Some students like to stand in the limelight, while others shine at the back of the camera. If you prefer looking through a lens, a film, video and photographic art major may be for you.
Choosing the right college is an important decision, especially for aspiring filmmakers. In order to help you find the right school for you, we have compiled a list of the best film schools in California.
However, this list is for those students who want to study film and are looking for the best school. Hopefully, this list will help you to launch your career in the film industry so, go ahead and choose the best one for you.
The University of Southern California – USC School of Cinematic Arts
USC School of Cinematic Arts is the oldest, largest, and arguably most reputable school in the United States. The School of Cinematic Arts has a long history and reputation for being on the forefront of technological advances in entertainment and beyond. As the only media school in the world that teaches all the major disciplines of the Cinematic Arts, SCA offers a unique interdisciplinary learning experience. Having been ranked as one of the best film schools in the world on several occasions, SCA has most notably topped THR’s ranking for five consecutive years.
Founded In: 1929
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $55,320
Admission Office Contact: 90089-2211
California Institute of the Arts
Walt and his brother Roy started making this vision a reality in 1961 when they formed California Institute of the Arts through the merger of two existing L.A. schools for art and music. CalArts offers comprehensive degree programs across the full range of the visual, performing, media and literary arts through its six Schools. CalArts offers a variety of unique programs at the undergraduate and graduate level within its six world-renowned Schools—Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater. For this reason, CalArts has always thrived on the diversity of its artists—representing not only multiple forms and styles but also the horizon-expanding mix of cultural and socio-economic backgrounds and voices.
Founded In: 1961
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $48,660
Admission Office Contact: 661-255-1050
University of California – Los Angeles – School of Theater, Film, and Television
The UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television (UCLA TFT) is a world-renown creative force whose students, faculty, and alumni not only showcase their art globally at premier festivals and research conferences but win awards that span every medium, platform, and discipline. The School began at UCLA as the Theater Arts Department in 1947. With more than 3,800 courses in 109 academic departments, UCLA offers 125+ majors to help you define your academic path. UCLA has attracted filming for decades with its proximity to Hollywood.
Founded In: 1919
Tuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 12,763 USD, Out-of-state 37,471 USD
Admission Office Contact: 310-825-4321
Loyola Marymount University- School of Film and Television
Founded in 1911, LMU is a top-ranked Catholic university rooted in the Jesuit and Marymount traditions. LMU’s School of Film and Television is consistently ranked among the best film schools in the world and was named one of the top 10 film schools in the U.S. by the Hollywood Reporter. LMU’s Film, Television and Media Studies (FTVS) major give students the opportunity to explore the multi-faceted ways. An SFTV education goes beyond the classroom with special programs, film screenings, guest speakers and more, bringing students face-to-face with some of the top names in the industry.
Founded In: 1865
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 42,795 USD
Admission Office Contact: +1 310-338-3033
University of California – Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley is a public research university in Berkeley, California founded in 1868. Berkeley is often ranked as a top-ten university in the world and the top public university in the United States. The UC Berkeley Department of Film & Media offers innovative, interdisciplinary programs leading to a B.A. in Film and a Ph.D. in Film & Media. The Department also offers courses in screenwriting, curating, and digital video production.
Founded In: 1868
Tuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 13,431 USD, Out-of-state 38,139 USD
Admission Office Contact: 510.642.1415
Located in the city of Orange in sunny Southern California, Chapman University is a mid-sized private university with a total undergraduate and graduate enrollment of 8,305 students. Dodge College of Film and Media Arts offers an array of undergraduate and graduate degrees that address the rapidly changing entertainment business. With a state-of-the-art facility, accomplished faculty, hands-on learning environment, international travel opportunities and synergy across all programs, your opportunities at Dodge College are endless.
Founded In: 1861
Tuition & Fees Approximately: $26,170
Admission Office Contact: (714) 997-6815
Laguna College of Art & Design
Laguna College of Art and Design (LCAD) was founded in 1961 as the Laguna Beach School of Art. Since its founding in 1961, LCAD has grown significantly to include nine undergraduate majors, three graduate degree programs, seven minors, and a Post-Baccalaureate program. Laguna College of Art and Design’s campus sprawls across several scenic acres from the Big Bend area of Laguna Coast Wilderness Park to downtown Laguna Beach.
Founded In: 1961
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 28,100 USD
Admission Office Contact: (949) 376-6000
Art Center College of Design
Founded in 1930 and located in Pasadena, California, ArtCenter College of Design is a global leader in art and design education. ArtCenter College of Design offers a new model for art and design education in the 21st century. ArtCenter students go beyond aesthetics and technical expertise to think critically, intelligently and humanely about their practice and its effects on others. ArtCenter offers 11 undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in a wide array of industrial design, visual and applied arts disciplines. It also provides a joint MS/MBA program with the Drucker School of Management and a minor in Social Innovation through the Designmatters program.
Founded In: 1930
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 39,230 USD
Admission Office Contact: 626 396-2200
Columbia College Hollywood
Columbia College Hollywood is a private, nonprofit liberal arts college located in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles, California, U.S.A. Columbia College Hollywood is a college for filmmakers. The college offers a solid liberal arts foundation, a thorough film education, and multiple degree options and emphases so you can pursue what interests you most. In this college, You’ll learn from industry leaders and experienced professionals, dedicated to building an educational environment for the next generation of filmmakers.
Founded In: 1952
Tuition & Fees Approximately: 21,105 USD
Admission Office Contact: (800) 785-0585
University of California – Santa Barbara- UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies
The University of California, Santa Barbara (commonly referred to as UC Santa Barbara or UCSB) is a public research university. UCSB offering 200-plus majors, degrees, and credentials, UCSB fosters virtually unlimited academic interests and educational pursuits. The UCSB Department of Film and Media Studies began as a small film studies program in 1973, comprised of interdepartmental faculty and visiting lecturers. The University of California, Santa Barbara is a leading research institution that also provides a comprehensive liberal arts learning experience.
Founded In: 1891
Tuition & Fees Approximately: In-state 13,968 USD, Out-of-state 38,676 USD
Admission Office Contact: (805) 893-2347