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Schools for Aspiring Production Assistants: How to Choose

An associate's, bachelor's or master's degree program in media production can prepare students to work as production assistants. These programs typically include coursework in screenwriting, production equipment and film history, among other topics.

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Media production degrees prepare students for a number of careers, depending on the level of degree that they achieve. Degrees are available at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Ten Schools with Media Production Programs

The following ten universities and colleges are all options for students seeking degrees in media production.

College/University Location Institution Type Degree Type Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)*
Columbia University New York, NY 4 year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $53,000
Wesleyan University Middletown, CT 4 year, Private Bachelor's $49,274
George Mason University Fairfax, VA 4 year, Public Bachelor's $10,592 (in-state), $31,598 (out-of-state)
New York University New York, NY 4 year, Private Bachelor's $47,750
Boston University Boston, MA 4 year, Private Bachelor's $48,436
Temple University Philadelphia, PA 4 year, Public Bachelor's $15,188 (in-state), $25,494 (out-of-state)
The University of the Arts Philadelphia, PA 4 year, Private Bachelor's $39,908
Bennington College Bennington, VT 4 year, Private Bachelor's $48,220
Emerson College Boston, MA 4 year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $41,052
University of Miami Coral Gables, FL 4 year, Private Bachelor's, Master's $45,724

Sources: *NCES

How to Choose a Production Assistant School

A number of colleges and universities in the U.S. offer degrees in media production that are suitable for production assistants. Consider the following when choosing a media production program:

  • Students may want to seek schools with programs that are taught by faculty with experience in the media industry, providing one-on-one interactions with real-world industry professionals.
  • Students should look for schools offering internship opportunities to augment their education, which can help students gain real-world experience and meet professional contacts.
  • Students may also want to seek programs that offer emphasis areas, like film or television, depending upon their career goals.
  • It may be helpful for students to look for programs in cities they would consider working in, as internships could lead to future employment.

Associate's Degree in Film and Television Production

Associate degree programs are appropriate for those looking to learn the basics of media production and gain an entry-level position in the industry. Subjects covered in this degree program may include basic design, digital editing principles and techniques and telecommunications.

Bachelor's Degree in Digital Media Production

A bachelor's degree program in media production is suitable for individuals wanting more practical experience in media editing and creation.

Master's Degree in Digital Media Production

Individuals wanting an advanced education and an in-depth understanding of media production might consider a master's degree program. Topics may include directing and digital arts, and students are typically required to complete a thesis and/or produce a short film or television show before graduation.

Depending on a student's goals and past educational experiences, there are a number of programs they can pursue in the field of media production that will focus on editing, design, and the digital arts.

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