Top Schools for Film and Cinema Studies

Read about film and cinema studies programs, through which students can learn how to direct, operate a camera and become familiar with media forms and theater. In addition to profiles of three top-notch institutions, this resource includes a handy list of other schools in the United States that offer programs in film and cinema studies.

School Information

The three universities summarized below include two national universities and a private art college with fine arts and multimedia programs. Each of the three schools offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in film and cinema studies, including majors in movie and television production, new media and screenwriting.

1. University of California in Los Angeles

School Highlight: Famous alumni include Francis Ford Coppola and James Dean.

The University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA) is a public research school that U.S. News and World Report ranked tied for 23rd among national universities in 2015. Programs in film and cinema studies are available through the UCLA School of Theatre, Film and Television. Undergraduate majors include digital media, film, television and theater. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are also available in playwriting, animation and media studies. To complement their majors, students can also pursue professional programs in screenwriting and producing.

2. University of Southern California in Los Angeles

School Highlight: Famous alumni include George Lucas and Will Ferrell.

The University of Southern California (USC), the state's oldest private research school, ranked tied for 25th among national universities in 2015, according to U.S. News and World Report. The university is home to the USC School of Cinematic Arts, one of the most prestigious film programs in the country. At the school, students can pursue programs in film and television production, screenwriting and interactive media, among other areas. Individual programs culminate in an undergraduate or a graduate degree.

3. Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA

School Highlight: The filmmakers who brought you the movies Armageddon and 300 studied at the Art Center College of Design.

The Art Center College of Design is a private institution that U.S. News and World Report ranked 18th on its list for schools with top fine arts programs and seventh among schools with top graphic design programs in 2015. Undergraduate programs in film and cinema studies include film and entertainment design. A master's degree in broadcast cinema is also available. Additionally, the Art Center College of Design serves as a vocational school for returning U.S. soldiers who want to work in the art and design field.

Top Film and Cinema Studies Degree Programs

School Name Distinction Location
Carl Albert State College Associate's degree given in film Poteau, OK
Central Washington University Offers programs in critical studies, production and screenwriting Ellensburg, WA
CUNY College of Staten Island Bachelor's and master's given in film and video studies Staten Island, NY
Georgia State University Placement services provided for graduates Atlanta, GA
Kean University Students have the option to study abroad Union, NJ
Oakland University Cinema studies department offers bachelor's programs Rochester Hills, Michigan
Sacramento City College Certificate programs available Sacramento, CA

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