Top 25 American Film Schools / Ranked by The Hollywood Reporter
# 25 Yale University
If world cinema is your cup of tea and exploring national identities and the coexistence of globalization really turns you on, then Yale is where you need to be. The film program is not only chalk full of impressive partnerships but you can also study abroad at FAMU in the Czech Republic. Not to mention, Yale is James Franco's top American Film school pick. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $45,800.
# 24 Florida State University
Located in Tallahassee, Florida, FSU just unveiled its brand new visual effects lab that spans over five thousand square feet. The new VR storytelling curriculum with be launched in the lab during 2017. Many Alumni recommend FSU because of its remoteness; explaining that when at FSU there are no distractions, you are purely creating and filmmaking. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $3,880 in state and $12,980 out of state. Tuition (graduate) begins at $14,380 in state and $33,321 out of state.
# 23 Syracuse University
This upstate New York film school mainly focuses on international filmmaking. Syracuse offers many exchange programs including Italy, Peru, and Bosnia. Here, students will have the chance to work with and study under Bernardo Bertolucci. Plus, it has a powerful existence in the festival world. Select students will get the chance to intern at Sundance and Cannes. Tuition begins at $43,440.
# 22 Cal State University Northridge
The university has recently been granted two million dollars from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to aid in fixing up the San Fernando Valley campus. Half of the funds are being used to spruce and the other half is being used to update old facilities and equipment. Additionally, the school is all about equality. They devote half of their scholarships to students who are from marginalized populations. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $6,582 in state and $15,510 out of state. Tuition (graduate) begins at $7,848 in state and $15,660 out of state.
# 21 San Francisco State University
Back in the year 2014, SFU only had eight hundred undergraduate and graduate students combined. However, in 2016 enrollment has boomed to over twelve hundred students. Although, its master's program still remains very exclusive only admitting fifteen students per year for MFAs and only ten more students for MAs. Not to mention, the sound editor for major blockbuster such as The Lord of the Rings, and Transformers, Ethan Vander Ryn attended SFU in 1985. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $6,476 in state and $18,380 out of state. Tuition (graduate) begins at $7,742 in state and $19,646 out of state.
# 20 Art Center College of Design Pasadena
A great perk of this Arts College is that the students are allowed to retain all rights to the work they create on campus. Additionally, alumni report that the school treats you like the artist you are and you feel as if you are in a mini-industry when attending. The campus recently partnered with China’s Huace Group resulting in a three hundred thousand scholarship fund. Plus, in spring of 2017 the campus is adding an augment reality facility to their brand new Immersive Media Lab. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $40,046. Tuition (grad) begins at $42,324.
# 19 Rhode Island School of Design
RI School of Design is pretty much thee art school of the country, so it does not come as a shock that most of the film students who attend are majoring in animation. The school's famous partnership with Laika has its students pipelined into the animation studios of Hollywood. Laika is responsible for creating the Oscar nominated film Coraline. Not to mention, the school's most famous alumni is creative genius Seth MacFarlane. Tuition begins at $46,800.
# 18 Ithaca College
This college might be located in upstate New York, but more students travel abroad here per semester than any other film school. Ithaca offers studies abroad to locations like Cuba, London, Los Angeles, Brazil, New York, you name it. Three of Ithaca’s students assisted NBC sports in broadcasting from the Rio Olympics. Plus, the campus is opening a brand new Innovation Lab in the fall. It will be filled with eye tracking devices and 3D printers. Tuition begins at $41,776.
# 17 Savannah College of Art and Design
This is the only school in the list that produces its very own sitcom (streaming). The college comes out with a new episode of ‘The Buzz’ every quarter. It is based on the lives of a group of college grads that hang out in a coffee shop. The entire sitcom is directed, produced, and edited by a different group of students and streamed onto the school’s website. The show is filmed in the college’s brand new twenty two thousand square foot complex dedicated solely to filmmaking. Additionally, the school has a Atlanta digital media location. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $35,190. Tuition (graduate) begins at $36,045.
# 16 Ringling College of Art & Design
This is the youngest film school located in Sarasota, Florida. The forty eight acre campus introduced its film program in 2007. Although, this December, the campus will open its brand new postproduction complex and thirty thousand square foot soundstage. Plus, students are able to rub shoulders with directors like Kevin Smith who will be shooting his next fil, on the Ringling College’s campus. This is due to the Semkhor Networks partnership with Ringling’s studio Lab program which continues to lure new talent in. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $39,510.
# 15 Columbia College Chicago
Columbia College is the largest film school within the United States. It offers around two hundred specialized course and it about two thousand miles away from Hollywood, CA. Not to mention, the school has a one hundred thousand dollar fund offered annually for film students from Columbia’s partnership with the Beijing Film Academy. As if this school wasn’t already amazing, it also offers a five week studio immersion program in Hollywood, CA. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $24,590. Tuition (graduate) begins at $28,950.
# 14 University of North Carolina School of the Arts
This small picturesque school located in Winston-Salem is transforming itself into a state of the art tech hub. In the fall, the school will be offering new courses in augmented reality and immersive entertainment. Here students are welcomed to create virtual reality movies with the producer of The Martian VR Experience, Jacquie Barnbrook. During the past year the school has opened a thirty thousand square foot digital media building that houses digital design equipment for animation, effects, and gaming. Also, famous actor Danny McBride is a graduate. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $8,930 in state and $24,400 out of state. Tuition (graduate) begins at $10,556 in state and $23,963 out of state.
# 13 Boston University
This year the Boston film program took over three thousand square feet on Babcock Street and transformed it into a headquarters for cinematography, production, and directing classes. The University funded all of the renovations while Hugo Shong, Chinese venture capitalist, funded a whole rung of new equipment including new cutting edge cameras. BU is famously known for its LA outpost located on Wilshire Blvd. Here, two hundred lucky students get to learn from industry pros. Tuition (undergrad and graduate) begins at $49,176.
# 12 Stanford University
The Stanford MFA program focuses solely on documentaries. Plus, every student gets their own editing room thanks to the newly built McMurty Building belonging to the Department of Art and Art History. The MFA program only accepts eight applicants each year. Tuition (graduate) begins at $47,331.
# 11 University of Texas, Austin
World famous Actor Matthew McConaughey teaches at the University of Texas through campus lectures on recorded videos. The students get to follow Matthew through whatever film he is working on during that time. Students quickly catch onto the process of decision making and quick changes during filming. Not to mention, there is a writers workshop room where aspiring writers can bring their scripts in to be outsourced to cable and network outlets. Tuition (undergraduate) begins at $4,977 in state and $17,621 out of state. Tuition (graduate) begins at $6,362 in state and $12,436 out of state.
# 10 Emerson College
Do not let this Boston based school fool you, it is chalk full with awesome industry connections Emerson College is home to one of the most aggressive internship programs, they are consistently placing their best students with Hollywood studios, producers, and networks. A plus, is that the college has a sister satellite campus located in Hollywood as well. It is located on Sunset Blvd. Not to mention, Jay Leno is a graduate and they have recently launched a BFA comedic arts program. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $42,144. Tuition (graduate) begins at $1,251 a credit.
# 9 Wesleyan University
This film and moving image college is a film school as well as a liberal arts college. Thus, the students receive an education in not only the structure and production of filmmaking but are also introduced to the crucial historical analysis of film. Keep in mind this college means business and is very disciplined. Many teachers do not allow their students to be late and will even lock their doors to ensure each student is aware of the seriousness. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $50,312.
# 8 Loyola Marymount University
Located in Westchester, California this university prides itself on its intimate class setting of twelve students per teacher. Opportunities to attend Loyola are growing as it is launching a sister facility in Silicon Beach where they will offer certificate programs in media, digital storytelling, and documentary. Plus, James Wong producer of American Horror Story, Barbara Broccoli producer of Bond, and Francis Lawrence producer of the first two Hunger Games films are all noteworthy alumni from the LMU. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $43,526. Tuition (graduate) Begins at $20,916.
# 7 Chapman University
Chapman’s Film and Media Arts University is home to a seventy six thousand square foot media facility that was created by Bastien & Associates, who also built DreamWorks, Paramount, Warner Bros and Universal’s sound stages. Not to mention, Matt and Ross Duffer the producers of Netflix hit Stranger Things graduated from Chapman in 2007. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $24,155. Tuition (graduate) begins at $24,180.
# 6 California Institute of the Arts
Walt Disney had the CA Institute of the Arts built in 1964. He introduced the institute through a short screenplay during the Mary Poppins premiere. The institute is well known for producing highly skilled, top of the line animators. The proof is in the pudding as top animator Tim Burton is one of their elite Alumni. Additionally, James Franco has held a teaching residency at CalArts for the past five years. Tuition begins at $45,030.
#5 Columbia University
Hit Netflix series Making a Murderer would not exist if it wasn't for Columbia University’s MFA program. Creators Laura Ricciardi and Moira Demos both graduated from Columbia before 2008. Columbia celebrated its 50th anniversary this year. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $52,478. Tuition (graduate) begins at $57,296.
# 4 UCLA
Recently, in 2014 UCLA expanded their undergraduate film program from a 2 yr to a 4 yr program. This school of Film, Television, and Theater is a top choice in art schools for many filmmakers. Keep in mind that only 2 percent of applicants will be accepted due to UCLA’s unique approach to filmmaking where they encourage students to experiment and think for themselves.Tuition (undergrad) begins at $15,457 in state and $42,139 out of state. Tuition (graduate) begins at $16,405 in state and $31,507 out of state.
# 3 New York University
NYU is the best American Film school on the United States East Coast. Cinematic heavyweights such as M. Night Shyamalan, Oliver Stone, and Martin Scorsese have all attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. Plus, this is the actually school where James Franco received his MFA. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $53,882. Tuition (graduate) begins at $56,804.
# 2 American Film Institute
At the Student Academy Awards this year, AFI, was the first school to receive all three medals of silver, bronze, and gold in the narrative category. Additionally, AFI received awards at the Venice and Cannes film festivals. Not to mention, the school is an advocate for gender equality. In 2015 alone the directors program held more female attendees than male. Plus, all students films created on campus are guaranteed a chance of distribution through AFI’s website. Tuition (year one) begins at $47,030. Tuition (year two) begins at $58,216.
# 1 USC
In 1929 USC began their School of Cinematic Arts program and it has held the number one film school title in the country for four consecutive years and counting. USC has recently shifted its focus to augmented and virtual reality. Jaunt, a VR content company, has just announced that that it will be funding a VR facility within the school. It will be named the Jaunt Cinematic VR Lab and will be located next to Zemeckis Center. USC is all about staying ahead of the game not only in technology but also socially and have recently made a push for diversity in October when they received an endowment from alumni George Lucas of ten million dollars to offer financial backing to students from marginalized communities. Tuition (undergrad) begins at $51,442. Tuition (graduate) begins at $46,454.