List of Graduate Film Schools and Colleges

Students considering pursuing a graduate degree in film have many factors to consider. The available degree programs, potential specializations, location and tuition costs all influence students' decisions in choosing a graduate film school.

How to Select a Graduate Film School

The most common degree granted by a graduate film school is the Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Some film schools also grant the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) degree. Students' decisions are likely driven by the prerequisites of the programs they're considering and their professional ambitions. Ph.D. programs may require completion of a relevant master's program and are usually for students who want to teach. Common programs offered by film colleges include cinema studies, cinematography, production, direction and screenwriting.

Other considerations include the following:

  • The first factor students should consider in selecting a graduate film college is whether or not their desired degree program is offered, in most cases either an MFA or a Ph.D.
  • Students should also consider whether or not programs have the fields of study or specialization they are interested in pursuing.
  • Cost is another concern for many students, with public schools in the student's home state usually offering the least expensive tuition and private schools or public schools outside of the student's home state tending to be more costly.

Top 10 Graduate Film Schools

College/University Institution Type
University of Southern California 4-year, Private not-for-profit
New York University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of California Los Angeles 4-year, Public
American Film Institute 4-year, Private not-for-profit
California Institute of the Arts 4 year, Private not-for-profit
Columbia University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Chapman University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Loyola Marymount University 4-year, Private not-for-profit
Emerson College 4-year, Private not-for-profit
University of Texas at Austin 4-year, Public

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