Top 10 Best Film Schools in USA

Do you want to be able to write your own screenplay and direct your favorite Hollywood actors?  If yes, then consider a course in one of the country’s top film schools to learn about film history, theories of film making, and cinematic aesthetics among many other things.

Below is a list of the best film schools in America that will help you reach your dream of becoming a filmmaker.

Top 10 Best Film Schools in USA

10. Emerson College

Before other universities thought of creating their own internship program, this college already had it as early as 1986.  Aside from its inclusion in Forbes’s list of America’s Top Colleges, Emerson College also ranked No. 32 in Affordable Colleges Online’s list.

The tuition fee of undergraduates is $35,072 on average, while those taking a graduate program range from $17,540 to $26,308.  Emerson offers scholarships to aid those with greater financial needs.


9. Chapman University

 Its 76,000-square-foot Marion Knott Studios was designed to look like a real production studio.  Students are given the option to shoot their movies in HD or film.  Furthermore, the Marion Knott Studios is open 24/7 so that students can work at their most convenient time.

Undergraduates pay $42,890 a year while those taking up advanced studies pay $33,540 to $41,100 yearly.  Chapman offers a list of scholarships and grants to help its students pay not only their tuition fees but also the cost of their basic needs.


8. Stanford University

 According to the Digital Media Academy, Standord’s Documentary Film and Video program is the best in the country.  The program teaches students how to develop a film proposal, research, shoot, and edit.  At the end of this curriculum, students are able to produce four films, one of which they co-directed.

Tuition fee for a graduate program is $40,050.  For scholarships and grants, inquire about Stanford’s financial aid.


7. University of California, Los Angeles

UCLA continues to produce top-notch filmmakers by allowing its students to get a firsthand experience in the different areas of film production.  Famed producer Beau Marks and director Rod Holcomb assisted UCLA’s students in the production of a 42-minute TV program that was screened at the recent UCLA Film Festival 2013.

Tuition fees for undergraduates range from $23,748 to $29,295.  Check here For ULCA scholarships.


6. Loyola Marymount University

 Taking up film in this university will make your entry to any of the best motion picture companies smooth and easy.  Graduates of LMU proceed to work as interns in famous film production companies like DreamWorks, Pixar, and Disney among others.

The annual tuition fee of undergraduates is $37,605, while a graduate pays $1,020 per unit. LMU also offers scholarships or grants to students with exemplary academic performance.


5. California Institute of the Arts

Do you envy the creativity of famous animators like Alex Hirsch, who is behind Disney Channel’s Gravity Falls?  If that is so, why not enroll at Cal Arts and learn everything that made him what he is today.  Cal Arts is considered one of the top film schools in America, and its alumni never fail to make it to the list of important film festivals such as the Sundance and New York Film Festival because of their notable works.

The tuition fee at Cal Arts is $39,976 but it awards scholarships yearly to students who meet the financial aid priority deadline.


4. Columbia University Film School

  Aside from writing, directing and cinematography, students of Columbia University are prepared for the business aspect of filmmaking.  For three consecutive years, Columbia’s students have been receiving awards from the Student Oscars for their narrative films. A screening room worth $5 million is expected to rise on the campus sometime 2016 so that students can screen their work there.

Students who enroll in a Masters of Fine Arts program pay $51,674 a year for first two years, and $4,268 for the third year.



3. NYU Tisch School of the Arts

 Do you like to write a screenplay a la Charlie Kaufman’s Being John Malkovich?  New York University’s Tisch School of Arts has a new program called The Future Film Scholars that teaches the basic concepts, vocabulary and tools that are used in interpreting moving images.

The annual tuition fee of undergraduates is $49,237 while a graduate degree costs $50,632.  The University offers limited tuition scholarships for incoming students.


2. American Film Institute

 This served as the training ground of Hollywood’s finest filmmakers. One of them has in fact joined AFI’s roster of brilliant educators.  Anyone can join the AFI Conservatory, even those without a Bachelor of Arts degree.

The tuition fee for the first year is $43,904 and $52,509 the following year.  AFI offers limited scholarships, but the following may be considered for financial aid or grants:

  • Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Scholarship
  • The John L. Dales Scholarship Fund
  • Hispanic Scholarship Fund Scholarship
  • Korean American Scholarship Foundation Scholarship
  • National Council of Jewish Women, Los Angeles Scholarship Program
  • The Don & Gee Nicholl Fellowship in Screenwriting


1. University of Southern California

  School of Cinematic Arts boasts the most advanced filmmaking equipment. Its laboratories have incorporated Oblong Industries’ g-speak, a revolutionary computer interface better than touch screen, that allows image and screen manipulation with hand gestures.

USC also has an IMAX theater where students can showcase their works.  No wonder the Hollywood Reporter ranked this University No. 1 among the top film schools in US.

Meanwhile, The Princeton Review ranked the school’s Interactive Media & Games Division No. 1.

The annual tuition fee at USC for undergraduates is $45,000 while a three-year master’s degree will cost $84,968.  The University offers grant to those who need assistance.


After earning a degree from any of these top film schools, you will no doubt be in the roster of the greatest filmmakers in America such as Ang Lee, George Lucas, and Steven Spielberg, among others.

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