Film Schools in Boston with Course and Program Descriptions

The Boston area has more than ten colleges that offer film degree programs. Learn about three of these schools, all within five miles of downtown, and their degree programs, admission info and program requirements to make an informed education decision.

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Boston-Area Film Schools

Film students in the Boston area have access to a variety of schools with programs in their field. This article looks at three schools, none more than a 15-minute drive from downtown, and the film degree programs they offer. It also includes a table of information about the schools, with data on enrollment, tuition, percentage of students who graduate on time and the availability of financial aid. Prospective students can refer to this table to help them find the school that is the best fit for them. At the end of the article is information on a few more nearby schools that offer film studies.

  • Only a mile from the city center, Emerson College offers a number of degree programs in the visual and media arts, including a two bachelor's programs in film.
  • Students at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, about four miles from downtown, can earn bachelor's and master's degrees in film/video.
  • Finally, Boston University offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in film and television as well as two types of master's programs in film production. Boston University is about four miles from the heart of the city.

Emerson College

Emerson College is a 4-year, private school that was founded in 1880. The college, which began as an oratory school, focuses on providing degree programs in communications and the arts. Students can find film programs offered through Emerson's Department of Visual and Media Arts.

Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film

Emerson offers two bachelor's degree programs for film students: a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Fine Arts. The Bachelor of Arts program requires students to complete 44 credits in the Visual and Media Arts Department. Bachelor of Fine Arts students complete 60 credits. Film courses focus on topics such as the history of media arts, film production, and other aspects of writing, directing, and producing films.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design

Massachusetts College of Art and Design is a public college that was founded in 1873. MassArt was the first degree-granting art school in the country, as well as the first public school of its kind. Film students can find Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts programs in film at MassArt.

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film/Video

Film students at Massachusetts College of Art and Design have access to film and video studios, post-production studios, and special effects stations. Bachelor of Fine Arts students complete 120 credit hours of coursework over four years, including 39 credits of film and video classes. They also complete a senior thesis.

Master of Fine Arts in Film/Video

Master of Fine Arts students can attend weekly screenings at the MassArt Film Society. They work with state-of-the-art film and digital equipment and facilities. The Master of Fine Arts in Film program is an individualized program that allows students to develop their skills and talents in a personalized way.

Boston University

Boston University is a private, 4-year college that enrolls more than 30,000 students every year. The school was originally founded in 1839 as a biblical institute. Today, the university has 16 schools and colleges, including the College of Communications, where film and television programs can be found.

Bachelor of Science in Film and Television

Students in Boston University's Bachelor of Science in Film and Television program focus on the study of film, screenwriting, film production, and producing/management roles. Students are required to complete four core classes that focus on understanding television and film as a medium, storytelling, and production. Aside from the core classes, students in the film and television program have the ability to individualize their studies in the way that interests them most.

Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television

Students enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts in Film and Television program are required to complete 64 credit hours of coursework. The program is designed to be completed in four semesters. Course topics focus on the history and theory of film. Students have the option to complete a thesis in their final semester, but it is not required.

Master of Science/Master of Fine Arts in Film Production

Graduate students interested in film production complete one year of coursework before undergoing an evaluation of their work to determine whether they will complete the Master of Science or Master of Fine Arts track. Students selected for the Master of Fine Arts track complete an additional year of coursework after the initial year, and students selected for the Master of Science complete one additional semester. Graduates of the program are prepared for a career in filmmaking.

Comparison of Schools

Students need to be aware of many factors about the schools they are considering. The following table presents some important information in a format that makes it simple to compare the schools.

Emerson College Massachusetts College of Art and Design Boston University
School Type 4-year, private not-for-profit 4-year, public 4-year, private not-for-profit
Total Enrollment (2011) 4,469* 2,422* 32,439*
Campus Setting Large city Large city Large city
Undergraduate Tuition & Fees (2012-2013) $34,198* In-state: $10,400, out-of-state: $27,500* $42,994*
% of First-Year Students Receiving Any Form of Aid (2010-2011) 73%* 87%* 65%*
Acceptance Rate 48% (2012)* 71% (2012)* 49% (2011)*
Retention Rate (2011) 88%* Full-time: 90%, part-time: 100%* 92%*
Undergraduate Graduation Rate (for students beginning in 2005) 81%* 68%* 85%*

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics.

Other Options

Film students in Boston also might want to explore the film programs offered by Suffolk University or Northeastern University, both located in Boston. Boston College in Chestnut Hill and The New England Institute of Art in Brookline both offer film programs as well.

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Bachelor's Degree in Film and Cinema

Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • California campus Stanford
    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 campus Boston
    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 campus Coral Gables
    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 campus Syracuse
    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
  • School locations:
    • New York campus New York
    Areas of study you may find at New York University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Cinematography and Film Production
        • Photography
  • School locations:
    • Iowa campus Iowa City
    Areas of study you may find at University of Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • 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:
    • Florida campus Tallahassee
    Areas of study you may find at Florida State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Dance
      • Design and Applied Arts
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
        • Cinematography and Film Production

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Jobs in MA

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics