Relevant programs for aspiring movie directors can be found at traditional colleges and universities as well as dedicated art schools. Both undergraduate and graduate degrees are available.
10 Schools with Movie Director Programs
These schools offer degrees in film production, film studies, or other topics that are relevant to aspiring movie directors.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2015-16)*|
|Arizona State University - Tempe||Tempe, AZ||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,158 in-state,
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, Public||Associate's, Bachelor's||$2,834 in-state,
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$13,790 in-state,
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's,
|New York University||New York, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's,
|Florida State University||Tallahassee, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's,
|University of Southern California||Los Angeles,||4-year, Private||Bachelor's,
|Boston University||Boston, MA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's,
|George Mason University||Fairfax, VA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,952 in-state,
|University of Iowa||Iowa City, IA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's,
Source: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for movie director schools:
- Students may want to find out if the school provides the opportunity to pursue a particular concentration within a broader film degree, such filmmaking practices or film and media production.
- Particularly at the graduate level, it is important for prospective students to find out whether the program focuses on advanced filmmaking practices or on research in cinema studies, so that they enroll in a program that best meets their academic needs.
- Students may want to find out about the film production facilities at the school and the equipment that is available for student use.
- Students may want to find out if the school offers internship opportunities at film studios.
Associate's Degree Programs
Associate's degree programs provide a basic introduction to filmmaking. They generally provide a broad overview of the field alongside general education coursework. After earning this degree, which typically takes two years or less to complete, aspiring movie directors may enroll in a bachelor's degree program that allows them to focus their training more specifically on directing.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
At the bachelor's degree level, students can earn a Bachelor of Science (BS), Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in film or a closely related subject. These programs begin with the same general introductory coursework as associate's degree programs, but they often allow students to focus on a particular interest area, such as directing or film production, after finishing basic coursework. Students may also earn credits for completing a real-world internship in the film industry.
Master's Degree Program
Master of Fine Arts (MFA) programs give aspiring movie directors the opportunity to hone their craft through advanced courses in the artistic and technical aspects of filmmaking. They may also include business and entrepreneurship studies that can help filmmakers succeed in a competitive field. Alternatively, it is possible to earn a research-based Master of Arts (MA) degree in film studies, where students have the opportunity to examine the theoretical, historical and cultural aspects of filmmaking, leading to a final thesis.
Doctoral Degree Programs
Doctoral degree programs in film are less common, and not usually necessary for aspiring movie directors, but they may cover relevant topics and provide an educational background for practice in the field. Like research-based master's degree programs, PhD programs in film or cinema studies provide students with the opportunity to take advanced courses and conduct scholarly research in a particular topic of interest.
Film directors typically earn a degree in film production, cinematography, or another related field. Students should consider the curriculum and the quality of the school's production facilities when choosing between programs.