Atlanta Film Schools with Course and Degree Program Overviews

Research film schools in Atlanta, GA, which currently has about six colleges and universities offering degrees. To decide which one is right for you, read an overview of admission and program requirements for three colleges located within about 10 miles of downtown.

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Film Degree Programs in Atlanta

Individuals in Atlanta who want to earn a film degree have a few nearby educational options. The three featured here are less than 20 minutes away from the center of the city. Review the table that follows for school statistics, and then learn about required courses and culminating experiences at three institutions. Some information on other area college options is also included.

  • Those wanting to learn the technical aspects of filmmaking can find relevant bachelor's and master's programs at Georgia State University. A minor option is also available. This 4-year school is situated less than a mile from downtown Atlanta.
  • Emory University, another 4-year institution located roughly seven miles from central Atlanta, offers a minor as well as bachelor's-, master's- and doctoral-level programs in film studies. This school's programs are geared towards students interested in studying film criticism and theory.
  • Those looking for a 2-year program that covers basics of the film industry may consider Georgia Perimeter College's associate degree program. This 2-year college is located in the nearby suburb of Decatur about 10 miles from Atlanta's downtown area.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

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

Comparison of Schools

Before exploring the academic programs, compare the profiled schools' tuition costs, acceptance rates, campus environments, and more in the table below. It contains info that just might help you narrow down your list of college options.

Georgia State University Emory University Georgia Perimeter College
School Type Public, 4-year university Private, not-for-profit, 4-year university Public, 2-year college
Total Enrollment (2014) 32,556* 14,769* 21,371*
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2015-2016) $8,974 in-state; $23,542 out-of-state* $46,314* $3,213 in-state; $9,288 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2013-2014) 92%* 59%* 74%*
Acceptance Rate (2014) 59%* 27%* 51%
Retention Rate (2013-2014) 81% for full-time students; 57% for part-time students* 95% for full-time students* 61% for full-time students; 48% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate (2014) 53%* 89%* 6%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Georgia State University

Students at Georgia State University can choose from 250 degree programs in 100 different disciplines. The university houses nine schools and colleges, including the College of Arts and Sciences. This college is where the Department of Communication can be found, housing the film and video programs.

Minor in Film and Video

The film and video minor requires completion of 15-18 credits. At least nine of these credits must be at the 3000-4000 levels. These classes may cover such areas as writing or producing films or critical film studies.

Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video

All students take a theoretical class in film as well as complete courses in the areas of production or screenwriting, film history and critical studies in film. This program also allows students to select 24 credits of electives, which may cover topics like animation, set lighting and acting. Students can also choose an internship or an honors thesis as an elective. They complete a minor in another academic area.

Master of Arts in Film, Video and Digital Imaging

This communication degree program offers a concentration in film, video and digital imaging. Students select from tracks in screenwriting, production or critical studies. They also choose between research thesis and creative thesis options; both require 36 credits to graduate. Required courses cover communication perceptions and research methodologies. Students in the research thesis option also complete an additional 18-24 credits of film-related coursework as well as six credits of coursework in allied subjects. The creative thesis option requires an additional 18-27 credits of film coursework and up to nine credits of allied coursework. Film-related courses may include digital filmmaking, video editing and film production.

Emory University

Emory University's College of Arts and Sciences offers nearly 50 core areas of study. It also houses the Film & Media Studies Department where students can learn to critically evaluate the film industry. The film studies program has eight faculty members.

Minor in Film Studies

Students who opt to minor in film studies can expect to complete 24 credit hours of coursework. Four classes are required, which may include a preliminary film course and those concerning film's history and/or theories. The remaining eight credits are acquired through electives.

Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies

A total of 40 credits of film studies courses are necessary for this program. Classes cover topics like film theory, film history from the 1950s to present day, film genres and film critiques. Students can also choose upper-level courses that allow them to complete supervised research, a film project or a thesis (for honors students).

The department offers a concentration in film and media management to film studies majors as well as business administration majors. Business students can learn about film studies, while film studies students can learn about the business aspects of the film industry. Business students must take an introductory film course and one regarding film history, while film studies majors must take two courses in marketing and management. Students also complete electives related to either business or film. A capstone course in content creation is required during the senior year.

Master of Arts in Film Studies

Before students can begin this program, they must complete specific undergraduate coursework in film studies. Once admitted, students take five core graduate seminars, which cover topics in theory, film genres, film history, research and author's rights. Students also choose three additional electives, which may include film figures, silent cinema, screenplay writing or film analysis, to name a few. The program concludes with a thesis. It usually takes about two years to finish this program.

PhD Certificate in Film Studies

This program can help prepare students for postsecondary teaching or research careers. Students must apply to one of the PhD programs that support the film studies field, such as art history, English or comparative literature. In addition to certificate coursework, students complete the requirements associated with the PhD degree program they've chosen. The graduate studies director determines coursework, and other parts of the program's requirements are tailored to accommodate the film studies focus. For example, a film studies advisor serves on the exam committee to test students' film studies knowledge. Additionally, students choose a topic related to film studies for their dissertations.

Georgia Perimeter College

Georgia Perimeter College is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and is part of the University System of Georgia. Georgia Perimeter College has four Atlanta-area campuses and one center.

Associate of Arts in Film

This program requires a total of 42-44 credits to complete. All students in this program complete a set of required general education classes, which include two introductory courses in film and film history. Students also choose four film-related electives; options may include acting, film genres, creative writing and theatre.

Other Schools

A few other schools in and around Atlanta offer educational options for students wanting to study film. In Decatur, GA, which is about six miles outside of Atlanta, Agnes Scott College offers a minor in film and media studies. A minor in film studies is also offered at Kennesaw State University, which is located about 22 miles from Atlanta in Kennesaw, GA. About 42 miles from Atlanta in Waleska, GA, students can major in digital film and video at Reinhardt University.

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