Film Editing Schools, Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Programs that include instruction in film editing are offered at the certificate, associate's, bachelor's and master's levels. Students' choice of degree level depends on their academic background and experience, interests and professional goals.

How to Select a Film Editing School

Opportunities to study film editing can be found at community colleges, art schools and the extension or film schools of 4-year universities. While associate's degrees are available, more intensive programs include pursing a bachelor's degree in fine arts or earning a graduate degree with a master's of fine arts.

Further considerations for students seeking a program in this field:

  • Students who want to focus exclusively on editing will be better served by programs with a more specific curriculum.
  • Students should consider the film editing facilities available because modern film and video editing is dependent on constantly evolving computer technology and software applications.
  • Some schools may be better located geographically or have built better relationships with companies and organizations that provide students with internship experiences.

Film Editing Program Overviews

Certificate Programs

A certificate program is typically focused on important fundamentals and can usually be completed in half the time it takes to complete an associate's degree. The intensive study can include lessons in:

  • Video production
  • DSLR Video capture
  • Use of software
  • Motion graphics

Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Film Editing

A.A. programs take two years to complete and can be found at film schools and community colleges. Unlike certificate programs, A.A. programs require general education courses. A.A. programs also tend to require courses in other areas of filmmaking, such as cinematography. At institutions that offer both associate's and bachelor's degree programs, it is usually easy for students to apply credits earned in an A.A. program to a bachelor's degree program if desired. Courses in these programs might include:

  • Video editing
  • Lighting techniques
  • Audio techniques

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Film Editing

Film schools offer bachelor's degree programs that include coursework in film editing. Students are required to take other courses in film studies, but can concentrate on editing. Studio and production courses are emphasized, and students may complete an internship. B.F.A. programs usually have general education requirements, such as mathematics and humanities. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in film. Bachelor's degree students take courses such as:

  • Digital editing
  • Cinematography
  • Directing principles

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Film Editing

M.F.A. programs are highly personalized. Some courses are required, but students focus on coursework specific to their interests, and the primary focus is on creating original projects such as a thesis. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in an internship. M.F.A. programs are appropriate for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in some field and have either professional or personal experience with filmmaking. Applicants should have a portfolio demonstrating creative achievement and potential. Graduate courses include:

  • Creating the short film
  • Film editing
  • Production

Ten Cinematography Schools

College/University Institution Type
University of Southern California private, not-for-profit, 4 year
New York University private, not-for-profit, 4 year
American Film Institute private, not-for-profit, 4 year
University of California-Los Angeles public, 4 year
California Institute of the Arts private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Columbia University private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Chapman University private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Loyola Marymount University private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Wesleyan University private, not-for-profit, 4 year
Emerson College private, not-for-profit, 4 year

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