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Best Schools for Film Studies 2024

Are you researching film schools or at the very least want to learn which ones are the greatest at turning out top-notch student talent? Then you are on the right place.

Today, we present the top 10 Bachelor’s degree-granting institutions in the nation for film studies, along with three additional institutions that merit consideration as among the best in the globe.

What do Spike Lee, David Lynch, George Lucas, Stephen Spielberg, and Martin Scorsese have in common? Perhaps you’re picturing Oscars, awards, and box office smashes. It’s true that all of that. See Best Political Science Schools in the US.

What is, though, the other link that ties these renowned modern-day film giants together? All of them attended renowned film schools.

George Lucas produced a two-minute film about a yellow automobile speeding as his senior thesis. In Brooklyn, a barbershop served as the only setting for Spike Lee’s New York University thesis.

Undoubtedly, their early movies fell short of their later productions, like George Lucas’ Star Wars or Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing.

However, like many of today’s top directors, these movie legends began their creative careers as students.

These are the universities that turn out graduates that work on movies that take home Oscars, Cannes Lions, are huge commercial successes, and are among the most unforgettable pictures we’ve ever seen.

Here is the list of the Best Schools for Film Studies

  • University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (Los Angeles, CA)
  • New York University Kanbar Institute of Film & Television (New York, NY)
  • Emerson College (Boston, MA)
  • UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Loyola Marymount University School of Film and Television (Los Angeles, CA)
  • California Institute of the Arts (Valencia, CA)
  • DePaul University School of Cinematic Arts (Chicago, IL)
  • Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts (Orange, CA)
  • Ithaca College Park School of Communications (Ithaca, NY)
  • Columbia University School of the Arts (New York, NY)
  • University of Arizona Hanson Film Institute (Tucson, AZ)
  • Wesleyan University College of Film and Moving Image (Middletown, CT)
  • Boston University (Boston, MA)

University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (Los Angeles, CA)

The oldest degree-granting film school in the United States, UniversitySC’s legendary program dates back to 1929. Today, some programs at USC’s film school accept just 3% of applicants, according to PrepScholar.

The approach to cinema at USC can be best described as interdisciplinary; indeed, all students take classes across 7 distinct fields preparing them to become versatile artists succeeding in the professional film industry. See USC Film School Acceptance Rate.

Having had over 10,000 students graduate from its revered institution, USC has had students in its school nominated for some of the most prestigious awards in filmmaking today.

In 2009, one student named Gregg Helvey was actually nominated for the “Best Live Action Short Film” Oscar for his USC MFA thesis Kavi.

Another alumnus, Ari Sandel, won a 2006 Academy Award for his USC graduate school project West Bank Story.

USC’s illustrious department first began in 1929, making it the nation’s first film school to give degrees. According to PrepScholar, only 3% of candidates are now accepted into several programs at USC’s film school.

Interdisciplinary is the best way to describe USC’s approach to cinema; in fact, all students take coursework in 7 different subjects to help them develop the versatility needed to succeed in the commercial film industry.

New York University Kanbar Institute of Film & Television (New York, NY)

Since it was founded in 1965, the teachers and students at New York University produce an astounding 5,000 films per year.

You may be familiar with Martin Scorsese, Vince Gilligan from the television series Breaking Bad, and Joel Coen. These are only a few of the accomplished people who have passed through these prestigious institutions’ doors.

The Kanbar Institute at New York University, located at Tisch, offers a program that is possibly the most extensive of its kind in the entire world. See NYU Acceptance Rate.

The fundamentals of cinema, such as sound, animation, storytelling, and camera understanding, are covered in classes taught by top-notch instructors to all freshmen.  Documentary production is one example of a more advanced course.

Emerson College (Boston, MA)

It is not particularly surprising that one of the best journalism and communications programs in the nation also ranks among the top institutions for filmmaking.

Emerson College, which is located in Boston, a city well-known for its entertainment industry, has produced a number of well-known figures in the film industry, including Pamela Abdy, a renowned director and the creator of the critically praised movie Garden State.

Emerson recently expanded to Los Angeles, where they are housed in the magnificent Emerson in Los Angeles facility, also known to students as ELA.

According to The Wrap, Emerson College is renowned for having strong ties to the industry. If you’re admitted into this elite university, you can expect a top-notch education.


That was all on the Best Schools for Film Studies, you can reach out to us via the comment section for more inquiries on this topic.

Last Updated on September 30, 2023 by Admin

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