Film Schools in Boston with Course and Program Descriptions

Feb 22, 2019

The Boston area has nine colleges that offer film degree programs. Learn about three of these schools, all within five miles of downtown, and their degree programs, admission info and program requirements to make an informed education decision.

Boston-Area Film Schools

Film students in the Boston area have access to a variety of schools with programs in their field. This article looks at three schools, none more than a 15-minute drive from downtown, and the film degree programs they offer. It also includes a table of information about the schools, with data on enrollment, tuition, percentage of students who graduate on time and the availability of financial aid. Prospective students can refer to this table to help them find the school that is the best fit for them. At the end of the article is information on a few more nearby schools that offer film studies.

  • Less than a mile from the city center, Emerson College offers a number of degree programs in the visual and media arts, including a two bachelor's programs in film.
  • Students at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, about two miles from downtown, can earn bachelor's and master's degrees in film/video.
  • Finally, Boston University offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in film and television. Boston University is also about two miles from the heart of the city.

Comparison of Schools

Students need to be aware of many factors about the schools they are considering. The following table presents some important information in a format that makes it simple to compare the schools.

Emerson College Massachusetts College of Art and Design Boston University
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 4,459* 2,064* 33,355*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $44,832* In-state: $12,700, out-of-state: $34,400* $52,082*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2016-2017) 76%* 98%* 55%*
Acceptance Rate (2017) 46%* 71%* 25%*
Retention Rate for Full-Time Beginning Undergraduates (2016-2017) 88%* 87%* 93%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (students who began Fall 2011) 81%* 73%* 87%*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics

Emerson College

Emerson College is a 4-year, private school that was founded in 1880. The college, which began as an oratory school, focuses on providing degree programs in communications and the arts. Students can find film programs offered through Emerson's Department of Visual and Media Arts.

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film

Emerson offers two bachelor's degree programs for film students: a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The Bachelor of Arts program requires students to complete 44 credits in the Visual and Media Arts Department. Bachelor of Fine Arts students complete 60 credits. Film courses focus on topics such as the history of media arts, film production and other aspects of writing, directing and producing films.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a public college that was founded in 1873. MassArt was the first degree-granting art school in the country, as well as the first public school of its kind. Film students can find Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs in film at MassArt.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/Video

Film students at Massachusetts College of Art and Design have access to film and video studios, post-production studios and special effects stations. Bachelor of Fine Arts students complete 120 credit hours of coursework over four years, including 39 credits of film and video classes. They also complete a senior thesis.

Master of Fine Arts in Film/Video

Master of Fine Arts students can attend weekly screenings at the MassArt Film Society. They work with state-of-the-art film and digital equipment and facilities. The Master of Fine Arts in Film program is an individualized program that allows students to develop their skills and talents in a personalized way.

Boston University

Boston University is a private, 4-year college that enrolls more than 33,000 students every year. The school was originally founded in 1839 as a biblical institute. Today, the university has 18 schools and colleges, including the College of Communications, where film and television programs can be found.

Bachelor of Science in Film and Television

Students in Boston University's Bachelor of Science in Film and Television program focus on the study of film, screenwriting, film production and producing/management roles. Students are required to complete four core classes that focus on understanding television and film as a medium, storytelling and screen language. Aside from the core classes, students in the film and television program have the ability to individualize their studies in the way that interests them most.

Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television

Students enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television program are required to complete 64 credit hours of coursework. The program is designed to be completed in four semesters. Course topics focus on the history and theory of film. Students also complete a thesis in their final semester.

Other Options

Film students in Boston also might want to explore the film programs offered by Suffolk University or Northeastern University, both located in Boston. Boston College in Chestnut Hill and Tufts University in Medford both offer film programs as well.

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