Cinematography Degrees: Top Rated Film School - San Francisco, CA

San Francisco, CA, has many schools with programs in cinematography. Find the best program for you by reading about schools' rankings, program offerings and tuition info.

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School and Ranking Information

Most of the schools in or within 25 miles of San Francisco offering studies in cinematography are 2-year public or 4-year private schools. Some of these schools are for-profit institutions. Based on ranking, student population and graduation rates, the following school is considered a top school in the San Francisco area for cinematography studies:

  • Winner: The University of California - Berkeley is the largest postsecondary institution in terms of student enrollment that provides cinematography and film studies in or near San Francisco. The university awards both undergraduate and graduate degrees in film and film media, which contain courses in and relating to cinematography.

School Info Chart

Category University of California - Berkeley
Ranking #20 Best National Universities (2015)*
Location Berkeley, California
School Type 4-year, public
Tuition & Fees (2013-2014) Undergrad: $12,864 (in state); $35,742 (out-of-state)**
Film/Cinema/Video Studies Degrees Offered Bachelor's and doctoral
Film/Cinema/Video Studies Degrees Awarded (all levels) in 2012-2013 63**
Most Popular Film/Cinema/Video Studies Degree in 2012-2013 Bachelor's (61 awarded)**
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (in 150% of normal degree time) for 2007 Entering Class 91%**
Noteworthy Department of Film and Media is affiliated with the Pacific Film Archive, which screens films and arranges filmmakers as guest speakers on campus

Sources: *U.S. News and World Report; **NCES College Navigator

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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

University of California - Berkeley

  • Internship opportunities available
  • Department of Film and Media offers seminars, conferences and symposia
  • School is in close proximity to several film festivals held throughout the year in the San Francisco Bay Area

The University of California - Berkeley (UC - Berkeley) is a public 4-year university with a total enrollment of approximately 36,000 students per year. Students can choose among the school's 130 academic departments and the more than 80 research departments. UC - Berkeley's Department of Film and Media offers a bachelor's degree in film and a doctoral degree in film and media. Before July 2011, the university's Rhetoric Department offered a Ph.D. in Rhetoric with a concentration in Film Studies. The new Ph.D. degree program replaces the previous concentration and is now offered through the Department of Film and Media.

Students of the Bachelor of Arts in Film program learn how to analyze film to decipher human behavior and expression. Core courses cover film theory, film history, documentaries and avant-garde films. Elective courses are offered in screenwriting, digital video, genres, filmmakers and types of cinema from around the country.

The University of California - Berkeley only allows 25 students per year to participate in the Doctor of Philosophy in Film and Media program. These students view cinematography from the standpoints of history, literature, politics and religion. Courses include literature and film, filmmakers, film theory, fiction within the cinema, political rhetoric in film and rhetorical theory. Some students opt to include a designated emphasis. Graduates must complete an intensive practical dissertation on film and cinematography. Students can earn a Master of Arts are partially completing this program; however, there is no standalone master's degree program in film and media.

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