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Digital Film and Video Career Training in Portland, OR

The Portland area has a few colleges that offer film and video programs. Learn about the programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools, about 20 miles or less from downtown, and make an informed education decision.

Portland, Oregon Film and Video Schools

Earning a degree is not required to work in film and video production; however, through academic and hands-on coursework, students gain an understanding of the technical and creative aspects involved in filmmaking. This article gives an overview of three schools with film and video programs that are less than a half-hour from downtown Portland. It includes a table that enables prospective students to see important information about each school, such as costs and enrollment. Information on one other school, more distant from Portland, is added at the end of the article.

  • Portland State University is located in the heart of downtown Portland. It offers two bachelor's degree programs in film.
  • Another downtown school, Pacific Northwest College of Art, has a bachelor's degree program in video and sound.
  • About 18 miles from Portland, George Fox University lets students pursue bachelor's degrees in cinematic arts with several concentration options.

Comparison of Schools

Students looking for the right school need to consider many factors. This table offers a way to quickly compare the three schools featured in this article and see which is most suitable.

Portland State University Pacific Northwest College of Art George Fox University
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 26,693* 512* 4,076*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Rural
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $8,783 in-state; $26,130 out-of-state* $36,440* $35,016*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017) 79%* 100%* 99%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 92%* 95%* 82%*
Retention Rate (Fall 2016 to Fall 2017) 72% for full-time students* 68% for full-time students* 83% for full-time students*
Graduation Rate (Students who started Fall 2011) 49%* 31%* 72%*

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Portland State University

Portland State University has about 120 degree programs that prepare students for career opportunities or continuing education at the graduate level and about 90 at the bachelor's level. The School of Fine & Performing Arts offers programs in film and theater arts. The bachelor's degree in film offers students the opportunity to concentrate in film studies, film production or performance.

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in Film

Students enrolled in the bachelor's degree program in film have an opportunity to explore various film forms and genres, including silent films, television and digital video production. The program requires that students complete 80 credits within the major, and core coursework covers topics in film analysis, film theory, history of film and digital moviemaking. Students can also choose courses in such topics as screenwriting, digital drawing, visual storytelling and film production.

Pacific Northwest College of Art

The Pacific Northwest College of Art offers art-related bachelor's and master's degree programs. Ten Bachelor of Fine Arts programs are available in areas like illustration, contemporary animated arts, photography, painting and video and sound. Master of Fine Arts programs are offered in five concentrations, including applied craft and design, visual studies and collaborative design. Students can also pursue certificates in digital publishing, fine art, illustration and graphic design.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Video and Sound

The bachelor's degree program in video and sound teaches students about the technical and creative aspects of film production. Students learn through academic lectures and hands-on experience. The video component of the program ensures that students understand rhythm, pace and structure, while sound courses focus on video mixing, sound installation and performance. Students are also required to develop a thesis during their senior year.

George Fox University

George Fox University is a Christian school near Portland that offers educational programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. In addition to the cinema and media communication program, students can also pursue bachelor's degrees in business, the arts, social services and allied health. A seminary is also located on campus, and graduate programs are available in education, business, counseling, psychology and physical therapy.

Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts - Audio Production

The audio production specialization offers students the opportunity to learn about sound design and music recording for film and video projects. In addition to a field experience and production workshops, students will take courses in sound design, studio sound recording, music technology, stage lighting and sound and songwriting and producing. Students also have the option of completing 15 semester hours at the Contemporary Music Center Program in Nashville.

Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts - Film Studies

Students enrolled in the film studies concentration focus on the use of 16mm film. The program educates students about cinema history and provides hands-on production training. The Los Angeles Film Studies Center offers students the opportunity to complete up to 15 semester hours of coursework.

Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts - Animation

The animation concentration provides students with the opportunity to learn about creating 2-D and 3-D animation projects. Students will also learn how to incorporate special effects into film and video production. While required courses include animation, motion graphics and special effects, elective courses cover topics in photography, figure drawing and lighting.

Bachelor of Arts in Cinematic Arts - Film and Video Production

Students in this program learn about the different aspects of film and video production. From the creation of the script to post-production, students will take classes that teach them about cinematography, directing, screenwriting, lighting and sound and editing. Students in this program also have the option of taking courses at the Los Angeles Film Studies Center.

More School Options

Willamette University is located 44 miles from Portland in Salem and offers a cinema studies bachelor's degree program.


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