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Digital Film and Video Career Training in Denver, CO

The Denver area has six colleges that offer film and video programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, all within 15 miles of downtown, to make an informed education decision.

Denver Film and Video Schools

Digital film and video programs can prepare students to work in the TV, film and video industry. This article gives an overview of three schools that are less than a half-hour from downtown Denver. It also includes a table of information that makes it easy for a potential student to compare the schools. At the end of the article is a little information about another area school that offers degrees in film.

  • The University of Denver offers a Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies and Production, along with a minor. It is five miles from downtown.
  • Just 10 miles outside of downtown Denver, Red Rocks Community College offers associate's degree and certificate programs in video production that can prepare students for employment or continuing education opportunities.
  • The Community College of Aurora, 11 miles from the city center, offers several specialization tracks within its film and video associate's degree and certificate programs.

Comparison of Schools

The following table allows individuals to compare many aspects of these schools, including tuition, size and school types. This information may help them make a sound decision about their education.

University of Denver Red Rocks Community College Community College of Aurora
School Type 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; public, primarily associate's 2-year; public
Total Enrollment (2017) 11,434* 7,355* 8,026*
Campus Setting Large city Midsize city Large city
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $48,669* $4,008 in-state; $14,773 out-of-state* $3,702 in-state; $13,896 out-of-state*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 87%* 50%* 65%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 58%* N/A - Open admissions* N/A - Open admissions*
Retention Rate (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017) 87% for full-time students; 45% for part-time students* 49% for full-time students; 40% for part-time students* 54% for full-time students; 41% for part-time students*
Graduation Rate 75% (students that started in 2011)* 26% (students that started in 2011)* 29% (students that started in 2014)*

Source: *NCES College Navigator

University of Denver

The University of Denver hosts over 11,000 students and has an average class size of 21. Educational opportunities are available in business, natural sciences and mathematics, engineering and computer science, arts and humanities, education and international studies. The Media, Film and Journalism Studies department offers degrees in film studies and production, journalism studies, media studies and strategic communications.

Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies and Production

The Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies and Production at the University of Denver provides students with a foundational understanding of motion-picture arts. Students have an opportunity to explore areas involving screenwriting and production and gain experience using cameras, lights, sound and editing equipment. The program offers students a chance to write script treatments and propose projects. The Student Showcase allows students to create projects throughout the year. Students can also pursue a minor in the field.

Red Rocks Community College

Red Rocks Community College offers certificates and associate's degree programs in various fields, including science, humanities, technology and the arts. Courses in film and video are offered through the Multimedia Graphic Design and Video Department, which also offers concentrations in video production, new media and graphic design. Students can pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree with an emphasis in video production. Video production and new media certificate programs are also available.

Certificate/Associate of Applied Science in Multimedia Graphic Design - Video Production

In this video production program, students learn various aspects of video and digital editing software. Classes such as videography, sound design and digital video editing cover various parts of the filmmaking process. The associate's degree requires students to complete 45 credits of required classes and 15 credits of general education classes. Students in the certificate program complete 18 credits of core classes to graduate.

Introduction to New Media/New Media Journalist Certificate Programs

Students can take a six-credit certificate in new media to get acquainted with topics in multimedia and media on the Internet. Additionally, a new media journalist certificate is available as a 21-credit program. Students will have a chance to explore areas like editing, mass media techniques, digital photography, Adobe InDesign, and videography fundamentals.

Community College of Aurora

Departments at the Community College of Aurora include criminal justice, business, social sciences, humanities and mathematics. The Colorado Film School is part of the community college and houses film and video programs offering specializations in writing and directing, postproduction, acting and cinematography. These programs are available at the certificate and associate's degree levels. While the certificate programs require that students complete 45 credits in core courses and a three-credit English composition course, students enrolling in an associate's degree program also need to complete 15 credits of general education requirements. Standalone film certificates are also offered that do not have related associate's degrees.

Certificate/Associate of Applied Science in Film, Video and Media - Cinematography and Videography

The cinematography and videography concentration provides students with an introduction to film and video production and covers topics in scripting, lighting, postproduction and documentaries. Required classes also include film production, cinematography, camera techniques and art direction.

Certificate/Associate of Applied Science in Film, Video and Media - Postproduction

In addition to the core requirements, students enrolled in the postproduction concentration complete classes in digital editing, Adobe Photoshop, sound for film/video, video production and digital effects. Students in the certificate program also complete an internship.

Certificate/Associate of Applied Science in Film, Video and Media - Writing/Directing

Students in this film, video and media program take courses in script analysis, global cinema, video lighting, film expression, short script and actor improvisation, A writing for broadcast media course is also required.

Certificate/Associate of Applied Science in Film, Video and Media - Writing/Producing

The writing and producing concentration offers students a chance to take several courses in filmmaking. In addition to a course in film/video business and an internship for the certificate program, students take courses in production management, producing the independent film, 16mm/HD production and creative producing.

Other School Options

The University of Colorado - Boulder is about 28 miles from Denver and offers film programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking and a Master of Fine Arts in Film.


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