Cinematography schools cover the creative and technical aspects of filmmaking. Depending on the school and specific program offered, students can earn a bachelor's, master's or even a PhD in Cinematography.
Top Cinematography Schools
The following schools are among the top-rated cinematography schools in the United States according to The Hollywood Reporter. Tuition rates are based on the 2015-2016 school year.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||private, not-for-profit, 4 year||BA, MA||$50,277 (Undergrad) $39,984 (Grad)|
|New York University||New York, NY||private, not-for-profit, 4 year||BA, MA, PhD||$47,750 (Undergrad) $38,592 (Grad)|
|American Film Institute||Los Angeles, CA||private, not-for-profit, 4 year||MA||$44,082|
|University of California-Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||public, 4 year||BA, MA, PhD||$12,763 (In-state Undergrad) $37,471 (Out-of-state Undergrad) $11,220 (In-state Grad) $26,322 (Out-of-state Grad)|
|California Institute of the Arts||Valencia, CA||private, not-for-profit, 4 year||BA, MA||$43,986 (Undergrad) $43,400 (Grad)|
|Columbia University||New York, NY||private, not-for-profit, 4 year||MA||$42,280|
|Chapman University||Orange, CA||private, not-for-profit, 4 year||BA, MA||$47,260 (Undergrad) $25,331(Grad)|
|Loyola Marymount University||Los Angeles, CA||private, not-for-profit, 4 year||BA, MA||$42,795 (Undergrad) $17,441(Grad)|
|Emerson College||Boston, MA||private, not-for-profit, 4 year||BA,||$41,052|
Source: *NCES College Navigator
School Selection Criteria
Cinematography schools are intended for students who would like to pursue careers in filmmaking. Students should consider the following before deciding on a school:
- When choosing a cinematography school, students should focus on programs taught by a talented or well-credentialed faculty.
- Students should consider the quality of equipment and proximity to filming venues to determine if a school is right for their career goals.
- Choose a program that incorporates studies on the filmmaking business with instruction on cinematographic techniques.
Cinematography schools are intended for those interested in pursuing a degree in filmmaking. Besides learning the technical skills required for cinematography, other courses are needed to successfully complete a cinematography degree. Students will also complete coursework in directing, editing, production, critical studies, and cinematography theory.
The top cinematography schools in the U.S. are a mix of public and private schools and tuition rates vary considerably. Most offer several degree paths, allowing students some creative flexibility in designing their degree programs.