Top Schools for Cinematography and Film Production

Bachelor's and master's degrees in cinematography and film production can be found in a college's communications or fine arts department. These subjects are often part of a television and film degree program. Read on for more information on the top schools in the U.S. that offer cinematography and film production programs.

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Top Cinematography and Film Production Schools

1. New York University (NYU) in New York, NY

New York University is situated in the heart of New York City, a city with a thriving entertainment industry. U.S. News and World Report ranked NYU's graduate fine arts programs in multimedia and visual communications tenth in the nation in 2008.

NYU's Tisch School of the Arts has one of the largest film and video production facilities for student use in the East. Students in the Tisch School can earn an undergraduate or graduate degree in film and television production. Film and TV degree programs include courses in every step of film and video production, including using the camera (cinematography), editing and sound production. Student film festivals are held annually, such as the First Run Film Festival, which allow students to showcase their work.

2. University of Southern California (USC) in Los Angeles

USC is a private school located in the middle of Los Angeles, California, where much of the U.S. film industry is centered. USC was ranked 23rd among national universities in U.S. News and World Report's 2012 rankings.

Programs offered by USC's School of Cinematic Arts prepare students for careers in cinematography and film production. A Bachelor of Arts or a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film and Television Production can be earned through this school. The MFA takes about three years to complete. In the second year of study, MFA students specialize in one area of film production, such as writing, editing, directing and cinematography.

3. University of California - Los Angeles (UCLA)

The Los Angeles campus of the University of California was ranked the 25th best national university in the 2012 edition of U.S. News and World Report's college rankings. This large school, both in acreage and student population, hosts a School of Theater, Film and Television.

UCLA's School of Theater Film and Television offers a 4-year MFA in Cinematography that includes courses in lighting, directing, digital cinematography and production. Cinematography students collaborate with directing students to complete productions for their thesis.

List of Ten Well-Regarded Film Schools in the U.S.

School Name Distinction Location
American Film Institute Conservatory Cinematography and production taught in hands-on conservatory method Los Angeles, CA
California Institute of the Arts Students present their films at the school's Bijou Theater Valencia, CA
Columbia University Faculty active in producing major motion pictures New York, NY
Florida State University Honored by the Director's Guild of America Tallahassee, FL
New York University Dual Master of Business Administration and Master of Fine Arts degree program for TV and film production students New York, NY
School of the Art Institute of Chicago Home to the Gene Siskel Film Center Chicago, IL
Temple University Hosts the Diamond Screen Film Festival for students Philadelphia, PA
University of California - Los Angeles Only 2-3 MFA in Cinematography students accepted annually Los Angeles, CA
University of Southern California The Peter Stark Producing Program Los Angeles, CA
University of Texas - Austin Master Class guest lecture program Austin, TX
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Career Info for a Degree in Cinematography & Film Production

Popular Schools

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Stanford University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Cinematography and Film Production
        • Film and Cinema Studies
  • School locations:
    • Massachusetts (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Boston University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Cinematography and Film Production
  • School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Miami include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Cinematography and Film Production
        • Film and Cinema Studies
        • Photography
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Syracuse University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Cinematography and Film Production
        • Photography

Popular Schools

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