Independent Film Production Degrees in Minnesota

Research independent film production programs in Minnesota, which currently has six colleges and universities offering programs. Read an overview of degree programs, tuition info and program options for five of these schools and decide which program is right for you.

Essential Information

The state of Minnesota doesn't have any schools that specifically offer a program in independent film production. However, students interested in careers in independent film can earn a certificate or a degree in a field like directing, producing, cinematography, film, or cinema production, and Minnesota has several schools that offer relevant programs. Students may earn a range of undergraduate awards, such as certificates, diplomas, associate's and bachelor's degrees. Student film projects are often incorporated into the coursework and at least one school offers an internship opportunity.

Profiled below are the five non-profit and public Minnesota schools that offer degree or certificate programs in film.


Carleton College

Carleton College is a private non-profit institution in Northfield that grants bachelor's degrees. The school enrolls approximately 2,000 students. Those interested in film production can explore the school's Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies. This program focuses on cinema, visual, and sound studies. Students take courses in areas like digital foundations, television studio production, and film history, to name a few. They also have the opportunity to complete projects in the advanced production workshop. This program requires 72 major credits, including core and elective courses.

Central Lakes College - Brainerd

Located in Brainerd, this college serves more than 4,400 students. Film students can investigate the college's diploma and degree program in videography. The Videography Production Diploma program requires 54 credits, and the Associate of Applied Science in Videography Production program requires 60 credits. Both programs can be completed in two years and they offer courses in areas such as media production, the business of videography, and video editing.

Minneapolis College of Art and Design

Minneapolis College of Art and Design is a private non-profit Minneapolis institution that enrolls less than 1,000 students each year. The school awards a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking. Students in this 120-credit program study the history of film, screenwriting, and directing, among other areas of film production. The program also offers students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience by completing a 3-credit internship that encompasses 135 hours of work.

Minneapolis Community and Technical College

This 2-year college is located in Minneapolis. The school offers career, liberal arts, science, and continuing education programs to over 10,000 students annually. Several of the school's ten degree and certificate programs in cinema are related to film production. The Cinema Production Certificate program combines professional training with a liberal arts education to help students reach their potential as visual storytellers. During the 1-year, 30-credit program, students develop professional skills in mass communication, writing, and editing. The school also offers a certificate program in cinematography.

Students who wish to earn an associate's degree can study for an Associate of Science in Directing and Producing or an Associate of Science in Editing and Post-Production. Production courses focus on creative production; directing actors; marketing and distribution; and financing, accounting, and management. The school also offers courses in acting, critical thinking, and popular culture.

University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is located in Minneapolis. This public research university has a student population of more than 52,000. Students who are interested in a film career can enroll in the school's Bachelor of Arts program in studies in cinema and media culture, which requires at least 32 credits of major courses. In addition to taking core cinema and media courses, students take classes covering topics such as society, history and culture; production and training; national and international cinema; and theory, method, and critique. They also need to complete a senior project.

School Comparison Table

School Name School Type & Setting Film Production Degree Programs Offered Tuition & Fees (2015-2016)
Carleton College 4-year, private not-for-profit; distant town Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies $49,263*
Central Lakes College - Brainerd 2-year, public; remote town Videography Production Diploma,
Associate of Applied Science in Videography Production
$5,384*
Minneapolis College of Art and Design 4-year, private not-for-profit; large city Bachelor of Fine Arts in Filmmaking $35,326*
Minneapolis Community and Technical College 2-year, public; large city Cinema Production Certificate,
Cinematography Certificate,
Associate of Science in Directing and Producing,
Associate of Science in Editing and Post-Production
$5,366*
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities 4-year, public; large city Bachelor of Arts in Studies in Cinema and Media Culture $13,790 (in-state); $22,210 (out-of-state)*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.


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