Online Masters Degree in Film: Program Information

Dec 02, 2019

Essential Information

Fully online master's degree programs in film are available, as well as hybrid programs. Internships are often required as a part of these programs. Degree programs in film or media studies tend to be more widely available on campus. Specializations in production, editing and directing may be available.

A bachelor's degree is generally the minimum educational requirement needed to work as a director or producer; a master's degree may not be needed. Online students will need to have video editing software.

Master's Degree in Film

A master's degree program in film introduces students to concepts in storytelling, directing and shooting a film. Students can often choose a specialization, such as directing, producing, media studies, editing or digital cinematography. Students acquire skills in determining the best angle for a shot and ways to infuse images with emotion that engage and entertain viewers. To be eligible for enrollment in a master's degree program, students must have at least a bachelor's degree. There are very few master's programs in film, or related programs, such as media studies, television and motion pictures, available online.


An online master's degree program in film usually takes about two years to complete. It is available as a hybrid program or entirely online, depending on the university. Typically, students are required to complete an internship to gain practical experience in film by working with directors, producers and actors.

Students must have reliable Internet access in order to complete the online program. Students can access streaming videos, assignments and post clips for feedback from professors online. They can also interact with classmates through web chats. They also need Internet plug-ins, such as Adobe Flash and Acrobat Reader. Access to video editing software programs like Final Cut Pro may be required by some programs.

Course Topics

Online classes are self-paced, so students can complete them on their own time, without any scheduled class times or due dates. However, some courses may require that students participate in labs or regularly scheduled classes, which they can attend virtually, to enhance the learning experience.

History of Film

Through this class, students study how films are produced and distributed to the public. They explore the history of Hollywood and the factors contributing to Hollywood's growth as the center of the film industry.

Violence and Crime in Film

Students study theories about the effects of violence in film and the limits placed on producers in respect to the amount of violence that occurs in films. The course covers whether violence in society promotes violence in films or vice versa.

Theory and Style of Motion Pictures

Through this course, students study the practical aspects of creating a film, from writing short screenplays, to creating sets, lighting scenes and finding actors. They learn about modern technology used in creating films, making the whole process easier.

Film Documentary

This class covers the basics of creating a documentary. Students come up with topics, conduct research, edit and present short documentaries. They learn the differences between documentary-style films and other films.

Career Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the demand for producers and directors is expected to grow by 5%, as fast as average for all occupations, between 2018 and 2028. The BLS also reports that the median annual salary for directors and producers was $71,680 as of May 2018. Video and film editors made a median annual wage of $62,650 and could expect job growth of 14% from 2018-2028.

Online master's degree programs in film cover topics that range from the history of film to the theory and style of motion pictures. Graduates of these programs are able to work in a variety of jobs in the film industry, including directing, producing and video editing.

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