Why This Matters

  • ANOTHER 16,000 DIRECTORS AND PRODUCERS ARE NEEDED

    Film industry jobs are growing at an above-average pace, and another 16,000 jobs for directors and producers are expected by 2029. That’ll bring the total jobs available to 175,500.

  • FILM AND VIDEO EDITOR JOBS ARE GROWING AT 22%

    Film and video editor jobs are growing at an even faster clip of 22%. By 2029, the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts there will be 46,500 film and video editor positions.

  • WORK IN MANY INDUSTRIES AND LOCATIONS

    The film industry is much more than just Hollywood. Film graduates work in advertising, public relations, TV broadcasting, performing arts, and other industries all over the country and the world.

Our Research

We reviewed many master’s degrees in film, including Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Fine Arts (MFA). Programs have different emphases, so you’ll want to find one that fits your interests and goals.

The list also includes on-campus, online, and dual-mode programs. Online programs may have brief in-person requirements for orientations or seminars.

All of the programs listed are regionally accredited, and many have dual accreditation with the National Association of Schools of Art & Design (NASAD). Attending an accredited program guarantees that your degree will be recognized upon graduation.

We evaluated each program on the basis of flexibility, faculty, course strength, cost, and reputation. Then we calculated the Intelligent Score for each program on a scale from 0 to 100. For a more extensive explanation, check out Our Ranking Methodology.

  • 59 hours to write this article
  • 188 universities and colleges we assessed
  • 356 education programs we compared

The Top 41 Master’s in Film Degree Programs

Best Master's in Film Degree Programs
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What You Should Know About This Degree

Breaking into film work requires professional connections and hands-on experience with projects, and a strong portfolio will get you only so far in the industry. For this reason, online programs might not be the best choice for all students. Although online programs often cost less to attend, the savings come with a trade-off, as online programs offer limited networking opportunities. If you are limited to online programs, try to find a program that includes an internship component where you’ll make some local connections.

To make films, you’ll need specialized cameras, lights, microphones, and software. Students who attend on-campus programs normally have access to this equipment, but online programs can’t provide the same convenience. If you enroll in an online program, find out whether you’ll need to purchase or rent expensive equipment. Make sure to include that cost in your financial calculations if you do.

Students who graduate with film degrees can find jobs in many different industries. If you hope to specifically work on feature films, however, there still is one epicenter where most of the work takes place. Be prepared to move to Los Angeles and Hollywood if you want to work on movies.

What’s Next?

Consider these two questions as you research master’s in film programs:

  • How long does it take to complete this online degree? MA in Film degrees normally take two years, while MFA in Film degrees usually take three years. This time frame is based on full-time study, and going part-time will extend the duration of a program.
  • What tests are required for this online degree? Many Master’s in Film degree programs no longer require the GRE or another entrance exam, especially if your undergraduate GPA is above a certain level. A portfolio of work is usually much more important in the admissions process.

When you identify a program that you’re interested in, find out what the application process includes. You’ll want to check the program’s webpage or contact the program, so you can learn what admissions materials are required and when to send them in by.

Also give consideration to how you’ll pay for a film degree. Check with schools to see what financial aid and scholarships are available. You might also be able to get tuition remission from your employer.