Top Film Universities in the United States for Masters in 2023

top film universities in the united states
Masters Degree

Top Film Universities in the United States for Masters in 2023

Know anything about the top film universities in the United States? Film is becoming a growingly popular major as more and more students become invested in the field. There’s also been an increasing popularity of online film streaming platforms like Netflix, Amazon Prime and Disney+.

The United States is one of the top study destinations for master’s degrees worldwide. It is also a country that is very invested in the film industry. It makes a lot of sense, considering it’s the birthplace of Hollywood. Hollywood is one of the biggest media and film hubs in the world.

Here are some of the top film universities in the United States for a master’s to study at in 2023 if you are interested in pursuing a master’s in the film industry. 

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Top Film Universities in the United States for Master’s

Film is becoming one of the most popular majors for college students. It’s also becoming a very commonly beloved subject for master’s students.

Here are the top film universities in the United States for master’s degrees:

1. University of Southern California 

Location: California 

The University of Southern California is at the top of the list of the top Film universities. That is, if you want to study in America and pursue a master’s degree. Many great alumni of the school include filmmakers Douglas Fairbanks, Darryl Zanuck and Irving Thalberg. These actually teach classes there to students today, among other world-class faculty members.

Ride Along director Tim Story was also an alumnus of this great film school. The school is known for its excellent film master’s programs. There are classes taught by celebrity guests like Lisa Kudrow. It also has a state-of-the-art top technology VR Lab and an exclusive master’s program for video game designers.

Many alumni of the school who work in the film industry today say it truly made a difference. They declare that they constantly refer back to what they learned during their master’s or bachelor’s programs there. This is during their whole careers, so it’s well worth looking into this excellent school. 

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2. New York University

Location: New York 

Another major player in the top Film Universities in the United States is the New York University in New York. Many star-studded alumni graduated from the school, like Cathy Yan, a director who directed the 2018 movie Sundance. She also directed Marvel’s Harley Quinn movie.

The Handmaid’s Tale director Reed Morano also graduated from the school. She became the first female director to win a drama Emmy in over 20 years. The school has many great master’s degree programs in all film genres. They are in all areas that you could be interested in. So if you want to live in New York, New York,  this one could be a great choice for you. 

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3. Art Center College of Design

Location: California

Art Center College of Design is another of the top Film Universities if you want to study in the US. Located in Pasadena, California, the Art Center College of Design offers students a state-of-art education. The school has top-notch equipment and facilities only a moment away from the film and television world in Los Angeles.

Students who choose to study a master’s degree in Film use the latest production tools. They learn how to shoot and do everything in production and post-production. They are educated in how to capture professional-grade motion images with the tools and technologies in the school. Students can choose to pursue specific film tracks, including those in cinematography, editing and directing.

When students graduate from the master’s program, they will have written and directed a film. Additionally, they will have developed a unique reel of individual work. Notable graduates of the school include directors Zack Snyder (who directed “Army of the Dead”) and Michael Bay (who directed “Ambulance”). These are in addition to veteran cinematographer Don Burgess (of the movie “Spider-Man”).

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4. Belmont University

Location: Tennessee

Belmont University is another one of the top Film Universities to pursue a film master’s degree in the US. This Nashville-based university has several great master’s programs, including a motion pictures program that is out of this world. The motion pictures program has a 250-seat theatre.

It also has a sound-mixing stage. In this stage, students can learn to mix in Dolby Atmos sounds on a feature film-sized mixing stage. They also offer the latest cameras, like the Arri Alexa LF. Film majors can use the super lighting and equipment to produce top-class work. The programs offered there teach a good work ethic.  They also provide a hands-on experience so students can develop the needed skills to become great in the film field.  

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5. Biola Film School

Location: California

Biola Film School is also one of the top Film Universities in the US, with a great master’s program for budding film students. Students who join the degree program learn to focus on collaborating rather than competing. They also gain the necessary technical and creative skills to work in the film world.

The school has 3 million dollars worth of state-of-the-art equipment in its production centre. The school of cinema and media arts aims to teach students with a four-screen media approach. Four-screen media approaches use the cinema screen, tv screen, computer screen and mobile phone screen to teach students to convey a message using all 4 types.

Students also get to participate in many independent productions. This leads them to learn hands-on skills and be ready for the world after graduation. 

film schools in the united states
Filmmaker creating a video.

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6. Boston University

Location: Massachusetts

Boston University is one of the top Film Universities in the US. The film department is located in a perfect environment. This is next to on-location productions. The school has several different programs with diverse areas of focus,. These areas range from production, screenwriting, film and television studies to management and producing.

Famous alumni of the school include “Uncut Gems” filmmakers, the Safdie brothers. They also include Oscar-winning producer David Dinerstein (who produced “Summer of Soul”). The school encourages students to pursue master’s degrees in the field. This is because the school believes that mastering film skills is critical in this world, where anyone can make a movie on their phone. 

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7. California Institute of the Arts

Location: California 

If you want to study a film master’s degree, one of the top Film Universities is the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. The school of film and video offers a master’s track that focuses on all modes of moving image and sound-based artwork. These modes include story and character-driven narratives in both live-action and animated forms.

They also offer students the chance to work on documentaries and experimental cinema. Experimental cinema focuses on the personal connection between the filmmaker and the subject matter of his or her choice. The school also offers summer courses.

The university has many courses in topics like character animation and film directing. In addition, the school also has a centre for integrated media. This centre is designed specifically for Master’s students who want to focus on the creative use of technology. Students are encouraged to be created, especially digital media. This is more deeply than in the regular master’s degree program.  

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8. California State University Northridge

Location: California 

Located in the heart of the entertainment industry in California, one of the top Film Universities is the California State University Northridge. The school offers six programs of study in the cinema and television art department. It has industry-standard equipment and facilities.

This equipment includes film and television stages, post-production suites, visual effects and animation labs. It also includes a new media lab and a 130-seat screening room dedicated to Elaine and Alan Armer. Students of the school come from different backgrounds.

They are taught by award-winning Hollywood faculty. These faculty members aim to inspire students and encourage their artistic voices. They also encourage students to highlight what is unique about each student in their original films. 

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9. Colorado Film School

Location: Colorado 

This film school of the top Film Universities is located in Denver, Colorado. It has an excellent film and media studies program. The program aims to teach students theoretical information mixed with creative practice. This prepares them to use media technology and deeply understand moving images in film.

The school offers a world-class education at a community college price. So, it’s a great option if you have a low budget. The school offers top-class facilities, tools and professors. At the same time, it offers students a great education that doesn’t break the bank.

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Is a degree in film worth it?

After learning about the top film universities in the United States for master’s, you might be asking whether a degree in film is worth it. The answer is yes! If you’re interested in the subject, getting a degree is well worth it. This degree can help develop your skills and build a network. You can access expensive equipment and gather material for a professional portfolio.

Here are some of the reasons you might choose to pursue a film degree:

1. Access expensive film equipment

One of the reasons you might want to pursue a film master’s degree is the access to expensive equipment. You’ll never get access to this equipment except if you are in a study program. Filmmaking can be very costly, and film schools can give you the chance to use advanced tools. These tools can help make your films stand out and be of better quality.

Some of the tools you might use at film school are film editing software, visual effects software and screenwriting software. You might also access professional lighting systems and advanced sound equipment like microphones and audio recording software. You may also be allowed permits for exclusive film locations.

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2. Good Networking opportunities

Film school also gives you a chance to network. You can work with many film professionals, both aspiring and professional. They can help you with your current projects. Also, they can give you the chance to collaborate in the future.

Professors are usually advanced professionals in the film world. You can take advantage of their knowledge. They can teach you valuable skills and give you advice about the industry.

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3. Develop teamwork skills

Earning a film degree can also help you develop teamwork skills. You’ll work as part of a team full of actors, directors and screenwriters. You’ll also deal with camera operators and other filmmakers. You can really experience filmmaking and try out the different roles. Being part of a team can help you learn to compromise. You can also learn persuasion and negotiation skills.

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4. Create a professional portfolio

Students of film schools also get to create an advanced portfolio. This portfolio is diverse and full of films, clips and other pieces. You can use this portfolio after graduation to showcase your talent. Prospective employers can truly see how talented you are by seeing the film evidence.

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How much do film directors make?

If you want to know how much film directors make, we’ve got you covered! Most film directors earn salaries between 250,000 dollars to 2 million dollars per movie project. This differs based on if they are a new or well-known director. Those who still don’t have experience earn between 250,000 to 500,000 dollars a movie. More experienced directors and those who work in studios might earn from 1 million to 2 million per movie.

More famous directors like Steven Spielberg earn whopping salaries. He has previous box office earnings that earned him over 9 billion dollars in total. Other legendary directors, Peter Jackson and James Cameron, also have high earnings. They have box office totals of around 6 billion dollars. This means if you are talented at directing, you can make tons of cash!

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There are many great options for top Film Universities if you want to study in the US. You can choose the state of your dreams and then search for the specialisation program you’ve dreamed of. In general, most top Film Universities are in California, as that’s where Hollywood is located. For this reason, this state will take up major space on your list when looking for a school.

If you’re not sure if you want to pursue a master’s degree in Film or if you want to study in the US, reach out to the experts at UniApp to give you some help.

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