A 4-year undergraduate degree program in film can provide students with a broad background in film production techniques and in general cinematic tools and theories. These programs combine classroom and practical instruction, and students could gain further experience through required or optional internships. Students looking to enter a film degree program should have a high school diploma and may need to have a portfolio of work or previous film experience.
Bachelor's Degree in Film
As with many bachelor's programs, undergraduate degree programs in film typically require students to complete general education courses before declaring a film major. Classroom lectures and hands-on studio time provide students with skills in cinematography film editing, screenwriting and film production.
Students are often provided with a background of the history of various film genres and training on the technical aspects and creative elements that go into movie making. Most undergraduate film majors are required or encouraged to participate in an internship or work-study experience that will put them on the set of an actual movie, television show, documentary, or other feature. Some course topics might include:
- History of American motion pictures
- Stylistic studies for the moving image
- Film editing
- Film genres
Popular Career Options
Various entry-level careers in the entertainment field are open to graduates of an undergraduate program in film. Jobs in this area often require individuals to work on a freelance basis. Some potential options include:
- Production coordinator
- Assistant director
- Director of photography
- Production assistant
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment for producers and directors from 2014 to 2024 is expected to grow 9%. This is faster than average growth. As of May 2015, producers and directors made a mean annual income of $89,670, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Graduates of an undergraduate program in film often choose to earn a master's degree in a more specialized aspect of the field, such as cinematography, producing or screenwriting. Such 2-year programs are often notable for the hands-on experience they provide graduate students and for the faculty connections to the industry. Ph.D. programs in film studies and cinematography are available for students who are interested in teaching film studies at the university level.
To learn the creative and technical aspects of film production, students enrolled in bachelor's degree programs will typically take part in both lectures and hands-on learning activities. After earning a degree, graduates may find work in the film industry or choose to pursue a graduate degree in a more specialized area of filmmaking.