Top Film Schools in the United States Top Film Schools in the United States

12 Premier Film Schools Across United States

Every year, thousands of aspiring artists look out for well-reputed film schools to learn the special skill of producing and executing films.

Several universities across the world offer undergraduate and graduate degrees in film and media arts. Many top film producers and actors have graduated from some of the top film schools in the United States such as Lady Gaga, Adam Sandler, and Tim Burton.

1. Top Film Schools in the United States

The top film schools not only make you proficient in the skill of filmmaking but also provide you with a realistic view of the entertainment industry and give you a good network of industry professionals as well.

The Best City For Filmmakers

Here we have curated a list of top film schools in the United States, based on the research and rankings they scored.

1.1. University of California

This Los Angeles-based college, also known as  UCLA is considered a competitive place for studying film and television, and the UCLA School of Theater, Films, and Television offers a lot of programs.

An undergraduate program for film, digital media, and television and graduate programs in various subjects like cinematography, production, screenwriting, animation, and much more are offered.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: UCLA

They also have a couple of program options available for post-grad students which can be checked through their website.

UCLA also features the UCLA Film and Television Archive, which is the largest university-based media library in the world making it one of the top film schools in the United States. 

Notable Alumni

Alexander Payne, David Koepp, Jim Morrison, Tim Robbins, Carol Burnet, and more.

1.2. New York University

The Tisch School of Arts is known across the globe as one of the best film schools for offering the best film studies across the United States and it has been carrying its legacy of being one of the top film schools in the United States.

They offer various academic programs across different cinematic arts disciplines like dramatic writing, collaborative arts, design for stage and film, musical theatre writing and so much more.

It also has a benefit because of its location a prime center like New York City.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: The Tisch School of Arts

New York University constantly strives to maintain its position as one of the best universities on the East Coast, especially for film studies by initiating new programs like the new Martin Scorsese Institute of Global Cinematic Arts, which is an academic and production center.

It also includes a state-of-the-art virtual production hub, as well as new scholarship programs for all film major students.

Notable Alumni

Martin Scorsese, Lady Gaga, Spike Lee, Oliver Stone, and Adam Sandler.

1.3. University of Southern California, Los Angles

USC is a long-established name for giving Hollywood some of the best filmmakers and actors.

It is the dream place of many aspiring filmmakers and scholars across the globe and the School of Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California aims at inclusivity to all, hence its global popularity.

USC constantly strives to include all the best things related to film and media studies in its film education programs. It has several undergraduate and graduate degrees to choose from.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: USC

Along with this, USC receives a good amount of donations from several personalities from the field of film production and film and television, making it a crucial mention in the list of top film schools in the United States. 

Notable Alumni

George Lucas, Ron Howard, Shonda Rimes, Tim Story, and Ryan Coogler.

1.4. American Film Institute

American Film Institute has to be on this list of top film schools in the United States and is a highly esteemed university in Los Angeles that offers six different MFA programs in production design, editing, cinematography, screenwriting, film directing, and producing.

AFI has gained so much popularity among film students as well as the whole of the film industry because of the extensive focus it gives to inclusivity, they support people across all genders and ethnicities.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: American Film Institute

Also, AFI does not offer any undergraduate degrees, hence making it a perfect place for graduate students.

Notable Alumni

David Lynch, Patty Jenkins, Mimi Leder, Darren Aronofsky, and Terrence Malick.

1.5. Chapman University

Chapman University and its Dodge College of Film And Media Arts, have been climbing up the ranks in recent years, the reason being its newly opened career center which brings the alumni together, who have a great network in the film and television industry, for the student body looking for jobs in the industry and also to broaden their network.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: Dodge College of Film And Media Arts

Dodge College also offers state-of-the-art facilities with the best teachers for a film degree.

Chapman University focuses on inclusivity as well, making it truly one of the top film schools in the United States.

Notable Alumni

Leslie Jones, Matt Duffer, Ross Duffer, and Justin Simien.

1.6. Columbia University

With its name in the list of Ivy League Colleges and its location in New York City, we already know that Columbia University will be one of the top film schools in the United States.

It runs unparalleled programs, with the center of focus being the most crucial aspect of filmmaking: its story.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: Columbia University

It offers both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in various disciplines of film degree.

it also offers a four-year bachelor’s degree, where the fourth year is optional, which comes at an equally hefty price as it also gives the film student a chance to live and build their network in a big city like New York.

Notable Alumni

Jennifer Lee, Olivia Newman, Julia Stiles, and James Gunn.

1.7. University of North Carolina School of the Arts

Known all over the world as one of the best film schools, The UNC School of the Arts offers a wide spectrum of film programs and cinema studies like digital arts.

Here, the undergrad students are mandated to work on, mainly direct and shoot, many digital projects, helping them become practical learners by having their student films.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: The UNC School of the Arts

The UNC campus also boasts its New Media building which spans an area of 30000 square feet with equally world-class and promising facilities, truly making it one of the top film schools in the United States.

Notable Alumni

Travis Beacham, Zoe White, David Gordon Green.

1.8. Loyola Marymount University

The School Of Film and Television at LMU has secured a good place in the list of top film schools in the United States because of its phenomenal Playa Vista campus.

The Playa Vista campus has eight avid editing rooms, three greenscreen studios, and a foley stage.

The campus also features the Howard B. Fitzpatrick Pavilion, a structure of 25,000-square-foot that features a motion capture studio, a camera teaching stage, and a screening theatre.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: The School Of Film and Television at LMU

Loyola Marymount University, one of the top film schools in the United States, is located in a central city like Los Angeles and focuses on film history along with other theoretical subjects, which is a unique feature of it. 

Notable Alumni

Patricia Witcher, Kate Micucci, Clark Duke.

1.9. Emerson College

Despite being a regular liberal arts college in Boston, Emerson College’s Department of Visual and Media Arts makes it to the list of top film schools in the United States because of its international partnerships with some of the best film schools in the world.

They offer various degrees and internships to help ongoing as well as prospective students get a good beginning for their careers.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: Emerson College’s

Emerson College also hosts its very own Emerson film festivals every year which makes it one of the best film schools in the United States and has also opened its branches in Los Angeles and the Netherlands.

Notable Alumni

Henry Winkler, Norman Lear, Vin Di Bona, Iliza Shlesinger.

1.10. Wesleyan University

The Basinger School for film studies is the film and television department at Wesleyan University and is considered one of the top film schools in the United States.

The department is newly named after the renowned film scholar Jeanine Basinger.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: Wesleyan University

The place was also newly renovated and an additional 16000 square feet of the workspace was added, which featured a soundstage and state-of-the-art cinema.

Notable Alumni

Michael Bay, Bradley Whitford, Dana Delany, and Amanda Palmer.

1.11. California Institute Of Arts- CalArts

The thing that the California Institute of Arts is renowned for worldwide, along with dance, theater, video, and film, is its animation.

Well, nothing less can be expected from the institute that is co-founded by the legendary Walt Disney himself.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: California Institute of Arts

Although, along with that, CalArts offers degrees across all visual and performing arts. The creative head at Pixar is also an alumnus of CalArts.

Notable Alumni

Tim Burton, Dustin Hoofman, Brad Bird, Lauren Frost.

1.12. University of Texas

Located in Austin Texas, The Moody College of Communication at Texas University boasts top-notch facilities like greenscreens and production studios.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: Texas University

Here, the students are offered a TV Writers’ room workshop, where they write an entire TV series and then pitch it to all the major networks, making it one of the top film schools in the United States.

Notable Alumni

Matthew McConaughey, Marcia Gay Harden, Wes Anderson.

2. The Ones Which Deserve a Special Mention Too

Along with all these, some universities deserve a special mention in the list of top film schools in the United States, and also a consideration from the ones who are reading this to plan their future discourse of degree.

Along with the universities already mentioned above, these universities deserve your attention as well.

Top Film Schools in the United States
Courtesy: Stanford University

Final Verdict

We hope that the souls who came here to research and know the top film schools in the United States have gained a satisfactory answer.

All these film schools are just the foundation of a beautiful life and career for all the aspiring filmmakers out there.

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