Bachelor's Degree in Film and Cinema

Bachelor's degree programs in film and cinema teach students about the wide range of duties associated with creating motion pictures, as well as motion picture history, genres, and forms. Students create and critique films, study various styles and time periods of motion pictures, and learn about the different aspects of creating films, such as production, cinematography, writing, and directing.

Essential Information

A bachelor's degree in film and cinema teaches students the skills needed to create and critique movies and film. Many private and public colleges, universities and institutes offer film and cinema bachelor's degree programs, leading to Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Fine Arts, or Bachelor of Science degrees. Internships are offered, and students may have the option to participate in film festivals. Applicants need a bachelor's degree and possibly a portfolio.

  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED; Some schools may require a portfolio

Bachelor's Degree in Film and Cinema

Students engage in classroom instruction that includes core classes as well as electives, which allow students to choose classes that meet their occupational goals. Internships are offered by many programs to give students the opportunity to work and network with industry professionals. Some programs also encourage students to participate in local film festivals. Some common classes may include the following:

  • Motion picture history
  • Visual storytelling
  • Directing
  • Scriptwriting
  • Animation
  • Cinematography

Popular Career Options

A wide range of jobs exist in the film and cinema industry. Professionals are needed for equipment operation, lighting setup, set design, distribution and exhibition, writing, editing and more. Some job options include these:

  • Screenwriter
  • Director
  • Camera operator
  • Producer
  • Film editor

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has career outlook data for several careers in the film and cinema industry, including producers and directors (3%), film and video editors (1%), and camera operators (6%) between 2012 and 2022. BLS' 2014 reports showed that producers and directors made an average income of $90,300 per year, while film and video editors earned an average salary of $75,090. The average salary of camera operators was $56,510 in the same year.

Continuing Education

Students can pursue their film and cinema studies further by enrolling in a graduate degree program. Master's degree curricula include a more in-depth and advanced knowledge of the film and cinema industry. They're typically offered as a Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts. Doctoral degree programs are also available for students who want to attain research or teaching positions at the university level.

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