Film Degrees in Atlanta, GA with Course and Program Information

Nov 19, 2018

For those who wishing to turn their love of film into a career, there are a couple of schools within about five miles of Atlanta, GA, that offer education in the field. Learn about degree programs and coursework for these universities to make an informed education decision.

Atlanta Film Schools

The city of Atlanta is a large hub of the communication industry and offers those interested in film access to large production and post-production companies as well as movie theaters and the Atlanta Film Festival. This article puts a spotlight on two area schools -- both within about a 15-minute drive from the city center -- and their undergraduate and graduate degree requirements. There's also a table of school facts and figures, including tuition costs, enrollment numbers and acceptance rates.

  • Georgia State University, a public university in downtown Atlanta, offers film programs as a minor, a bachelor's degree, and a master's degree.
  • Students who are looking for a smaller school environment can consider Emory University, a more expensive private university in a quiet neighborhood that's situated about seven miles from central Atlanta. Emory offers a minor, a bachelor's degree, and a PhD certificate in film.

Comparison of Schools

There's more to choosing the ideal college education than finding the right program. Use this table to consider some other factors for the profiled schools, such as campus environment, school type and graduation rates.

Georgia State University Emory University
School Type Public, 4-year Private, not-for-profit, 4-year
Total Enrollment (Fall 2017)* 32,816 14,263
Campus Setting Large city Large suburb
Tuition & Fees (2017-2018)* In-state: $9,112
Out-of-state: $23,971
$49,392
% of First-Year Students Receiving Some Form of Financial Aid (2016-2017)* 94% 58%
Acceptance Rate (Fall 2017)* 70% 22%
Retention Rate (Fall 2017)* 83% (full-time) 93% (full-time)
Graduation Rate (students who began Fall 2011)* 53% 91%

Source: *NCES College Navigator.

Georgia State University

Georgia State University (GSU)'s Department of Communication is where the film department is located. The faculty aims to teach students the skills to view film both intellectually and artistically by learning film theory, history, production, and writing.

Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media

The goal of the bachelor's degree program is to train students to make films and videos, as well as to have a critical perspective of film in different cultural, theoretical, and historical contexts. Students must complete one foreign language course and two introductory film courses involving history and analysis. Students must also complete 24 credit hours of elective courses ranging from production and computer graphics to international film and specific genres. A senior seminar and film theory class are required to complete the program. Film majors are also required to complete a minor in another subject

Dual B.A. in Film and Media Studies/M.A. in Communication, Film and Media Concentration

This dual program allows students to take graduate courses later in their bachelor's degree to use toward both the B.A. and the M.A. Though this program must be applied to, acceptance does not guarantee a spot in the M.A. program. To be eligible for this program, students must have 60 credit hours of undergraduate work completed. Students must also have maintained a 3.5 GPA.

Master of Arts in Communication: Film, Video and Digital Imaging

Students in the master's program can choose from one of two tracks: moving image production and moving image studies. The program consists of 3-7 hours of core communications courses and 17-29 hours in the students' specific area of study (depending on the area). This program can be taken one of three ways: with a creative thesis, with a research thesis or as a course-intensive option. All require at least 36 credit hours for completion.

Emory University

Emory University, which is located in the residential Atlanta neighborhood of Druid Hills, maintains a small but active film studies department. The faculty members' main goal is to train students at all degree levels in media literacy.

Bachelor of Arts in Film Studies

This program is designed for students who want to develop strong critical-thinking and communication skills. In order to complete a B.A. in Film Studies, students must finish 40 credit hours (ten courses) in film classes, which includes the 24 credits covering an introduction to film, film theory, and media studies. Students can select a concentration in documentary studies.

Minor in Film Studies

The minor program consists of four core courses and two elective courses. The core courses include an introductory class, two history of film classes, and a theory class.

PhD Certificate in Film Studies

This certificate program aims to prepare students for careers in teaching and research. Students who want to earn this certificate must apply to a PhD program at Emory University that supports the film program, such as art history, English, or sociology. The certificate program consists of at least four classes and 16 credit hours. Students must either have already completed undergraduate-level film core courses or be prepared to complete leveling courses. Film topics must be included in the examination and dissertation of each certificate student.

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