Prospective students who are eager to learn the skills needed to create and critique movies and films may choose to earn a bachelor's degree in film and cinema. 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 required and participation in film festivals is encouraged. Applicants may need to supply a portfolio.
Bachelor's Degree in Film and Cinema
Students engage in classroom instruction that includes core classes and electives. The students are allowed to choose classes that meet their occupational goals. Internships give students the opportunity to work and to network with industry professionals. Common classes may include the following:
- Motion picture history
- Visual storytelling
Popular Career Options
A wide range of jobs exists 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:
- Camera operator
- 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 (9% job growth), film and video editors (18% job growth), and camera operators (2% job growth) between 2014 and 2024. The May 2015 reports from the BLS showed that producers and directors made a median income of $68,440 per year, while film and video editors earned a median salary of $61,750. The median salary of camera operators was $49,080 in the same year (www.bls.gov).
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.
A bachelor's degree in film and cinema trains students to serve as critics and creators of films. Graduates could pursue further studies to qualify as teachers or join the cinema and film industry by becoming film editors, producers or screenwriters.