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Film Schools & Colleges in the United States
Trying to find the best film schools in the US? Take a look at some schools you might want to consider.
Be sure to check out our list of the Ten Best Film Schools.
Nestled in the hills above Hollywood, the AFI Conservatory offers graduate-level degree programs in Cinematography, Directing, Editing, Producing, Production Design, and Screenwriting. Students learn from master filmmakers and collaborate with one another to write, produce, design, direct, shoot and edit up to ten films over the course of their two years in the program. The school boasts an impressive 81% employment rate for recent graduates.
Chapman is situated in the charming town of Orange, just outside the bustling film industry in Los Angeles. Undergraduate degree offerings include Creative Producing, Digital Arts, Film Production, Film Studies, Broadcast Journalism and Documentary, Television Writing and Production, Public Relations & Advertising, Screen Acting, and Screenwriting. At the graduate level, the school offers master’s degrees in Film Production, Film Studies, Film & Television Producing, Documentary Filmmaking, Production Design, Television Writing and Producing, Screenwriting, and joint producing degree programs in conjunction with the law and business schools.
Columbia College Chicago offers undergraduate and graduate-level programs in Writing, Producing and Directing for Film and Television, with areas of emphasis in Cinematography, Visual Effects, Editing and Sound, and Web-based and Mobile Media, along with interdisciplinary work in Documentary Production. Students benefit from networking, internship, and educational opportunities in one of the country’s largest media markets; they may also take advantage of Semester in LA, the only year-round academic program on a Hollywood studio lot.
Emerson’s Department of Visual and Media Arts features undergraduate degree programs in Comedic Arts, Film, Media Arts Production, Media Studies, Production, and Stage & Screen Design/Technology. The school also offers an MFA in Film and Media Arts and a low-residency MFA in Writing for Film and Television. Each year the school hosts the Emerson Film Festival, the Bright Lights Shorts program (student-produced narrative work), and It’s All True (documentary films).
At Full Sail, students learn through hands-on film set experience. In the school’s online Digital Cinematography bachelor’s degree program, coursework touches on directing, producing, art design, and location shooting. As part of the on-campus Film bachelor’s, students follow the film creation process from pre-production through post-production, ensuring they get a feel for each crew member’s role in the production. In the on-campus Film Production MFA program, areas of study include storytelling, directing, and the business of film.
In the heart of Hollywood, the Los Angeles Film School offers undergraduate programs in Cinematography, Directing, Producing, Visual Effects, Audio Production, and Entertainment Business. Students here learn from working industry professionals and benefit from a regular guest speaker series featuring some of the biggest names in all aspects of the film business. Online programs include Digital Filmmaking and Entertainment Business.
At LMU, programs of study include Animation (BA), Film, Television, and Media Studies (BA), Film and Television Production (BA, MFA), Recording Arts (BA), Screenwriting (BA), Writing and Producing for Television (MFA), and Writing for the Screen (MFA). The school has intern program partnerships with over 400 area companies and regularly invites award-winning filmmakers to campus for inspiring and educational panels, screenings, and talks.
Faculty, students, and staff create over 5,000 films a year at NYU. Students receive a well-rounded undergraduate education in all aspects of filmmaking, whether they’re majoring in Acting & Directing, Animation, Cinematography, Documentary, History & Criticism, Post-production, Producing, Sound, Television, or Writing. Graduate level students focus intensely on writing/directing, with the option to pursue further education in concentrations in other areas of filmmaking.
Studio School is a four-year college designed to support and shape future entertainment professionals. Located at L.A. Center Studios, Studio School is the only college in the world created inside of a working film studio lot in downtown Los Angeles. We offer BFA degrees in Acting, Film + Digital Content, Contemporary Musical Theatre + Film, and Commercial Dance. Our core curriculum is rooted in project-oriented learning, and designed to unleash the imagination by bringing creative ideas to fruition with hands-on, real-world experiences under the mentorship of industry professionals. We differentiate ourselves through our integration of entrepreneurship within the context of our programming. Our career-focused curriculum is executed under the watchful guidance of Michelle Loucadoux-Fraser (Associate Dean, Musical Theatre Chair), Jeremy Kent-Jackson (Acting Chair), and Elric Kane (Film +Digital Content Chair).
Studio School’s summer program offers teenagers a glimpse of Studio School’s hands on experience. The immersive summer program utilizes the studio space, working with live sets either behind-the-scenes, or as performers, all under the guidance of working professionals. Studio School is a branch campus of Hussian College.
Students come from around the world to study filmmaking at UCLA. The award-winning faculty teaches undergraduate and graduate level coursework in Acting, Directing, Cinematography, Animation, Producing, and Screenwriting. UCLA hosts an annual film festival of student work and regular acting showcases. With deep roots in the Hollywood community, UCLA students benefit from unparalleled networking, educational, and collaborative opportunities.
One of the largest and most well-connected film schools in the country, USC’s Cinematic Arts Department features degree offerings in Animation & Digital Arts, Cinema & Media Studies, Film & Television Production, Media Arts & Practice, Producing, and Writing for Screen & Television. The faculty includes working professionals who have won Oscars, Emmys, Golden Globes, and NAACP Leadership Awards. The school is home to sound stages, screening rooms, and extensive production and post-production facilities.