21 Best Film Schools in California

If you want to have a career related to the film industry, or if you want to become an actor, director, screenwriter, or screenwriter, the best educational preparation you can undertake is going to film school. Our writing today on the 21 Best Film Schools in California, will shed more light on your decision.

Obtaining an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in one of these respective fields will be a must. These courses will provide you with the technical education and practical experience you need to become confident and competent when you start your chosen film career.

Whether you choose a career in the film industry, Motion picture, TV, commercials, science or education, there are many good reasons to watch film schools in California.

The best film schools in California not only offer an excellent education, but the location places students in one of the busiest film industries in the world.

Is California known for Film Making?

There is a little denial that California is the center of the movie universe. In addition to a home to large studios, countless A-list superstars and an endless horde of entertainment executives, it is also the best place in the world to study film making.

From large research institutions such as UCLA and USC to film-specific conservatories such as the AFI, there is an incredibly wide range of options for those interested in entering Hollywood.

With so many great programs available, we thought we would share our feedback on how the best schools in California are in the pipeline.

What makes a good Film School?

Well, of primary importance is the curriculum itself. You want to be able to learn the basics of the craft. Perhaps you also want to specialize in an aspect of film and video. Directors, producers, scriptwriters, cinematographers, camera drivers, set designers, all have different and vital roles to play.

Secondly, the next thing to keep in mind is the location and the industry available to support any kind of real-world instruction or internships. California has a large film and television industry, more than just Hollywood.

Many schools are located in the metropolitan area of ​​California, but the Bay Area (San Francisco, Oakland) also has a significant presence in the world of film.

This makes California a great place to go to schools for an educational film or video. Attending and training at any of the best film schools in California may be the right choice for you.

Another consideration is the school environment. By this, we mean that it is more structured or more open in the way education is carried out. Both systems are valid, but one can satisfy your needs better than the other.

Looking at school websites often shows links to reviews or social networking sites. Often, they can tell you more than the school’s website about the institution’s environment.

What is the cost of studying in a film school in California

The amount you pay for the film school will depend on whether you study in a public or private school. If you obtain your degree from a public educational institution in the state in which you reside, you can reduce your college costs because public schools generally offer tuition discounts to students in the state.

Private schools do not offer this type of benefit, but they charge the same fees to all students. Apart from tuition and other school fees, the cost of books, supplies and other resource materials are expenses that you should consider.

Most film schools in California are some of the best not only in the United States but throughout the world. Therefore, they have degree programs both on-campus and online.

Their tuition varies for domestic students and international students. Their Associate of Science in Film Degree program has a domestic tuition cost of $43,300 and an international tuition cost of $48,300.

For their online study programs, the cost of tuition for national and international students is the same.

A Bachelor of Science in Entertainment Business has a tuition cost of $49,000 while the Bachelor of Science in Digital Filmmaking costs $57,000.

The cost of tuition already includes course materials, textbooks, technology fees, and other related costs.

Keep in mind that there are ways to reduce your college expenses. You may need to check with your school’s financial aid advisor to find out if there are scholarships or grants you may request. Click here to check out the Undergraduates scholarships for Film Making Students

Another way to make film school more affordable is to get a part-time job while earning your degree.

What are the top film schools in California?

The state of California has in it, a lot of institutions that are completely top-notch and world-class in the study of film making because all these schools are well-equipped with the cutting edge technologies and facilities that will and your dream of becoming a world-class filmmaker come true.

Here are the 21 best film schools in California

#1. University of Southern California

USC is a strong school and one of the largest in the nation. In most of the subjects offered for older or younger students, an interdisciplinary approach to education is emphasized.

What that means is that a student is encouraged on the way to a degree in mathematics to study arts, other sciences or business. Then, a film student could study business or communications, for example.

A wide variety of degrees, graduates and university students are available to USC Cinema students. Degree programs include film production, film scripts, film and media studies, animation and digital arts, media arts and practices, and interactive media and games, film and TV production, and entertainment businesses.

#2. California Institute of Arts

The California Institute of Arts was a creation of Walt Disney in collaboration with many other giants of the industry. For film students who want to specialize in animation, this is one of the best film schools in California.

Since Disney, CalArts has had an incredible impact on movie and TV animation.
CalArts has more than 70 undergraduate programs in arts, including BFA, MFA, and doctorates in Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film / Video, Music and Theater.

The campus has full production facilities and students enjoy close working relationships with local promoters and agitators in the arts of entertainment.
Work programs help students gain practical experience in their chosen fields.

#3. American Film Institute

This school has a long history of training and graduates of artists to work in major films, successful television programs, advertising, and other commercial artistic endeavors.

Accepting only MFA candidates for a two-year program, students and teachers are often full of working professionals. Long-term professional relationships are often the result of collaborations between students.

Accepting less than 50 trainees (as the student is called) per year, the Conservatory awards master’s degrees in cinematography, directing, editing, production, production design, and scriptwriting.

#4. University of California, Los Angeles

The University of California, Los Angeles, UCLA, has a major undergraduate program for film, television and other media, which grants undergraduate and master’s degrees. Studies include direction, editing, screenwriting, documentaries, cinematography, animation, and production.

Established in 1919 as part of the University of California system, the film school was added in 1947. Offering a variety of undergraduate, graduate and postgraduate degrees, UCLA has an excellent program to educate film and television professionals.

Film direction, production, documentary, script, animation, digital media, critical studies, and cinematography are some of the disciplines taught at the School of Theater, Film, and Television of UCLA. In addition to classroom instruction, real-world experience is provided by internships and vocational opportunities.

#5. Chapman University

Located in Orange County, it is far from the big city, but still close enough to practical hands-on studies. One of the best film schools in the US UU., Graduates have been trained to succeed in the most necessary fields of professional film and television production.

The titles are available as BFA and MFA in Film Studies, Film Production, Film and Television Production, Production Design, Screenwriting, Film and TV Production, Documentary Production. Some titles are joint degrees with the law and business schools of Chapman University.

#6. Columbia College Hollywood

Located in the heart of the entertainment district, Columbia College Hollywood was founded in 1952. It offers undergraduate degrees in film, television, acting, film, directing, publishing, visual effects, new media, production, sound, and writing.

Columbia College has a full production studio and screening rooms to show student work. Collaborations with professionals who work are common, as might be expected from the location. It also offers online degrees in various disciplines.

If you want to become a screenwriter, Foley artist, director of photography, director or other jobs in the film industry, Columbia College is a good place to get a BFA.

#7. Art Center College of Design, Pasadena

One of the 25 most important film schools in the world, Pasadena College is a great place to learn about art, design, and production. Other subjects taught include aircraft design and production, architectural technology and other industrial designs.

Undergraduate and postgraduate degrees are offered in several fields and many of the instructors work at a professional level. In addition to the film, training in advertising, media design, production, and digital interaction is provided.

The school also offers continuing education courses for adults and public programs for high school students in the Los Angeles area.

In the educational program, students are encouraged to create and produce their own films and other artistic endeavors. They assume the roles of direction, script, cinematography, editing, and production, which provides valuable experience in the entire film and television business.

#8. Laguna College of Art & Design

Located in Laguna Beach in 1961, this relatively small university provides BFA and MFA in animation and other art and design disciplines.
The College of Art and Design of Laguna also has affiliations of studies abroad with the Art Academy of Florence in Italy, the University of Applied Sciences of Breda in the Netherlands and the University of Communication of China in Beijing. Also with Vermont College of Fine Arts in the United States.

Laguna Beach was a place where artists, intellectuals, and artists met to live, learn and work. That vibrant culture spawned many innovations in art and entertainment. This continues today, while artists and professionals collaborate to educate students in these fields.

#9. Loyola Marymount University

Loyola Marymount has one of the best degree programs in arts in the fields of film, photography, design, and cinematography. Other subjects of the degree programs include business, law, engineering, and education.

BFAs and MFAs are offered in film and television production, script, animation, recording arts, writing and production for television, film and television production and feature film screenplay.

Many film production companies have joined Loyola Marymount to allow students to gain experience in real productions. In the real world, practical training is one of the valuable and effective methods of instruction.

#10. Emerson College, Los Angeles

Emerson L.A. It is well-positioned for aspiring students in the film industry. Undergraduate, postgraduate and postgraduate degrees are offered in film, radio, and television.

Since opening his film and media school, Emerson has been ranked as one of the best educational opportunities for entertainment studios.

In addition to the arts themselves, Emerson students can also receive training in business administration, marketing, and communication. This places graduates in an excellent position to join the professional world immediately after graduation.

#11. California State University, Northridge

One of the main reasons why film students are attracted to this institution is the affordability of degree programs. It even partners with community colleges and other accessible schools for low-income students, able to transfer credits to Northridge or other universities.

In addition to that, the university offers university, postgraduate and postgraduate degrees in practically any subject that you wish to study. Studies related to cinema include film and TV production, digital design and business and marketing.

#12. New York Film Academy – Los Angeles

With a name like the New York Film Academy, you might not expect to find this school so close to the major Hollywood film studios. But here it is, in Burbank, very close to Warner Brothers and Universal Studios.

We mention those studies because they are actually affiliated with the school. In fact, undergraduate students work on their projects in these studies.

The BFA and MFA titles are available in several studios, including film, film acting, photography, fashion photography, documentary film, 3D animation, and visual effects, game design, production, screenwriting, digital cinema, cinematography, journalism television, musical theater, music video, digital edition, graphic design, and even virtual reality.

#13. University of California, Berkeley

UC Berkeley has been around since 1868, with the film studies program added sometime after that.
The degrees vary from undergraduate to Ph.D. In the fields related to film and television production. Instruction is available in film, photography, television, digital media, screenwriting, curating, and digital video production.

An interactive, interdisciplinary approach to art instruction results in students being well equipped for a rewarding career in film and TV.

#14. University of California, Santa Barbara

Founded in 1891, UC Berkeley has been an important university for a wide variety of degree programs in addition to film studios. UC Berkeley, an important source of degrees in computer science, theater, and engineering, fosters an interdisciplinary approach to education.

This film school has degree programs for undergraduates and undergraduates. Studies include scriptwriting, directing, film technology, acting, and production.

#15. Occidental College

Referred to affectionately by alumni and current students like Oxy, this university is often overlooked in lists like these. Founded in 1887, it offers degrees in law and medicine, as well as in the fine film studies department.

A university of liberal arts and sciences, Oxy is located at the heart of the entertainment industry. This gives a great advantage for students seeking a high-quality education in any of the arts.

#16. Woodbury University

Founded in 1884, the school has degree programs in film, animation, media technology, and writing. The instruction includes courses in film production, film scripts, cinematography, directing, production, film commercialization and distribution.

Woodbury, who offers a BFA in Cinematography, has internships with Paramount, Sony, CBS, Warner Brothers, and Valhalla. Internships are an effective way to forge relationships that can last a long time in a successful and successful film or television career.

#17. The Los Angeles Film School

LA Film has courses in animation and computer animation, visual effects and business instruction in the film and television industry. Roger Corman used the school to film one of his films.

This AA school offers degrees in film, audio, animation, music, graphic design and entertainment business.

#18. San Francisco State University

In San Francisco since 1889, SFSU has a world-class department of liberal and creative arts. Bachelor’s, postgraduate and doctoral degrees are offered in fields as diverse as Business, Education, Ethnic Studies, Communication Studies, Science and Engineering.

Hosting a world-class film school, SFSU has many Academy Award winners among its alumni. The school even operates a radio station for aspiring announcers.

#19. Santa Monica College

Established in 1929 as a high school, SMC is one of the best schools in terms of transfers to other California universities. The film studies program is a great start for aspiring film and television professionals.

Another very affordable option for artists who hope to enter the world of the entertainment business, this two-year university allows transfer credits to virtually any other institution to obtain university degrees in fields related to film, television, animation or production.

#20. University of Vermont

The University of Vermont offers both a specialization and a minor, exploring the aesthetic, technological, historical, theoretical and cultural aspects of the field.

We are dedicated to producing thinkers and producers of critical media who are capable of working and contributing to our increasingly diverse and technologically sophisticated society.

The program offers extensive experience in the field of rapid development with professors who skillfully integrate their perspectives into a modern liberal arts education.

#21. Biola University

Biola University has just launched its School of Cinema and Media Arts in July 2018. When Biola was launched in 1908, the visionary founders of the university had no idea that within the next decade all the major film studios would be located in Los Angeles turning their community into the entertainment capital of the world.

Biola is located 24 miles from the heart of the entertainment industry, which is making more influences on American and global culture than ever before.

How to get into any of the best film school in California

The new school will adapt to the growing interest of students in film and digital media and create opportunities for new academic programs, all aligned with the increase of career opportunities in the industry.

The requirements to obtain a degree in the film are similar to entry to any university. You will need to provide your transcripts from the high school, as well as an SAT or ACT score.

Some colleges may also require you to submit a portfolio of movies or videos that you have created to showcase your talents.

While this is not a requirement of all schools, it should be something you have on hand to highlight your skills. Other schools may have a formal interview.

To comply with the admission requirements, the applicant must provide documentation that supports one of the following:

  • An official High School Transcript or diploma that indicates the student is a graduate.
  • A recognized equivalent of a high school diploma such as a GED (General Education Diploma) diploma.
  • California HiSET Exam: the California HiSET (High School Equivalency Test) has been approved as an acceptable
  • Alternative to the GED Exam for the state of California. The passing results must be received directly from the testing center to be considered official.
  • Documentation of a homeschooling program at the secondary level as allowed under the state’s rules in which the homeschooling program occurred.
  • Documentation of a state-authorized examination that the state recognizes as the equivalent of a high school diploma, such as the California High School Proficiency Exam.
  • An official credential evaluation with a High School transcript that certifies that the student completed the equivalent of a high school diploma from a non-U.S. educational institute.
  • Applicants who are unable to provide documentation of having completed a high school diploma or high school equivalency certification due to a natural disaster destroying the records or the institution having been closed may submit the following for consideration in addition to completing an attestation of High School Diploma or high school equivalency certification completion:
  • Confirmation from the state recognizing that the institution lost its records to a natural disaster. If the state cannot confirm, confirmation can be obtained from a recognized authority as approved by the VP of Compliance.
  • Confirmation from the state recognizing that the institution has closed and that the records are not attainable.
  • Applicants to a bachelor’s degree completion program must also submit an official college transcript documenting completion of an Associate’s degree from an accredited institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (bachelor’s degree completion program only).
  • All applicants must have the ability to read and write English at the level of a graduate of an American high school as demonstrated by the possession of a high school diploma, GED or passage of the California high school proficiency exam.

Sure Tips for getting into a film School in California

It is a good idea to have a general idea of ​​what admission officers are looking for in a film school applicant. Although every film school has unique requirements, preparing some standard recording bumps can boost your confidence as you go through the process.

Finding ways to make your application stand out can also help your chances at more competitive schools. Here are five tips to help you focus in the right direction as you explore how to get to the film academy:

  • Express yourself effectively. Communication is the key.
    It is not enough to have great ideas or artistic vision. Film schools want students who can communicate in a clear, compelling way. Learn the art of telling stories. Learn the technical aspects of language and grammar. You don’t have to be an expert in writing scenarios. That is why you go to school to film.
  • Get well-rounded. You need more than just raw talent.
    It might be easy to fall into the trap that you think academics have nothing to do with your creativity or aptitude for a career as a filmmaker. And maybe you are right, at least in part. But the figures are important. Especially when spaces in prestigious film schools are limited and competitive, your academic performance will be a factor in making the cut.
  • Speak for yourself. Film schools want to hear your voice.
    You have life experience and something to say. You bring your own unique perspective to the film school that is lucky to have you. And that is exactly what film schools want to see. What distinguishes you from other applicants? What is your story? Embrace life experiences. They can make your stories richer and deeper.
  • Practice makes perfect – and a strong applicant for a film school.
    There is a certain way to prove that you have the talent to make it in the film school and film industry. Start filming. Tell a lot of stories. They don’t have to be lengthy, but only five to ten minutes are enough. You become a stronger writer, director or filmmaker and you become a stronger film assistant. Whether or not you need to submit examples of your work with your film school application, it can only help you show something for yourself.
  • Get ready for your close-up. Take an acting lesson.
    Turn on the other side of the camera. Sign up for acting lessons. Going to school may not be a requirement, but it will broaden your perspective. It can also give you insight into how you can be a good director. Everything that makes you more well-rounded and versatile can only be an advantage when it’s time to sign up for film schools.

What are the Career Opportunities and Salary in Film Making

There is a range of jobs that you can secure in the film industry if you have an undergraduate degree. These can include the technical aspect of the field, from lighting and camera work to audio and mixing.

Others may feel that they are naturals in writing and can make scripts for films. Some may want to take on the important role of producer or director, while others may prefer to edit the video for production. All these roles and more can be found in the film industry.

With a bachelor’s degree in film, many students can have a very lucrative career. Film and video editors can earn an average of $59,040 a year, as well as camera operators.

A producer or director can earn $70,950 a year. If you are particularly known in your field, your profit potential can increase considerably.

With jobs in the film industry that will increase by no less than 9 percent in the coming years, the amount you can earn would be even more and make your bachelor’s degree in the film quite valuable.


Pursuing a career n Film Making requires the best training in the best film making schools that are up to date technologically. This feat is not an easy one at all especially owing to the high tuition fees involved. however, it is worth trying as it will give you a great edge over your contemporaries in the field.

You really don’t need to worry about the high tuition fee, as most of the listed Film making schools are quite affordable and you can avail yourself of the opportunity to study tuition-free by clicking on the Film Making scholarships.

We have other great scholarship opportunities that might be of help to your search

We hope this writing provided your scholarship necessities. Please share with your friends and leave your question or response on the comment box for us to serve you better.

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