Film Editing Schools, Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Opportunities to study film editing can be found at community colleges, art schools and the extension or film schools of 4-year universities. While associate's degrees are available, more intensive programs include pursuing a bachelor's degree in fine arts or earning a graduate degree with a master's of fine arts.

Cinematography Schools

The following are schools that offer degree programs in cinematography.

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-6)
University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $50,277
Grad: $40,670
University of California- Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA public, 4 year Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergrad:$12,763
Grad: $12,629
American Film Institute Conservatory Los Angeles, CA private, not-for-profit, 4 year Master's, Certificate $47,030
New York University New York, NY private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral Undergrad: $47,750
Grad: $40,984
California Institute of the Arts Valencia, CA private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's, Master's, Postgraduate Certificate $43,986
Grad: $43,986
Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY private, not-for-profit, 4 year Master's $44,176
Chapman University Orange, CA private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $47,260
Grad: $25,681
Loyola Marymount University Los Angeles, CA private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's, Master's Undergrad: $42,795
Grad: $17,599
Emerson College Boston, MA private, not-for-profit, 4 year Bachelor's $41,052

Certificate Programs

A certificate program is typically focused on important fundamentals and can usually be completed in half the time it takes to complete an associate's degree. The intensive study can include lessons in video production, DSLR video capture, use of software, and motion graphics.

Associate of Arts (A.A.) in Film Editing

A.A. programs take two years to complete and can be found at film schools and community colleges. Unlike certificate programs, A.A. programs require general education courses. A.A. programs also tend to require courses in other areas of filmmaking, such as cinematography. At institutions that offer both associate's and bachelor's degree programs, it is usually easy for students to apply credits earned in an A.A. program to a bachelor's degree program if desired. Courses in these programs might include video editing, lighting techniques, and audio techniques.

Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.) in Film Editing

Film schools offer bachelor's degree programs that include coursework in film editing. Students are required to take other courses in film studies, but can concentrate on editing. Studio and production courses are emphasized, and students may complete an internship. B.F.A. programs usually have general education requirements, such as mathematics and humanities. Applicants should have a demonstrated interest in film. Bachelor's degree students take courses such as digital editing, cinematography, and directing principles.

Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Film Editing

M.F.A. programs are highly personalized. Some courses are required, but students focus on coursework specific to their interests, and the primary focus is on creating original projects such as a thesis. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in an internship. M.F.A. programs are appropriate for students who already hold a bachelor's degree in some field and have either professional or personal experience with filmmaking. Applicants should have a portfolio demonstrating creative achievement and potential. Graduate courses include creating the short film, film editing, and production.

School Selection Criteria

Further considerations for students seeking a program in this field:

  • Students who want to focus exclusively on editing will be better served by programs with a more specific curriculum.
  • Students should consider the film editing facilities available because modern film and video editing is dependent on constantly evolving computer technology and software applications.
  • Some schools may be better located geographically or have built better relationships with companies and organizations that provide students with internship experiences.

Schools primarily offer cinematography programs at the bachelor's and master's degree levels, although some schools may offer certificates or doctoral degrees as well. There are many cinematography schools in southern California due perhaps to their proximity with Hollywood.

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