Music Video School and College Program Information

Students who wish to learn the best techniques for music video training and production should study filmmaking, as no specific degrees for music videos are widely available. Film degree programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's and master's degree levels.

How to Select a Music Video or Filmmaking School

Prospective students wanting to pursue a career in creating music videos need to master many of the same skills required of filmmakers. Therefore, pursuing a degree at a film or art school may be a good place to start. Students interested in creating music videos for a living may want to keep the following considerations in mind when selecting their programs:

  • Since programs specifically in music videos are hard to find, students may want to look into taking special workshops that focus on music videos to supplement their degree program coursework or look for programs that allow them to meet some project requirements by making music videos.
  • Program focus is important as it allows the student to focus on the various aspects of filmmaking that are applicable to music videos, such as directing, cinematography and learning to work closely with actors.
  • Experience with up-to-date technologies may help a student's career prospects after graduation, so students should seek schools that have the latest equipment.
  • Since much of one's knowledge of filmmaking comes from experience, students will want to look for programs that offer internships or work placements that will help them bolster their resumes and meet industry professionals.

Music Video and Filmmaking Program Overviews

Associate's Degree in Filmmaking

A 2-year Associate of Arts or Associate of Fine Arts in Filmmaking program introduces students to many aspects of film and video production. Some general education requirements apply, and students are usually required to complete a film project. Students receive training in:

  • Editing
  • Directing principles
  • Cinematography
  • Scriptwriting

Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Filmmaking

A film and video production BFA program focuses heavily on production aspects of filmmaking. The program can be completed in four years of full-time study and requires the completion of multiple film and video projects. Some BFA programs may allow students to major in a particular area of film production, such as screenwriting, directing or cinematography. Applicants need to demonstrate their interest in film and may need to show creative achievement and potential through submission of a portfolio. Training focuses on equipping students with the technical know-how and ability to produce, write, shoot and direct their own video projects after graduation. Coursework includes instruction in:

  • Film theory
  • Film genres
  • Film grammar

Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Filmmaking

The MFA is the terminal degree for students of film and video arts, and an MFA program is intended for students who already have personal or professional experience in film production. A bachelor's degree is a prerequisite for MFA programs, but students from disciplines other than film are encouraged to apply. A major component of the application is the creative portfolio, which may include film clips, photographs and written work. Master's degree students take a specialized course of study and focus on classes most relevant to the type of films or videos they want to create. Time spent working on projects is emphasized, and a final thesis project is required for the degree. Courses that master's degree students take may include:

  • Editing
  • Acting
  • Aesthetics

Ten Schools with Music Video or Filmmaking Programs

College/University Institution Type
Academy of Art University 4-Year, Private, For-Profit
University of Southern California 4-Year, Private, Not-For-Profit
New York University 4-Year, Private, Not-For-Profit
California Institute of the Arts 4-Year, Private, Not-for-Profit
Florida State University 4-Year, Public
George Mason University 4-Year, Public
Ithaca College 4-Year, Private, Not-For-Profit
Massachusetts College of Art and Design 4-Year, Public
Ohio State University 4-Year, Public
Syracuse University 4-Year, Private, Not-For-Profit

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