Top Ranked Film Universities in United States

Find information about top-ranked film schools in the United States that offer programs for students who are interested in directing, producing or writing movies. See what's available at four of these high-profile schools, and get a sneak peak at some other universities around the country that offer programs in film studies or film production.

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School Overview

Film studies or filmmaking programs often include concentrations in cinematography, postproduction editing, sound design or screenwriting. The following three schools include one public and two private universities with undergraduate or graduate programs that can lead to a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Master of Fine Arts in one of several specialized areas. Unique to Florida State University and New York University are the number of Student Academy Awards winners or nominees.

1. Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL

School Highlight: FSU offers the non-degree Torchlight Program, which provides students with education and internship opportunities in the film business.

Florida State University (FSU) is a public research university that ranked tied for 43rd among U.S. News & World Report's Top Public Schools list in 2015. FSU's College of Motion Picture Arts offers a number of degrees or programs in film. Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Production, a BFA in Animation and Digital Arts or a minor in film studies. Graduate degrees include a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Production and an MFA in Writing.

2. New York University in New York, NY

School Highlight: Alumni include Martin Scorsese and Joel Coen.

In 2015, the Princeton Review included New York University in its list of Best Northeastern Colleges. Located in Greenwich Village, once home to some of the nation's most well-known artists, this private university includes the Tisch School of the Arts and the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. Students can earn a BFA in Film and Television, an MFA in Filmmaking or dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Fine Arts (MBA/MFA) in Producing. Additionally, Kanbar Institute offers a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Cinematography and Film Production
  • Film and Cinema Studies
  • Photography

3. University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA

School Highlight: The school's founding faculty included Douglas Fairbanks, D.W. Griffith, William C. DeMille, Ernst Lubitsch, Irving Thalberg, and Darryl Zanuck, among others.

In 2015, the University of Southern California (USC), a private research institution, was ranked tied for 25th among national universities by U.S. News & World Report. USC's School of Cinematic Arts offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in film and television production, film and television writing, film studies and producing. Both retired and practicing directors, writers, editors, producers and other filmmaking professionals make up the school's film faculty. This film school provides students with access to numerous state-of-the-art production centers, including sound and scoring stages, digital arts and animation studios, and editing rooms.

Top Film Programs

College/University Name Distinction Location
Boston University Offers the student-run Hothouse Productions company Boston, MA
California Institute of the Arts Joint program with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City Valencia, CA
Columbia University Master of Fine Arts with a creative producing concentration New York, NY
Temple University Los Angeles internship program open to undergraduate and graduate students Philadelphia, PA
University of California - Los Angeles Offers an MFA in Cinematography program Los Angeles, CA
University of North Carolina School of the Arts The MFA program includes a concentration in film music composition Winston-Salem, NC
University of Texas - Austin The city sponsors several internationally known film festivals Austin, TX
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