Table of Contents
- Film schools in the US
- The standards of evaluation for the top film schools
- Here are the 5 best film schools in the US
- Key takeaways
Film schools in the US
Film school admissions in the US have become extremely competitive in recent years. Prestigious institutions, such as USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, now boast lower acceptance rates than Ivies. There is a concurrent increase in the number of film programs, going from around 300 in 2006 to almost 400. Hence, it is the best time for film school aspirants to apply for their dream institute.
In this blog, we will further discuss the best film schools in the USA and what makes them stand out.
The standards of evaluation for the top film schools
Ranking- The film schools that make it into the top-ranking lists from reputed trade publications, such as The Hollywood Reporter, are some of the best in the world.
Extracurricular opportunities on and off campus- Being successful in the entertainment business heavily depends on your network. You must have the chance to intern with production companies, studios, agencies, management companies, post-houses, casting offices, and so on if you want to meet more people (apart from your classmates and teachers). It is essential to have the chance to produce films and present your work to build a following and receive criticism.
Famous alumni- How many former students have excelled in their fields? If a large number have, then it suggests that the school gave them the resources (read connections) and abilities needed to succeed.
Here are the 5 best film schools in the US
1. American Film Institute (Los Angeles)
Average tuition fee- $65,800
Notable alumni- Darren Aronofsky, David Lynch, Patty Jenkins, Terrence Malick, Mimi Leder, John McTiernan, Ari Aster, Sam Esmail, Sian Heder.
With MFA programs in screenwriting, directing, cinematography, editing, producing, production design, and so on, AFI offers the most esteemed graduate program in the industry. It’s extremely competitive and only selects a few candidates each year.
It is the place for you if you’re looking for an institution with a diverse student body. Nearly half of the new students are filmmakers of color, and more than half are women.
This institution gives graduate students access to the best network of influential business people. It is renowned for producing numerous Oscar nominees. They have cutting-edge equipment and one of the richest historical archives available to students.
2. Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (New York)
Average tuition fee- $63,000 (undergraduate courses); $68,000 (graduate course)
Notable alumni- Kristen Bell, Chloé Zhao, Dee Rees, Lady Gaga, Bruce Dallas Howard, Ang Lee, Adam Sandler, Joel Coen, Spike Lee, Donald Glover.
Located on the university’s campus, the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University is the performing, cinematic, and media arts school on the East Coast.
As one of the world’s most inclusive and diverse educational institutions, NYU embraces its IDBEA initiatives, which stand for inclusion, diversity, belonging, equity, and accessibility.
3. The School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC, Los Angeles)
Average tuition fee- $63,468 (undergraduate courses); $37,149-$54,461 (graduate courses)
Notable alumni- John M. Chu, George Lucas, Ron Howard, Ryan Coogler, John Singleton, Judd Apatow, John August, John Carpenter, Kevin Feige, Rian Johnson, Shawn Levy, Lee Unkrich, Robert Zemeckis, Shonda Rhimes, etc.
The School of Cinematic Arts at USC is the classic film school with connections to some of Hollywood’s top producers, screenwriters, and directors. And that has been the case ever since the company came into existence in 1929. This was the premier West Coast film school thanks to the presence of George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola as alumni from the 1960s and 1970s.
If you want to combine the best cinematic education with the most famous alumni and the broadest reach of potential alumni collaborators, USC is the place to go.
4. Chapman University (Orange, CA)
Average tuition fee: $60,290 (undergraduate courses); $46,936 TO $49,788 (graduate courses)
Notable alumni: Justin Simien, The Duffer Brothers, Carlos López Estrada
Chapman University’s The Dodge College of Film and Media Arts is one of the fastest-growing film and media programs in the world. It provides graduate and undergraduate programs in film production, screenwriting, creative producing, news and documentaries, public relations and advertising, digital arts, film studies, television writing and producing, and screen acting
To assist the students in their transition to the industry after graduation, the expanding film school recently opened a new career center, which is a bonus for those looking to network for industry job placements and filmmaking opportunities. They also provide a noteworthy master class program taught by famous actors from Hollywood, such as Lupita Nyong’o, Willem Dafoe, David Chase, Jamie Lee Curtis, Halle Berry, Harvey Keitel, Pedro Almodovar, and Sofia Coppola.
Orange County is a great choice if you want to attend a film school with strong industry ties but need more time to be ready or want to live in the concrete jungle of Los Angeles.
5. CalArts (Santa Clarita, CA)
Average tuition fee: $54,440
Notable alumni: Tim Burton, Pete Docter, Brad Bird, John Lasseter
CalArts, which Walt Disney initially established, is still the best school for animators who want to work in the studio system. It is famous for both conventional and innovative filmmaking and provides cutting-edge tools for students.
Degrees in the combined arts of music, art, dance, film, animation, theater, and writing are available at CalArts on both the undergraduate and graduate levels.
- Film schools in the US have become extremely selective in recent years. Prestigious institutions such as USC’s School of Cinematic Arts now have lower acceptance rates than Ivy universities.
- Ranking, extracurricular opportunities on and off campus, and famous alumni are the standards of evaluation that decide whether a film school is performing well or not.
- Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (New York), American Film Institute (Los Angeles), The School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California (USC, Los Angeles), and Chapman University (Orange, CA) are some of the best film schools in the USA.
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Q1. Which is the most selective film school to get into?
Ans- Only about 3% of applicants get admission to the School of Cinematic Arts because of its strict selection policies.
Q2. Is it worth studying in a film school?
Ans- Earning a film degree can be a worthwhile investment for those trying to break into the film industry. A film degree program allows students to hone their abilities in various filmmaking disciplines, including screenwriting, directing, cinematography, and more.
Q3. What is the duration of a film degree?
Ans- Most graduate programs for film production have a two-year duration.