How Long Does It Take to Earn a Film Degree?

how long film degree

If you are interested in filmmaking, film production, film theory, digital media, or screenwriting, then film school is definitely for you. Some of the first film schools started in the 1890s in Russia and finally in the United States in the 1920s. However, film schools didn’t get their big push with students in the United States until the 1970s, but most students enrolling in film schools during that time had their mind set on stardom and fame.

There are currently around 74 secondary institutions in the United States that support a film degree. These universities and colleges are spread throughout the country, however the majority of them are found in New York and California. This should come as no surprise, considering these two states share the spotlight as the film capitals of the United States.

Bachelor’s degrees in film are no different than any other bachelor’s degree where length is concerned, but how long does it take to earn a film degree? Like any other degree, depending on the amount of hours you can successfully take during a semester, you could potentially complete your degree in 3 years but 4 is usually the amount of time needed to complete the degree.

Film schools teach students about a wide variety of duties directly associated with creating motion pictures. This also includes history, genres, and forms of films. In addition to these much generalized film classes; students will also complete courses in creative writing for entertainment, entertainment business and law, film production, and many other specialized courses. Once a student completes their film degree, they are fully prepared to be hired into entry-level positions within the film industry. From an entry-level position, you will receive more hands on experience than you could ever receive at any school. The film industry is a funny thing. More than one lighting technician has found his or her way into a director’s chair and leading the way for some of the most successful movies in the industry.

There are many film professionals who feel that film school is not necessary at all to break into the industry. These same professionals feel that any undergraduate degree will suffice to get into the industry and all the experience you need comes from hands on jobs. Some of the most famous directors in the industry never went to film school. These directors include Quentin Tarantino, Stanley Kubrick, and John Waters. Even Steven Spielberg is a film-school reject, and it’s pretty obvious he is doing ok in his career choice.

Even though there are mixed reviews when it comes to attending film school, if you want to break through in the industry, it’s definitely important to have a background and a general understanding of the industry in which you are headed into. In other words, you wouldn’t want to major in Accounting if you had intentions on going to medical school. You would want to major in pre-med, biology, chemistry, or something in that field. Even though a college degree can be frightening, you can be done with your film degree in a short 3-4 years.


Want to pursue a career in the film industry? Get more information about programs in your area or online using our film degree finder at the top of this page. ↑


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