hosts a variety of classes for film majors that are designed to enhance their ability to ability to work in an array of mediums. The Bachelors of Film, Photography, and Visual Arts falls under the Roy H. Park School of Communications and is accompanied by a diverse range of instructors in the photography, cinema, film, writing, and production fields.
The Bachelors of Film, Photography, and Visual Arts falls under Ithaca College’s bachelor of fine arts program. IT encompasses 120 credit hours focusing on the film, photography and visual arts studies. Under this program, students will learn an array of mediums to prepare them for today’s film requirements. There is also the opportunity to travel around the world with the school’s program to learn hands-on from acclaimed film professionals including courses in Los Angles to as far away as Italy. Some of the courses students can expect to take are:
- Writing for Screen Media
- Thesis Cinema Production
- Hollywood and American Film
- Fiction Film Theory
- History of Photography
At Ithaca College, students will be introduced to the art of photography and film production first as part of their Bachelors of Film, Photography, and Visual Arts degree. Here, students will learn to record, develop, and edit video. The Bachelor’s program is designed to help students learn to juggle an array of projects while also learning to meet tight deadlines while learning to manage their creative energies. The school prepares students with a broad array of skills related to the film industry to ensure they have the ability to work in the environment that is constantly changing.
University of Southern California
College Choice Score: 99.39
Average Net Price: $32,932
The University of Southern California (USC) is top private research school that extends across 15 acres of learning and living with approximately 2500 students in attendance each semester. The school offers film studies through its USC School of Cinematic Arts. This part of the school was founded in 1929 and provides a global understanding of film and media throughout time. USC, overall, has been ranked as a top school in several reports and employs a faculty of 4000. It is located in Los Angeles.
For students looking to obtain a degree in film degrees at USC, the school offers both a Bachelors of Art and a Bachelors of Fine Arts. The Bachelors of Arts track provides the necessary skills a student would need for the art of filmmaking while the Bachelors of Fine Arts offers more extensive studies and more technical training. The program at USC incorporates 128 units, where students are able to select from a number of different electives. Typical courses include:
- Directing in Documentary
- Fiction and New Media
- Cinematic Arts Laboratory
- The Production and Post-Production Assistant
- Introduction to Film Graphic – Animation
As part of the film program, USC offers the First Look film festival which is open to friends, family and of course, the Hollywood community. Here, students present their films to the public and a reception complete with awards is provided. The school also offers students the ability to acquire thorough knowledge and appreciation of film, television and new media as well as allowing them to express themselves creatively video, film or new media. The school also offers a graduate degree program with a Masters of Fine Arts in six areas of studies including producing, directing, cinematography, editing, production design, and sound.
College Choice Score: 99.17
Average Net Price: $40,709
Chapman University is situated in Orange, Calif., where it educates students on a variety of subjects. It was initially founded as Hesperian College in 1861 in Woodland, Calif., but has moved to a university system that also encompasses a Semester at Sea program. It has been named as a top college in the Western region by U.S. News and World Report, ranking sixth. Its Bachelors in Film Studies is just one film and television related undergraduate majors it offers.
With the Bachelors in Film Studies, students are exposed to the study of film both in a historical sense as well as in a critical review approach. The coursework is made up of a variety of genres of films in addition to learning about filmmakers, international films and filmmaking practices. To obtain a Bachelors in Film Studies, students must complete 36 credits with some classes including:
- Introduction to Visual Storytelling
- Introduction to Film Aesthetics
- Film Analysis
- History of Film to 1959
- History of Film 1960–Present
At Chapman University, the Film Studies program is designed to educate students and give them the skills to enter the film industry as a critic, reviewer or archivist. The Bachelors in Film Studies also helps prepare students to continue on to graduate school at Chapman University with a Masters in Film Studies, Film Production or other film or media discipline. The film studies academic are part of the school’s Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, where students can also obtain an Integrated Undergraduate Master of Arts in Film Studies degree. This provides students with a Masters of Arts in Film Studies. The program encompasses five years instead of the standard six that most colleges offer.
New York University
College Choice Score: 98.29
Average Net Price: $35,147
Set right in New York City, New York University has the advantage of being close to a bustling hub of businesses both in and out of the film industry. The school which was founded in 1900 has a long heritage as a top school with 2629 students in attendance each semester. It offers a truly global experience to students allowing them to take advantage of the partnership it has secured with worldwide universities for overseas education. More than 50 percent of its students take advantage of the offering for at least a semester. The school’s film program is also part of a partnership with Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at the Tisch School of the Arts that provides students with a comprehensive education during the best resources at each school.
With a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film & Television at NYU, students are giving the skills they need to be hired by studios, production companies, and television networks. The Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film & Television also provides for a student to obtain a Bachelors of Business at the same time. For the coursework in the film program, students are introduced to range of classes from animation, and cinematography to screenwriting and directing. Some of the most notable classes are:
- Frame and Sequence
- Sound Image
- Introduction to Animation
- Performance Studies
- Storytelling Strategies
The Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film & Television at NYU is a prestigious program to get into at the school with only a limited number of available spots open to new enrolling students. Attendees wishing to participate in the dual degree offering in business and film at the school must present a portfolio of their work in order to be accepted. The film program is attractive to an array of students that want to learn the business aspect of the film industry but also have a love for film and television.
Florida State University
College Choice Score: 96.93
Average Net Price: $16,506
Florida State University opened the doors to its Film School in 1989. The school which has a legacy that dates back to 1851. It is the oldest continuous education facility in Florida. It is located in Tallahassee where the Florida State University Film School also resides. It has more than 41,000 students in attendance each semester and continually ranks as a top school with US News & World Report. It has most recently jumped five spots to 33rd.
The Florida State University Film School offers a Bachelors in Motion Picture Arts with the ability to focus more specifically on Production or Animation and Digital Arts. Both courses are three-year programs that include an array of class offering to provide students with the skills necessary to land jobs in the film industry. Students can take courses in:
- Editing and Sound
Through the Florida State University Film School, students will have 24/7 access to facilities and equipment and be able to enjoy a 4:1 student/teacher ratio. Of the graduates of the program, 97 percent of them find a job within the film industry within one year, according to the school. The school also offers a graduate program with a Masters in Fine Arts for Writing or Production. This program runs six semesters and promotes student thesis projects in a variety of film festivals across the country long after graduation.
University of California-Los Angeles
College Choice Score: 96.68
Average Net Price: $14,236
The University of California-Los Angeles offers film degrees through its UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. The school was originally opened in 1947 as the Theater Arts department of UCLA. In 1990, the university official launched the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television. At UCLA, students are able to participate in a variety of education offers at the public school which is located in the Westwood district of Los Angles. For film students, the school is especially attractive due to its location in Los Angeles – the hotbed of the film industry.
To obtain a Bachelor in Film from the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television, students are taught a liberal arts education that includes the study of film and television history as well as theory and production techniques. Students must complete a 16-course curriculum that amounts to approximately 75 units. Here, students are entertained to courses that include:
- Introductory Screenwriting
- Digital Media Studies
- Overview of Contemporary Film Industry
- Film Editing
The UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television is particularly noteworthy for its film and television educational coursework offering students the ability to participate in its own film festival, theater lab and actor showcases. The school extends to students an extensive graduate program with focuses on a series emphasizes from cinematography to screenwriting. According to the school, many graduates have gone on to become successful writers, producers, directors, editors, cinematographers, journalists, authors, and executives in both major film studios and independent filmmaking. Some find themselves in an educational role as well.
College Choice Score: 96.12
Average Net Price: $20,490
Wesleyan University, located in Middletown, Conn., was founded in 1831 and today is a premier college to obtain a Bachelors in Film at. The school offers a total of 45 majors of study in both Bachelors of Arts and graduate degrees. As a liberal arts college, it also provides doctor of philosophy degrees in 11 fields of study. In total student may elect to take one of its 900 courses that are also provided in the area of film studies.
With a Bachelor in Film Studies, students are provided an educational background on the history of film as the well as the practice of analysis, which is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the complexities of film mediums. Students can enter the film studies program in their sophomore year after completing the perquisites and completing two of the introductory film course with at least B+ grade. Upon completion of the courses, students will be able to enroll in courses such as:
- The History of Spanish Cinema
- Film Noir
- Directorial Style: Classic American Film Comedy
- Myth and Ideology in Cinema: Hollywood Sex, Race, Class, Culture
- Television Storytelling: The Conditions of Narrative Complexity
At Wesleyan University, film studies students are provided access to the Wesleyan Cinema Archives. This gives students unprecedented access to a collection of film files and historical documents that can be useful and informative in their studies. The Wesleyan Cinema Archives have been used by filmmakers from around the world and are an extremely valuable resource for the school as the well as the students that use it. Students are also treated to use the Rick Nicita Gallery, where they can showcase their films to the public.
California Institute of the Arts
College Choice Score: 94.16
Average Net Price: $50,472
Located in beautiful Valencia, Calif., the California Institute of the Arts or as it is commonly referred CalArts is a unique art school that was started by Walt Disney and his brother Roy. The two had the vision for the school for a decade before opening its doors to the famously chaotic first semester in 1970. Today, students are able to select from 70 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in its six schools that include Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater. The school has 951 undergraduates with filmmaking up its highest concentration of students.
With a Bachelors in Fine Arts with an emphasis in Film, students will have the ability to learn from a total perspective that can help them to be a fully-rounded film professional. At CalArts, the Bachelors Of Film/Video program is a four-year track that has a Mid-Residency Review in the students third semester. Some of the courses that students can elect to take are:
- Filmmaking Fundamentals
- Video Production Workshop
- Digital Editing: Adobe CC
- Cinematic Voices: In Person
- Film History
At the California Institute of the Arts, students can also choose to receive a Bachelors in Character Animation, Experimental Animation, and Film Directing with the Film department of the school. The school also offer graduate degrees in film and video that include class work in history, theory, and criticism as well as a variety of production and technical workshops. Students can also elect to take an intermediary discipline also with their current area of focus, allowing them to hone their additional artistic talents in another field of study.
College Choice Score: 93.19
Average Net Price: $39,263
Nestled in the heart of Boston, Emerson College is an independent, non-denominational school that offers students a communication and arts study with a focus on liberal arts. The school was found in 1880 and has 3783 undergraduates each semester. Students will appreciate the small class size as the school boasts a 15:1 student/teacher ratio. The school also has locations in Los Angles and the Netherlands, giving film students access to both points of film industry proximities.
Students at Emerson College are able to obtain three different degrees in Visual and Media Arts. The school offers a Bachelors of Arts in Production as well as a Bachelors of Arts in Media Studies and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Media Arts Production. For the Bachelors of Arts programs, students need to complete 44 credits while the Bachelors of Fine Arts program is more extensive at 60 credits. Students that enroll in Visual and Media Arts tracks will explore the use of film as well learning technical, theoretical and artistic value of film. Some of the courses they will endure include:
- Dimensions of Creativity
- Media Criticism and Theory
- Writing the Feature Film
- Sound Design
- Basic Cinematography and Videography
As a student of Emerson College participating in the Visual and Media Arts program as related to film studies will be able to enjoy the school’s location in a top five media market that places them close to major film shoots, theaters, television and radio stations, film festivals and art museums. The school also holds its own film festival with the Emerson College Film Festival. In spring, the school hosts the Bright Lights Film Series that showcases short films produced by students, faculty, staff, and graduates.
College Choice Score: 91.59
Average Net Price: $16,695
The world-renowned Stanford University was founded in 1891. Located in Stanford, Calif., more than 16,000 students attend the university that is staffed by a faculty of 2180. The school sprawls across 8180 continuous acres with 700 major buildings on site. A whopping total of 97 percent of its students live on campus. The school’s Department of Art & Art History houses a series of undergraduate and graduate degrees including film studies and documentary filmmaking as well as art history and art practice.
With a Bachelors of Arts in Film & Media Studies from Stanford University, students will gain valuable knowledge in the traditions of national cinema, documentaries, and experimental films as well as general film aesthetics and modes of production when working on films. The program is designed to improve the vocabulary and framework of the student in regards to the role of cinema and related media. The coursework for the Bachelors of Arts in Film & Media Studies includes 64 units of study with courses to include:
- Introduction to the Visual Arts: Prehistoric through Medieval
- Introduction to the Visual Arts: History of Western Art from the Renaissance to the Present
- Introduction to Film Study
- Fundamentals of Cinematic Analysis
- Horror Films
Stanford University does offer students the option for advanced studies with an emphasis in Film History; Film and Culture; Film, Media, and Technology; Writing, Criticism, and Practice; Aesthetics and Performance. Its graduate level courses in Film and Media studies are offered as an Art History Ph.D. program.
Savannah College of Art and Design
College Choice Score: 84.95
Average Net Price: $40,856
The Savannah College of Art and Design offers students an unprecedented learning environment with more than 40 majors and 60 plus minors. As an arts college, the school offers varying degrees in at its primary location in Savannah. The School also has sites in Atlanta, George, and Hong Kong. Students can also enroll in eLearning class online or study overseas in Lacoste, France in addition to other locations. The school itself was founded in 1978. For film majors, it offers state-of-the-art facilities with the SCAS Digital Media Center and Savannah Film Studios.
With a Bachelors in Fine Arts at the Savannah College of Art and Design, students will receive the technical skills they need to step into a career in the film industry. They will learn how to become a visual story storyteller as well as be taught the technical and conceptual techniques of filmmaking. The course track for this degree includes 180 hours of general and specialized studies. Some of the classes students will encounter include:
Total course of study: 180 hours
- Introduction to Screenwriting
- Production: Lighting, Camera, and Sound
- Short Film Screenwriting
- Directing Actors
- Music Video Production
The Savannah College of Art and Design offers students a number of ways to showcase the skills they learn in class regarding film. This includes the Savannah Film Festival and aTVfest. This allows students to transition their classroom work to the real world with many public figures participating in views of their works. The school also offers a Master of Arts in Film and Television as well as a Master of Fine Arts in the same focus.
College Choice Score: 81.08
Average Net Price: $31,823
Syracuse University’s film studies take part in its college of Visual and Performing Arts. This college was opened in 1873 and is home to 1900 undergraduates. Offering both a north and south campus, the students have the ability to travel in Syracuse to the locations that best suits them. The school’s film program was ranked eleventh by the Hollywood Report as it helps students learn every aspect of the film industry from scriptwriting to production.
The Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film that a student would receive from Syracuse university encompasses 129 credits. The program focuses on fostering the creative and intellectual process of the student as well as emphasizing personal achievement. Students can expect to take classes in
- Cinematic Modes of Production
- Film Scriptwriting
- Problems of Film Perception
- Filmmaking: Storytelling Production
As part of the film studies offering to students, the school holds the annual Syracuse International Film Festival, where students can showcase their works and achievements. In addition, the school offers a semester abroad in Prague at The Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts. Here, students are encouraged to make 35 mm films and participate in film studio classes in another country. Syracuse University also offers students the opportunity to participate in a week-long Sorkin in L.A. Learning Practicum that is supported by Aaron Sorkin, a class of 1983 alumni that is now an award-winning writer and producer.
Art Center College of Design
College Choice Score: 80.96
Average Net Price: $43,814
Founded in 1930 and conveniently located in the heart of the Los Angeles entertainment capital, ArtCenter centers its educational programs on making an impact in a globalized society. In keeping with the school’s conservatory-like model emphasizing learning by making, students in the film studies program begin shooting right away. The program offers three tracks: directing, editing, or cinematography. Art Center’s state-of-the-art equipment and facilities offer aspiring film students access to all the creative and technical tools required to pursue the best film degree in the world. Students develop an individualized reel of work, and write and direct a film upon graduation.
College Choice Score: 79.60
Average Net Price: $25,446
Ranked as the top college in Grand Rapids, Mich., Calvin College offers a Christian-based education to its students. Founded in 1876, the school has approximately 3900 students enrolled. It is well-known for its film program, where students learn to write, direct, edit and produce films. The film and media tracks combine both liberal arts with faith learning for an integrated educational approach.
With a Bachelors of Arts in Film and Media, students learn both introductory and advanced communication through the works of film, television, radio, internet and new media. The coursework focuses on history, theory, criticism and the practice of film and media arts. With Film program encompasses 35 to 40 hours of coursework with classes such as:
- New Media
- Calvin Media Company
- Media Cultures
- Writing for the Media
- Digital Audio Production
At Calvin College, students learn audio and visual media and its use in television, radio, new media platforms, advertising and digital medias. There is an emphasis placed on new media with the increasing demand for video hosting services, podcasts, and video advertising. Students can graduate with honors in the courses by earning a B+ or greater in six honor courses or 18 hours of classes. The classes must be 300 level courses, and at least two must be outside the major.
California State University-Long Beach
College Choice Score: 77.75
Average Net Price: $9,867
California State University-Long Beach was originally founded as Los Angeles-Orange County State College in 1949. Later changing to California State University-Long Beach, the school offers many opportunities to its students. Offering an array of curriculums, the school overlooks the Pacific Ocean and is set on a 322-acre campus. It has 63 academic departments and programs of which one is its Film and Electric Arts degree.
With a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Electronic Arts, students can choose majors in Theory and Practice of Cinema and Narrative Production. As a freshman, you will be admitted to the school as a Pre-Film and Electronics Arts major with no portfolio requirement due at this time. Here, students will complete their general requirements and then move on to classes with the Film and Electronic Arts major such as:
- Film History
- History of Broadcasting
- Introduction to Screenwriting
- History of Animation
- Media Aesthetics
Depending on the major that you select as part of your Bachelor of Arts degree in Film and Electronic Arts at California State University-Long Beach, you may need to submit a portfolio for admittance in the curriculum. Students applying for the Narrative Production program will need to submit a portfolio to the review committee while Theory and Practice of Cinema students are not required to do so to be admitted into the field of study.
Los Angeles Film School
College Choice Score: 76.58
Average Net Price: $29,005
The Los Angeles Film School was developed in 1999 by a group of Hollywood professionals. The school allows current film professionals to share their knowledge with students. The school benefits from being located in Los Angeles as it is in close proximity to several movie productions. The school is home to several film and movie related programs as well as the Los Angeles Recording School, which is an on-the-job training program for recording engineers.
The Los Angeles Film School offers a Bachelor’s of Science in Film in a 36-month program. The program allows for areas of emphasis in producing, directing, cinematography and production. A Bachelor’s degree can be obtained in each of these areas and allow a student to perfect their craft. Some of the classes that students can expect to take at Los Angeles Film School are:
- Introduction to Transmedia Design
- Digital Editing
- Production Design I
Los Angeles Film School offers real hands-on experience for students with a 3000 sq.ft. soundstage and an HD theater are provided to showcase films to the public. Students get the experience of real-world professionals teaching the courses so that they can learn from their experience and expertise.
Rhode Island School of Design
College Choice Score: 75.75
Average Net Price: $39,389
As a private, nonprofit college, Rhode Island School of Design opened its doors in 1877. The school has approximately 145 undergraduate majors of which 19 are dedicated to the film industry. The school engages 2480 students from around the world in its liberal arts studies and studio-based learning within its film major. The school has continually been ranked amongst the best art and design colleges in the U.S. with a location in Providence, R.I.
In order to obtain a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film/Animation/Video at the Rhode Island School of Design, students must first complete an assignment pertaining to their interest in film studies. They will also need to submit a portfolio of 12-20 examples of their best work. Upon being selected for the Rhode Island School of Design’s Film/Animation/Video program, they will be entitled to take a range of courses such as:
- Computer Animation: Integrated Techniques
- Computer Generated Imagery 3D
- Critical Discourse
- Digital Effects And Compositing For The Screen
Rhode Island School of Design has its own production studios where students can learn the art of filmmaking along with its concept and techniques. Students are continually producing films in a variety of genres from documentaries to experimental films. Through the interactive approach of the school, students analyze and solve technical and aesthetic issues that arise with their films and their peers. They are openly exposed to critical review as in the real world in addition to participating in film festivals and meeting with artists and professionals in the industry.
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
College Choice Score: 75.00
Average Net Price: $13,452
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is noted as one of the top-ranked arts schools in the country. Located in Winston-Salem, N.C. the school was founded in 1963 and is recognized as the in the top eight of film schools in the country. The school uses a very hands-on approach to learning, allowing students to direct and shoot as many as six digital films within their first two years of learning. The school has an 8:1 student to teacher ratio, providing a learning environment where students can thrive.
The Bachelors of Fine Art in Film at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is available with several focuses from Animation to Cinematography and Directing. In total, there are seven tracks to follow in the School of Filmmaking at the school. Some of the classes that students can select from during their film studies at the school include:
- Black & White: Race and Image in American Cinema
- Groundbreaking 1970s Cinema
- The Coen Brothers and their Forerunners
- Fundamentals of Cinematic Storytelling I
- Acquisition & Creative Dealmaking
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts offers additional film studies classes during the summer months with its Summer Intensives. Offered in Animation and Filmmaking, the program is offered to high school student as well a freshman. During these classes, students will learn the art of visual storytelling as well as the techniques of filmmaking with an animation festival held at the end of the program or a screening of your film. The school also has a partnership with the Sundance Institute.
Ringling College of Art & Design
College Choice Score: 74.32
Average Net Price: $44,386
Located in Sarasota, FL, the Ringling College of Art & Design offers 1400 students the ability to turn their passion into a career with an award-winning faculty at its disposal. The school was created in 1931 and offers 12 creative majors. It is known for its rigorous curriculum that matches studio learning with a liberal arts education. Its Film major allows students to become expert storytellers as they immerse themselves in the filmmaking business working with leading directors, producers and actors. It has been ranked in the top 16 of American Film Schools by the Hollywood Reporter and was the youngest film school on the list.
To receive a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film from the school, students need to complete 120 credits within the major. Here, they will learn valuable skills for working on a film set in a team collaboration. Students will also participate in Filmmaking Bootcamp where they will learn tools such as grip lighting, camera, and sound. During their coursework, students can expect to take classes such as:
- Editing for Film
- Production Design
- 3D Design
- History of Film
Ringling College of Art & Design offers students the ability to collaborate with the International Film and Television School of Paris. Through courses that are held both in English and French, students are able to leverage the international exposure they are receiving and network with other up and coming filmmakers from around the world.
San Francisco State University
College Choice Score: 73.26
Average Net Price: $13,250
Founded in 1899, San Francisco State University opened its Cinema Department in the 1960s. It became its own college in 2014 at the School of Cinema, where today it encourages learning and cinematic expression of its students. The school focuses on the values of creative expression, critical thinking, and social engagement through a liberal arts education. The school offers both on campus and online learning for its Film and Media studies.
With a Bachelors of Arts in Cinema, students will need to complete a range of introductory courses and then move on to more advanced classes in the film field of study. The cinema program is comprised of 16 units of electives, nine units of upper-division courses and seven units of foundation work. This is in addition to the 13 units of core classes that need to be completed. Once into the cinema portion of their studies, students can look forward to taking:
- Gender and Film
- Film and the Holocaust
- Chinese Documentary Film
- Third Cinema
- Hollywood Representation of Race and Ethnicity
San Francisco State University also offers a Masters of Arts in Cinema Studies to students that want to further their film learning. The Masters of Arts program entails the study of cinema history, theory, and criticism. Students are afforded a lot of freedom in selecting the courses for this degree and will need to complete a thesis to obtain their degree. A Masters of Fine Arts in Cinema is also offered with a focus on processes, aesthetic and technologies related to cinema. The School of Cinema at San Francisco State University also houses a 150-seat screening theater as well as an animation studio, media library and reading room for students to utilize.
College Choice Score: 72.85
Average Net Price: $19,641
Only 11 miles from Philadelphia, Swarthmore College is set within a 425-acre wooded and green campus. The school, located in Swarthmore, Penn., has a history that dates back to 1864 when it began offering its liberal arts education. The private school draw students from all over the world and offers film majors a degree through its Film and Media Studies Department. Here, a series of courses are offered that focus on film and media.
With a Bachelors of Arts from the Swarthmore College, students will begin their film studies by taking the perquisites for the major during their first semester year. Classes that students take in Film and Media will require evening screenings in addition to their daytime class offerings. The courses at Swarthmore College are limited to 10 students and cannot be taken pass or fail. Some of the most notable classes are:
- Introduction to Film and Media Studies
- FMST 020 Critical Theories of Film and Media
- FMST 090 Senior Capstone
- Digital Production Fundamentals
Swarthmore College offers Film and Media Studies as a minor with the addition only five credits to a student’s class requirements. The school also offers an array of resources to students that are studying film including the Student Film Society and a vast collection of film through its media services, Tripod, and library portal. The school also offers a Language Resource Center.
Arizona State University-Tempe
College Choice Score: 72.33
Average Net Price: $13,007
Arizona State University-Tempe opened its Film and Media Production program in 2005 as a result of the high demand by its students. The school offers a Film degree through its College of Liberal Arts and Science. The school that is based in Tempe, Ariz., was named the top innovation school in the country and is home over 10,000 freshmen each year. The Film and Media Studies area of the college is jointly offered through the Herberger Institute School of Film, Dance, and Theatre.
With a Bachelors of Arts in Film degree at Arizona State University-Tempe, students can select from three concentrations – Film and Media Production, Filmmaking Practices, and Film and Media Studies. The coursework for the Bachelors of Arts in Film degree includes 15 hours of core requirements in the first two years of studies. Together with Herberger Institute School of Film, Dance, and Theatre, the college provides a set of shared core film courses. Some of the courses include:
- Focus on Film
- Digital Culture
- Film Practices
- Film and Media Production
Arizona State University-Tempe offers several opportunities for students to get hands-on experience with filmmaking through several of the school’s community studios. The school also has a host of theaters through the area where students can showcase their films. For entry into the school, an interview may be necessary to be admitted to the Film and Media Production program.
California State University-Sacramento
College Choice Score: 70.64
Average Net Price: $9,127
California State University-Sacramento opens its doors to 7000 students each year. Students are able to select from a variety of majors with 60 undergraduate programs offered by the school as well as 40 graduate program and two doctorates. The school is set in Sacramento within a beautiful 300-acre campus. For film students, the school offers degrees through its College of Arts and Letters.
Students looking to obtain a degree in film at California State University-Sacramento can receive a Bachelors of Arts in Film. The course requirements for the major require 39-45 units of study with the option for other students to obtain a minor in film studies. Students looking to gain their Bachelors of Arts in Film will be presented with classes such as:
- Digital Film/Video Production
- Digital Film/Video Production Lab
- Introduction to Film Studies
- Media Aesthetics
- Film Theory and Criticism
California State University-Sacramento offers its students more than 250 events that deal with the arts each year. It showcases the Festival of the Arts that highlights what students have learned during their coursework as well as U-Nite that provides film screenings, performances, talks and creative collaborations. The school also offers a series of symposiums and lectures on campus from award-winning guest speakers for students to attend.
College Choice Score: 70.21
Average Net Price: $23,426
Situated in Nashville, Tenn., Lipscomb University has a deep history with roots that extend back to 1891. The school is founded on Christian faith and academic excellence, offing 145 areas of study with 78 majors to select from. In total, the school has 2891 undergraduate students with a small teacher to student ratio of 13:1. One of the majors the school offers is in Film Production. This degree program falls under the school’s College of Entertainment and the Arts.
At Lipscomb University, students can receive a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film Production. With this program, students will learn real-world techniques to film production. The course requirements for this degree include 67 total hours of study. The school touts this degree for students that have a love of film but also have other interests. Some of the classes a student can expect to attend during their school career in this major include:
- Line Producing
- History of TV and Film
- Lighting and Grip
- Film Festival Class
Lipscomb University also offers a Master of Arts in Film and Creative Media and a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Creative Media. The Master of Arts in Film and Creative Media degree is a 17-month program that encompasses 36 hours of study. It focuses on learning how to write, produce, edit and direct files of all genres. The Master of Fine Arts in Film and Creative Media is a more intensive track that includes 62 or 75 hours of study depending on the students focus of either Writer/Director or Producers tracks. Both degree programs are designed to accommodate professionals already in the film field with courses offered on evenings and Saturdays.
George Mason University
College Choice Score: 69.83
Average Net Price: $18,032
Also, a university offering a film degree through its College of Visual and Performing Arts is George Mason University. This university has 10 school and colleges that are dedicated to a range of studies. The school has 34,000 attendees each year and is located in Fairfax, Va. The student to teacher ratio for the college is 1:20. With three campuses, Fairfax, Arlington, and Prince Williams Counties, Va., the school offers an international twist with a campus in Songdo, Korea. It also operates a location in Loudoun County, Va., and has a partnership with the Smithsonian Institute. The college was opened in 1957. It offers students 190 Film and Video majors.
Students studying to get their Bachelors of Arts at George Mason University will learn a variety of skills from creation to production, and working with experimental films. The courses will cover film, video, television, transmedia, mobile and web media. An array of filmmakers and scholars teach the courses that will include classes such as:
- Sound Editing and Recording
- Creative Producing and Development
- Multi-Camera Studio Production
- Motion Design
In order to accepted into George Mason University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts with a Film degree, students will have to submit a portfolio for review. The school offers a great opportunity to its students by hosting the Mason Film Festival and providing access to its Mason Film Lab. The school also has a variety of relationships in the community with production houses, cable networks, casting agencies and production organizations.
College Choice Score: 69.18
Average Net Price: $44,244
At Pratt Institute, students are set on a course of higher learning to prepare them for careers in art, design, architecture, information and library science, and liberal arts and sciences. The school, which was founded in 1887, has three campuses – Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Utica, N.Y. The school’s film program focuses on producing the next generation of filmmakers by discussing all modes of film and video from narrative to documentary with a priority on creative expression.
With a Bachelors of Arts in Film for Pratt Institute, students will embark on a curriculum where they will learn to create, write, direct, and edit as a total filmmaker. Access is granted to students the first year of school by providing the right equipment for learning from cameras to microphones. A series of accomplished and active filmmakers provide the education for the coursework that students undertake as part of the Bachelors of Arts in Film at the school. Classes include:
- Drawing II: Figure and General
- Light/Color/Design II
- Expanded Digital Cinema
- Themes in Art and Culture II
- Introduction to Literary and Critical Studies
Pratt Institute offers the ability to learn abroad in more than 20 overseas programs in locations such as Florence, Milan, Copenhagen, London, and Tokyo. Students will also have access to New York City with unlimited galleries and microcinemas. The school’s graduates have gone on to premiere at Cannes, Toronto International Film Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, and Miami’s Art Basel.
University of California-Berkeley
College Choice Score: 66.36
Average Net Price: $17,160
Rated the top school in the U.S., the University of California-Berkeley’s history dates back to 1868. The school offers 170 programs and departments including a film track for students. With a 17:1 student to teacher ratio, attendees enjoy smaller class sizes as well as the location in Berkeley. The school’s Film Group Major was introduced in 1976 in response to the demand of the students. The film major is now a part of its Department of Film & Media.
The Bachelors of Arts in Film degree at the University of California-Berkeley works on a principle of teaching students about the history, theory, analysis of film and media. Students will be engaged with film, still photography, television, and digital media. There are also offerings in screenwriting, curating and digital video production. Some of the courses that students can take are:
- History of Film (1935 – 2018)
- Film Genre: Western Noir
- Film Genre – Weird Science: Technology and the Body in Science Fiction Cinema
- Documentary Film
- Special Topics in Film
The University of California-Berkeley also offers a Ph.D. in Film and Media to its students that want to continue their education in the field of study. Students are encouraged to think in a humanistic way about film in the broader context and are support with curricular activities by the college.
College Choice Score: 66.30
Average Net Price: $27,029
As a nationally ranked private college, Messiah College educates students through a Christian based faith in Mechanicsburg, Pa. The school has a student body of 3305 undergraduates and graduates and was founded in 1909. It is just 12 miles from the capital Harrisburg and offers 80 majors for students to participate in. The school was founded in 1909.
With a Bachelors of Arts in Film and Media Arts, students will embark upon a technical and creative program that will fully immerse them in the subject. The school does its diligence in readying students for production, screenwriting, directing, editing and cinematography roles with an array of classes that divulge deep into the topic. Some of the classes that students will take include:
- Advanced Editing and Effects
- Methods and Issues in Film Studies
- Communication Theory
- Film and HD Production
Messiah College offers students a new 1740 sq.ft. media lab facility within it Hostetter Chapel. The space was designed to provide students access to studio cameras, news sets, studio lights, and green screens. There is also a control room and monitors, teleprompter and computer station with mixing equipment. The addition also included a range of field equipment that allows students to film in the locale of their choice.
College Choice Score: 65.83
Average Net Price: $25,429
Taylor University offers students a coeducational and non-denominational Christian liberal arts education by combing faith and learning. The school is located in Upland, Ind., on 952 acres. It was founded in 1846 and has 1890 students from all over the world. The majority of its undergraduates are under the age of 25 with a large portion coming from the state of Indiana for enrollment.
With a Bachelors of Art in Film and Media Production, students are required to choose a foreign language while the Bachelor of Science in Film and Media Production requires a second major in Computer Systems. The classes that students will take for the Film and Media Production major are hands-on from the start with production classes beginning as a freshman. The classes are integrated with a faith-based learning and provide students skills in filmmaking. Some of the classes include:
- Documentary Filmmaking
- History and Criticism of Film
- Inside the Entertainment Industry
- Post-Production Methods
- Media, Faith, and Culture
Taylor University offers several extracurricular opportunities to its students through options such as its Envision Productions, the internal production team that produces the chapel’s television programming, or the Envision Film Festival and Red Eye 24-Hour Film Festival. There is also a newspaper, radio station, sports coverage through videography. The school’s media services are always looking for volunteers as well as many freelance projects offered by the school and of course field trips.
Rochester Institute of Technology
College Choice Score: 64.41
Average Net Price: $29,111
Founded in 1829, Rochester Institute of Technology is set in Rochester, N.Y., on 1300 acres of campus. The school is a privately endowed, coeducational college. It focuses on career education as well as experiential learning. The student body is made up of 15,381 undergraduates and 3251 graduates for more than 100 countries. Within the school are nine colleges including its Arts college where the film program is housed.
Students can receive a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film and Animation from Rochester Institute of Technology. The curriculum from the school includes plenty of production work within the first year. Students are able to produce short films or animations through the program and learn all phases of production of a film. The course requirements for a Film degree includes 120 credit hours to include some of the following classes.
- Basic Sound Recording
- Animation Scriptwriting and Storyboard
- Animation Production Workshop I
- Tradigital Animation
- Performance Resources for Animation
Rochester Institute of Technology also offers a Master of Fine Arts in Film and Animation for students that want to progress their learning. The program allows for the production of live-action filming, scripts, and animation in 2D and 3D. The program is meant to offer students further opportunity to use their animation, filmmaking and imaging arts talents. A minimum of 63 credit hours is required to graduate with a Masters of Fine Arts in Film and Animation.
College Choice Score: 63.92
Average Net Price: $37,439
Quinnipiac University is a coeducational university located in Hamden, Connecticut. The school has three campuses situated in Hamden and North Haven. More than 100 programs are offered by the school that is home to 7000 undergraduates and 3000 students. Quinnipiac has a low student to teacher ratio of 16:1. The University has nine professional schools including the School of Communications where the film program is located.
Quinnipiac University offers both a Bachelors of Arts and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film. Here, students take the same classes with the Bachelors of Arts in film offering a broader scope of learning in the field. The Bachelors of Arts in Film program requires 45 credits for graduation, and a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film requires 63 credits in a more intensive track. Some of the classes the degree program offers includes:
- Single Camera Production
- Multicamera Production
- Analysis of the Moving Image
- Intermediate Production
At Quinnipiac University 99 percent of its students are employed after graduation or enrolled in graduate programs. The school allows students in the Film program to supplement their studies with a semester in Los Angeles at the Quinnipiac University in the area. This is in addition to coursework in other areas like Ireland, France, and South Africa.
Southern Methodist University
College Choice Score: 63.27
Average Net Price: $37,499
At Southern Methodist University, the Meadows School of the Arts houses its Film program. The Meadows school within Southern Methodist University began in 1917 as the School of Music and today is a prominent school of the arts in the U.S. The school is located in Dallas, Texas, and offers an array of education in visual, performing, and communication arts.
With a Bachelors of Art in Film and Media Arts at Southern Methodist University, students will embark upon 33 credits of study in film and media studies. The degree works to develop the creative voice of each student and is also offered as a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film and Media Arts with 51 credits. The Bachelors of Fine Arts in Film and Media Arts includes either a collaborative project or a thesis film/media project to be completed. Some of the classes the two degrees encompass are:
- Experimental Camera
- Convergent Media
- Film Acting
- MOS Camera
- Nonfiction Production
Southern Methodist University also offers a Master of Arts in Popular Film and Media Studies within in the Meadows School of the Arts. This degree is designed to prepare students for a professional career in motion pictures, television or media industries. Students also have access to a 35 mm and 16 mm archive of classic Hollywood shorts and features, TV news footage and over 500 interviews.
Fairleigh Dickinson University-Florham Campus
College Choice Score: 62.13
Average Net Price: $25,257
Fairleigh Dickinson University is a pioneering institution of higher education. It has expanded to four different campuses, including one in Canada and another in the United Kingdom. The Florham campus, built on the grounds of the former Twombly estate in New Jersey, offers a perfect setting for film students: The award-winning movie A Beautiful Mind was partly filmed here.
FDU offers a degree in “Film, TV, and Original Content Production” in its Visual and Performing Arts Department. Their praxis-oriented major includes classes in:
- Music for Film
- Reality TV Production
- After Effects
The Film major at FDU provides for concentrations in a variety of fields. They have options available for students interested in Film Production, Film Directing, Editing, and Cinematography. In addition, FDU at Florham’s proximity to New York City means that film students will have access to talented professional actors and numerous career opportunities.