Independent Film Production Degree Programs in Indianapolis, IN

The Indianapolis, IN, area has five schools within 45 miles of downtown that offer independent film production programs. Learn about the degree programs, admission info and program requirements for three of these schools to make an informed education decision.

Indianapolis-Area Schools with Independent Film Production Programs

Students who want to create independent films can obtain relevant knowledge and skills from multiple types of degree programs. Three schools, all within a 55-minute drive of downtown Indianapolis, are profiled in this article, along with the programs they offer. The article also includes a table of pertinent information, such as school type, size, tuition and graduation rate, which can help prospective students figure out what is their best option. There is also a listing of a few other area schools with relevant programs.

  • The communication studies bachelor's program at Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis provides production training. This school is in the heart of downtown Indianapolis.
  • Butler University offers a bachelor's degree program in digital media production that teaches students about the production process. Butler is about four miles from downtown.
  • Anderson University, around 36 miles from Indianapolis, offers a bachelor's program with a specialization in cinema and media production that provides hands-on production training.

Comparison of Schools

Students need to be aware of much information when selecting a college. This table presents important facts in a way that allows for easy comparison of these schools.

Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis Butler University Anderson University
School Type 4-year; public 4-year; private not-for-profit 4-year; private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2017) 29,791* 5,145* 1,877*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Small city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2017-2018) $9,334 in-state; $29,806 out-of-state* $39,860* $29,710*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2017) 89%* 97%* 100%*
Undergraduate Acceptance Rate (2017) 80%* 65%* 65%*
Undergraduate Retention Rate (2016-2017) 75% for full-time students; 48% for part-time students* 89% for full-time students; 100% for part-time students* 73% for full-time students; 50% for part-time students*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (of Students Who Began in 2011) 45% (26% transfer-out rate)* 79% (16% transfer-out rate)* 57% (30% transfer-out rate)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) College Navigator.

Indiana University - Purdue University - Indianapolis (IUPUI)

The School of Liberal Arts at IUPUI houses the Department of Communication Studies, which offers a bachelor's degree in communication studies that includes production training. Undergraduate students also have the option of pursuing 15-credit minors in communication studies, media arts studies, corporate and organizational communication, communication and persuasion and general theatre. The department also offers a master's degree in applied communication that focuses on corporate communication, health communication and media studies.

Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies

The bachelor's program in communication studies covers various aspects of the communications field and prepares graduates to work in several areas, including film and video production. While students are required to complete courses in communications research, theory and studies, students who want to learn about film production can take a video production workshop and electives in film and documentary, television direction and audio and video techniques. They also have the option to complete an internship in the field. A capstone/research experience is required before graduation.

Butler University

Butler University has six academic colleges that offer programs in pharmacy and health sciences, liberal arts and sciences, business, education, communications and the arts. Students can earn degrees at the undergraduate and graduate levels in more than 65 areas of study.

Bachelor of Arts in Digital Media Production

This program offers courses that can educate and train students in creating and producing content for film and interactive media. Students can learn about the production process, from development to postproduction. The program requires 126 credits, and production courses cover topics in audio production, multimedia production, writing, editing, directing and documentary production.

Anderson University

The Department of Communication Arts at Anderson University offers program specializations in cinema and media arts, journalism, public relations and visual communication. Students in the department have an opportunity to gain professional experience through Covenant Productions and the radio station - WQME 98.7 FM.

Bachelor of Arts in Cinema & Media Arts

The program in audio, video and cinema production teaches students the technical and creative skills needed to work in the independent film industry. Courses cover visual communication, audio concepts, television production, business of TV/film and video production. Students are also required to participate in an internship.

Other School Options

Ivy Tech Community College has locations throughout the state, including one in Indianapolis. Students at this school can pursue associate's degrees in visual communications, which could lead to a career as an editor, multimedia artist or camera operator. Located about 41 miles from downtown Indianapolis, DePauw University offers a bachelor's program in film studies.


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