San Diego Film and Video Schools with Degree Program Overviews

The San Diego area has three colleges that offer film and video programs. Learn about the schools' programs, admission info and program requirements for these schools, none more than 15 miles from downtown, and make an informed education decision.

Film and Video Schools in the San Diego Area

This article examines three schools in the San Diego area that offer programs related to film and video at the undergraduate and graduate levels. It looks at the various programs offered and includes statistics about the schools, including enrollment size, tuition and the percentage of students who graduate on schedule. These figures are arranged in a table, making it simple for aspiring film students to compare their education options.

  • San Diego City College, at the heart of downtown, offers certificate and associate's degree programs in film and video studies.
  • About 11 miles from the city center, San Diego State University offers a bachelor's and a master's degree program in television, film and new media.
  • John Paul the Great Catholic University, around 15 miles from downtown San Diego, features a production/directing emphasis within its Bachelor of Science in Communications Media program.

San Diego City College

San Diego City College (SDCC) is an accredited, 2-year institution that offers programs in dozens of fields, including film and video. The Department of Radio and Television offers an associate's degree program in communications with specializations in video and film, management and broadcast news. SDCC's programs may prepare students for multiple career opportunities in front of or behind the camera.

Certificate of Performance in Video and Film

For those who would like an introduction into the film and video field, SDCC offers a 9-credit certificate program. Students learn about the basic operations of a television studio and the techniques involved with location shooting. The curriculum includes courses in television production, lighting and staging, TV news field reporting and electronic field production.

Associate of Science in Communications - Video and Film

The film and video specialization within the associate's degree program is a fairly broad program, requiring courses in various types of media. The 60-credit program provides students with basic competency in production and management. Courses specific to the concentration in film and video cover basic staging, lighting techniques and media performance.

San Diego State University

San Diego State University (SDSU) is a public institution that offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in television, film and new media production within the School of Theatre, Television and Film. Students can also pursue theatrical degrees that focus on performance, youth theatre and design. The school's film and television programs use industry-standard technologies, and students can gain experience by checking out equipment and using the professional facilities located on campus.

Bachelor of Science in Applied Arts and Sciences - Television, Film and New Media Production

Applying for the production emphasis of this 4-year film and video degree program requires students to present portfolios of their work. Required courses deal with basic screenwriting, theatrical studies and 16mm film production. Students choose from a host of electives to suit their own interests. For example, students interested in the technical aspects of the field might take electives in audio design and film editing. Other specialized electives train students to produce documentaries, direct actors and conduct business within the film industry.

Master of Arts in Television, Film and New Media

The graduate-level film and video program at SDSU is centered on a student's ability to create his or her own original work. To be considered for the program, prospective students must submit portfolios that best demonstrate their skills. Independent study courses constitute a large part of the program.

John Paul the Great Catholic University

John Paul the Great Catholic University offers educational opportunities at the bachelor's and master's degree levels. Academic programs offered at the university include business, biblical theory and communications media. Communications media specializations include screenwriting, producing, animation/gaming and production/directing.

Bachelor of Science in Communications Media - Production/Directing

The Bachelor of Science in Communications Media - Production/Directing specialization teaches students about the art of storytelling through film and video. Students in the program learn about directing, editing, production, screenwriting, financing and logistics. The program provides industry-standard training, and students can gain experience with HD cameras and editing software.

Comparison of Schools

The following table contains information that could be useful to aspiring film and video students who are deciding which school is best for them.

San Diego City College San Diego State University John Paul the Great Catholic University
School Type 2-year, public 4-year, public 4-year, private non-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) 17,728* 30,541* 169*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2011-2012) $898 in-state; $5,290 out-of-state* $6,578 in-state; $17,738 out-of-state* $22,200*
% of Beginning Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2011) 84%* 60%* 95%*
Acceptance Rate (2011) N/A - Open admissions 30%* N/A - Open admissions
Retention Rate (2011) 60% full-time; 36% part-time* 89% full-time; 81% part-time* 68% full-time; 100% part-time*
Graduation Rate 12% (for students beginning fall 2008)* 66% (for students beginning fall 2005)* N/A

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

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