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Top Ranked Film Universities in United States

Find information about top-ranked film schools in the United States that offer programs for students who are interested in directing, producing or writing screenplays for movies. See what's available at three of these high-profile schools, and get a sneak peak at some other universities around the country that offer programs in film studies or film production.

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School Overview

Film studies or filmmaking programs often include concentrations in cinematography, postproduction editing, sound design or screenwriting. The following three schools include one public and two private universities with undergraduate or graduate programs that can lead to a Bachelor of Fine Arts or a Master of Fine Arts in one of several specialized areas. Unique to Florida State University and New York University are the number of Student Academy Awards winners or nominees.

Top U.S. Schools with Film Programs

1. Florida State University in Tallahassee, FL

Florida State University (FSU) is a public research university that ranked 47th among U.S. News & World Report's Top Public Schools list in 2011. FSU's College of Motion Picture Arts offers a number of degrees or programs in film. Undergraduates can earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Production, a BFA in Animation and Digital Arts or a minor in film studies. Graduate degrees include a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Production and an MFA in Writing.

Graduate offerings also include the non-degree Torchlight Program, which provides students with education and internship opportunities in the film business. FSU's faculty is comprised of two Nobel Laureates and two Pulitzer Prize winners; Film School instructors have received 12 nominations and earned two Academy Awards.

2. New York University in New York, NY

In 2011, the Princeton Review included New York University in its list of Best Northeastern Colleges. Located in Greenwich Village, once home to some of the nation's most well-known artists, this private university includes the Tisch School of the Arts and the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film and Television. Students can earn a BFA in Film and Television, an MFA in Filmmaking or dual Master of Business Administration/Master of Fine Arts (MBA/MFA) in Producing. Additionally, the Skirball Center for New Media offers a Bachelor of Arts in Cinema Studies.

3. University of Southern California in Los Angeles, CA

In 2011, the University of Southern California (USC), a private research institution, was ranked 23rd among national universities by U.S. News & World Report. USC's School of Cinematic Arts offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in film and television production, film and television writing, film studies and producing. Both retired and practicing directors, writers, editors, producers and other filmmaking professionals make up the school's film faculty. This film school provides students with access to numerous state-of-the-art production centers, including sound and scoring stages, digital arts and animation studios, and editing rooms.

List of Ten Good Film Universities in the United States

College/University Name Distinction Location
Boston University Offers the student-run Hothouse Productions company Boston, MA
California Institute of the Arts Joint program with the Museum of Modern Art in New York City Valencia, CA
Columbia University Master of Fine Arts with a creative producing concentration New York, NY
Florida State University Alumni earned the most Student Oscars and College Television Awards in a single year Tallahassee, FL
New York University Six nominations for the 2011 Student Academy Awards New York, NY
Temple University Los Angeles internship program open to undergraduate and graduate students Philadelphia, PA
University of California - Los Angeles Offers an MFA in Cinematography program Los Angeles, CA
University of North Carolina School of the Arts The MFA program includes a concentration in film music composition Winston-Salem, NC
University of Southern California Includes the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts for film students Los Angeles, CA
University of Texas - Austin The city sponsors several internationally known film festivals Austin, TX
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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (1 campus)

    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

    Online Programs

    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Commercial Photography (Online)
        • BFA - Fine Art
        • BFA in Art Education
        • BFA in Undeclared

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  • 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 live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Florida (1 campus)
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    • Nevada (1)

    Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Visual Communications: Video and Animation Production
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Audio Production
    • Associate
        • Associate - Professional Photography
        • Associate - Post Production
        • Associate - Audio Production

    What is your highest level of education?

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
  • School locations:
    • New York (1 campus)
    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

Popular Schools

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