Accredited Film Schools – 64 Schools to Consider

Attending an accredited film school can go a long way toward promoting the overall success of your career as a director, filmmaker, actor, screenwriter, or other film professional. Below is a comprehensive list of the top accredited film schools in the United States that are known for their quality undergraduate and graduate programs.

Top 10 Accredited Film Schools

1. Nashville Film Institute – Nashville, Tennessee

The Nashville Film Institute offers a nine-month Cinema Production Program for filmmakers. At the end of the course, students receive a diploma showing they gained the necessary skills to create their own professional demo reel.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $37,955
  • Student population: 112
  • Student-faculty ratio: 11:1

2. University of Southern California – Los Angeles, California

The University of Southern California has a School of Cinematic Arts where students can pursue various undergraduate and graduate degrees, such as a BA in Cinema & Media Studies or an MFA in Animation & Digital Arts. Notable alumni of the University of Southern California include George Lucas, John Wells, Stacey Sher, and Tim Story.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $309,836
  • Student population: 48,321
  • Student-faculty ratio: 9:1

3. New York University – New York City, New York

New York University is home to several top-notch film programs and is the place where many film legends got their start, including Martin Scorsese, Ang Lee, Joel Coen, and Oliver Stone.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $302,008
  • Student population: 52,885
  • Student-faculty ratio: 9:1

4. Chapman University – Orange, California

Chapman University features 10 different schools that focus on several different areas of study. The Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, which is one of Chapman’s schools, offers programs such as BFAs in film production, creative producing, screenwriting, and screen acting; MFAs in film production, screenwriting, production design, and documentary filmmaking; and an MA program in film studies. Alumni of Chapman University have gone on to do amazing work in the film industry and hold titles such as director of CNN’s “New Day,” creative director at Palisades Media Group, and director at Cardinal Media.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $300,448
  • Student population: 9,850
  • Student-faculty ratio: 13:1

5. California Institute of the Arts – Valencia, California

The California Institute of the Arts, referred to as simply CalArts by students, offers more than 60 undergraduate and graduate programs. Film-related programs you can pursue include an MFA in film and video, an MFA in film directing, and a BFA in character animation, to name just a few. Notable alumni from this film school include Tim Burton and Brad Bird.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $309,824
  • Student population: 1,520
  • Student-faculty ratio: 7:1

6. Loyola Marymount University – Los Angeles, California

Loyola Marymount University offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programs for aspiring film professionals. Programs offered at Loyola include BA programs in media studies, screenwriting, animation, film and television production, and recording arts. MFA programs include writing for the screen and writing and producing for television. Well-known individuals who went to Loyola include Busy Phillips, Brian Helgeland, and Clark Duke.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $292,048
  • Student population: 9,822
  • Student-faculty ratio: 10:1

7. Ringling College of Art and Design – Sarasota, Florida

Ringling College of Art and Design offers a BFA in film with two different areas of focus to choose from: narrative and branded entertainment. Topics covered in the film program at Ringling include editing, directing, storytelling, screenwriting, directing, storyboarding, collaboration, and filmmaking. Oscar-winning animator Patrick Osborne got his start at this film school.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $278,416
  • Student population: 1,658
  • Student-faculty ratio: 12:1

8. Art Center College of Design – Pasadena, California

Art Center College of Design offers both undergraduate and graduate degrees in film. The undergraduate film degree is available in three different tracks: directing, cinematography, and editing. The MFA in film explores several topics over the course of five terms, including screenwriting, cell phone cinema, pitching, visual storytelling techniques, and narrative film analysis. Notable alumni of Art Center College of Design include Michael Bay, Zack Snyder, and Jeff Soto.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $275,816
  • Student population: 2,335
  • Student-faculty ratio: 8:1

9. American Film Institute – Los Angeles, California

The American Film Institute is a well-known film school that offers six different MFA programs in editing, cinematography, directing, screenwriting, producing, and production design. Notable alumni from American Film Institute include Terrence Malick, Patty Jenkins, and Wally Pfister.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $309,648
  • Student population: 334
  • Student-faculty ratio: 25:1

10. Columbia University School of the Arts – New York City, New York

Columbia University’s School of the Arts offers both undergraduate and graduate programs for students wishing to pursue a career in film. Programs you can participate in include an MFA in creative producing, a BA in film and media studies, and an MFA in screenwriting/directing. Notable directors and actors who got their start at Columbia include Kimberly Pierce, Julia Stiles, Kathryn Bigelow, and James Gunn.

  • Estimated total cost of attendance: $345,028
  • Student population: 31,456
  • Student-faculty ratio: 6:1

Other Accredited Film Schools In the United States

  1. New York Film Academy – New York City, New York
  2. Los Angeles Film School – Los Angeles, California
  3. UCLA – Los Angeles, California
  4. Wesleyan University – Middletown, Connecticut
  5. DePaul University – Chicago, Illinois
  6. Savannah College of Art and Design – Savannah, Georgia
  7. NYU Tisch School of the Arts – New York City, New York
  8. Rhode Island School of Design – Providence, Rhode Island
  9. Florida State University – Tallahassee, Florida
  10. Emory University – Atlanta, Georgia
  11. Wesleyan University – Middletown, Connecticut
  12. Colorado Film School – Denver, Colorado
  13. ArtCenter College of Design – Pasadena, California
  14. Barnard College – New York City, New York
  15. CUNY Brooklyn College – Brooklyn, New York
  16. Dominican University – River Forest, Illinois
  17. Fashion Institute of Technology – New York City, New York
  18. Ferris State University – Big Rapids, Michigan
  19. Fordham University – the Bronx, New York
  20. Ithaca College – Ithaca, New York
  21. Laguna College of Art & Design – Laguna Beach, California
  22. Cogswell Polytechnical College – San Jose, California
  23. Kean University – Union, New Jersey
  24. McDaniel College – Westminster, Maryland
  25. San Francisco Art Institute – San Francisco, California
  26. St. Cloud State University – St. Cloud, Minnesota
  27. State University of New York at Binghamton – Binghamton, New York
  28. Syracuse University – Syracuse, New York
  29. Cornish College of the Arts – Seattle, Washington
  30. Vassar College – Poughkeepsie, New York
  31. Southern Methodist University – Dallas, Texas
  32. American University – Washington, D.C.
  33. Northwestern University (School of Communication) – Evanston, Illinois
  34. Carleton College – Northfield, Minnesota 
  35. Emerson College – Boston, Massachusetts
  36. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor, Michigan
  37. University of Texas – Austin, Texas
  38. Stanford University – Stanford, California
  39. Boston University – Boston, Massachusetts
  40. Columbia College – Chicago, Illinois
  41. Montclair State University – Montclair, New Jersey
  42. Academy of Art University – San Francisco, California
  43. Rutgers University – New Brunswick, Newark, and Camden, New Jersey
  44. San Francisco State University – San Francisco, California
  45. Pratt Institute – Brooklyn, New York
  46. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  47. University of Colorado – Boulder, Colorado
  48. University of Chicago – Chicago, Illinois
  49. University of Pennsylvania – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  50. Columbia College Hollywood – Tarzana, California
  51. University of North Carolina School of the Arts – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
  52. Minneapolis College of Art & Design – Minneapolis, Minnesota
  53. School of Visual Arts – New York City, New York

Online Accredited Film Schools

  1. Full Sail University
  2. Academy of Art University
  3. Arizona State University
  4. Los Angeles Film School
  5. National University
  6. UCLA Online Extension

If you’re looking for a reputable film school, consider enrolling in Nashville Film Institute. We offer accredited programs that will support your career as a film professional. Contact us today to find out more about our accredited film school programs.