Movie Director Schools, Colleges and Universities in the U.S.
Prospective movie directors can find training through film and production programs, which are offered at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels. Each degree program allows students to work on individual projects and introduces core movie director topics, such as screenwriting, directing, editing and cinematography.
Selecting a Film and Production School
An associate's degree in filmmaking can be completed in two years of full-time study, and it provides students with an overview of essential directing topics. A bachelor's degree program takes an additional two years to complete and may allow students to choose a concentration area.
Some common concentration areas include screenwriting, camera operation, editing and directing. Additionally, a senior thesis film may be required to complete a bachelor's degree. Lastly, a master's degree program in filmmaking is considered to be the terminal arts degree in the field and focuses on the completion of various short film projects and a longer thesis film. Classes tend to emphasize the development of hands-on skills pertinent to the movie occupation.
An associate's degree in this field prepares graduates for various lower-level film production jobs, such as grip and gaffer positions. A grip is responsible for setting up different types of film equipment, including the camera dolly tracks, scaffolding and platforms. In contrast, a gaffer oversees the electrical department. Graduates of a bachelor's or master's degree program can compete for jobs as camera assistants, assistant directors or focus pullers. Graduates of filmmaking degree programs only attain the top-level positions, such as movie director or cinematographer, after spending many years working their way up the ranks.
Prospective students should also take into account the quality and amount of equipment a film department has to offer. Film cameras that are no longer used in the industry may be of little use to graduates once they enter the job market. The skills a student obtains while enrolled in a film production degree program should be transferable. Also, a prospective student should ensure that there is an abundance of film cameras, lighting equipment and editing stations for use. Long waits to check out equipment can slow down production on film projects.
Largest Schools by Student Population
|College/University||Student Population||Institution Type|
|Arizona State University||67,082||4-year, Public|
|Miami Dade College||57,222||4-year, primarily associate's, Public|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||51,140||4-year, Public|
|University of Central Florida||50,121||4-year, Public|
|New York University||42,189||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Florida State University||38,682||4-year, Public|
|University of Southern California||33,747||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Boston University||31,766||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|George Mason University||30,613||4-year, Public|
|University of Iowa||29,152||4-year, Public|
|University of South Carolina - Columbia||27,488||4-year, Public|
|St Petersburg College||26,659||4-year, primarily associate's, Public|
|Florida Community College at Jacksonville||25,903||4-year, primarily associate's, Public|
|Northeastern University||25,837||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|University of Illinois at Chicago||25,835||4-year, Public|
|Drexel University||21,537||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
|Ohio University||21,369||4-year, Public|
|CUNY Hunter||21,258||4-year, Public|
|Southern Illinois||20,673||4-year, Public|
|Syracuse University||19,366||4-year, Private not-for-profit|
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