Atlanta Film Schools with Course and Degree Program Overviews

Research film schools near Atlanta, GA, which currently has about ten 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 five 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 located within about 5 miles of the city center. 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 in the heart of Atlanta.
  • Emory University, another 4-year institution located just under five 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 State University - Perimeter College's associate degree program. This 2-year college has various campus locations in and around Atlanta's downtown area.

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 State University - Perimeter College
School Type Public, 4-year university Private, not-for-profit, 4-year university Public, 2-year college
Total Enrollment (2017) 32,816* 14,263* 18,732*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2018-2019) $9,112 in-state; $23,971 out-of-state* $51,306* $3,304 in-state; $9,501 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 94%* 58%* 74%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 70%* 22%* 59%
Retention Rate (2016-2017) 83% for full-time students; 53% for part-time students* 93% for full-time students* 67% for full-time students; 56% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate 53% (students began Fall 2011)* 91%(students began Fall 2011)* 13% (students began Fall 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Georgia State University

Students at Georgia State University can choose from more than 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 Media

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 Media

All students take a film analysis and film history class as well as a film or media theory course. This program also allows students to select 24 credits of electives, which may cover topics like digital cinematography, screenwriting, set lighting and sound design. 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 Communication with a Concentration in Film, Video and Digital Imaging

This communication degree program offers a concentration in film, video and digital imaging. Students select from tracks in moving image production or moving image studies. They also choose between research thesis, creative thesis, and course-intensive options; all require 36 credits to graduate. Required courses cover communication perceptions and research methodologies.

Students in the research thesis option complete an additional 21-27 credits of film-related coursework as well as six credits of coursework in related subjects. The creative thesis option requires 17-26 credits of additional film coursework and up to nine credits of allied coursework. The course-intensive option requires an additional 20-29 hours in film and media, along with up to nine hours in related courses. 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 18-24 credit hours of coursework. Six 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 documentary studies.

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, classical films, scriptwriting or film criticism, 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 State University - Perimeter College

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

Associate of Arts - Film & Media Studies Pathway

The core curriculum of this program requires a total of 42 hours and includes two introductory courses in film analysis and film history. Students also choose 18 hours of film-related electives; options may include theatre, film genres, set production and a Georgia Film Academy internship.

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 communication and media studies with a concentration in digital storytelling at Reinhardt University.

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