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Top US Film Programs


Study Film

There are many top film programs in the US. Several of them are located in Los Angeles, California and New York City. But there are many other film schools located in other parts of the US offering top-notch film schools in states such as Florida, Texas and North Carolina.

Quiet on the set! The top film programs in the US are about to be revealed. They are highly competitive and a bit pricey, but their payoffs are all worth it for international students. With an impressive collection of alumni, equipment and production materials that rival production studios and carefully positioned locations, it’s no wonder these film schools are among the best in the US.

Full Sail University, located in Orlando, Florida is one of the leading film schools for international and US students alike. Offering a Bachelor’s of Science Degree, students will study everything from writing, storytelling, cinematography, film production, art direction, directing, sound for film, lighting, and much more. Built to give students a well-rounded film background, students will work directly with instructors that have extensive industry experience giving them the option to work in many fields from Director/Producer to Photographers to Film and Video Editors to AV Technician.

If international students are looking to get into the heart of blockbuster movies, talented actors, explosive special effects, they might want to call Hollywood home. Especially since it’s no surprise that some of the top film programs in the US are located in sunny California. Among Hollywood Reporter’s Top 25 Film Schools list for 2011, eight are located in California. They are, the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, which took first place, the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, which took second place, University of California Los Angeles, which took fifth place, California Institute of the Arts, which took sixth place, Stanford University, which took 16th place, Loyola Marymount University, which took 19th place, and Chapman University's Dodge College of Film & Media Arts, which came in 22nd place. Emerson Visual and Media Arts School, originally in Boston, is building a satellite campus in Los Angeles and made the list, ranked 18. Filmaking.net also lists the American Film Institute’s Center for Advanced Film and Television Studies, the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts, University of California Los Angeles, and California Institute of the Arts as “film institutions with the best global reputations.”

But California isn’t the only option for top film programs for international students in the US. New York City is home to many film schools. It, like California, is located in an area that has a lot of connections to the industry and a lot of cultures and worlds to draw inspiration on. A much different vibe from California’s commercialism, New York City’s gritty atmosphere is perfect for a moody photographer and a riveting independent filmmaker. Hollywood Reporter ranked New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts number four on its Top 25 Film School’s list. Filmaking.net also listed NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts as a “film institution with the best global reputation.” Colombia University, an Ivy League School, also made the Hollywood Reporter’s list at number eight, along with Syracuse University, ranked 15.

As international students know, the US is a big country with a lot of different geographical areas. California is located on the West Coast, while New York City is at the opposite end of the country on the Northeastern Coast. Still there are many top film programs located in the American South. Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts, Ringling College of Art and Design, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and the University of Texas at Austin all made Hollywood Reporter’s top film schools list.

Although located in the southern half of the United States, each school has a very different atmosphere. The University of Texas at Austin is in a dryer, desert climate, but the amount of international film festivals that are hosted in Austin each year is the main attraction to this film school. Ringling College of Art and Design is located in Florida on the beach, while Florida State University’s College of Motion Picture Arts, also in Florida, is located inland. The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is on the East Coast, but located inland, and has Emmy award winning alumni.

Although many top film programs in the US are located in the obvious places of Los Angeles, California and New York City, there are still a great number of top film programs located in the South as well. Each program has an extensive collection of alumni connected to the industry, great technical equipment to work with and their own community and school culture, whether it be more directed at the humanities and art, or commercialism.


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