Many of my students have thought about being a film major or minor in high school, usually following a film project at school or vlogging for a school event. If that sounds like you, here’s the latest list of Top 25 Film Schools according to Niche.com, and you can use it as the first step of your college search. Some schools are exclusively film schools, meaning they do not offer other undergraduate programs besides film-related disciplines, while some are colleges with an excellent film program. Here’s the list:
|1||University of Southern California||Los Angeles, CA||17%|
|2||New York University||New York, NY||32%|
|3||University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, PA||9%|
|4||*California Institute of the Arts||Valencia, CA||24%|
|5||University of California – Los Angeles||Los Angeles, CA||18%|
|6||Wesleyan University||Middletown, CT||18%|
|7||Loyola Marymount University||Los Angeles, CA||54%|
|8||*Columbia College Hollywood||Tarzana, CA||54%|
|9||*Rhode Island School of Design||Providence, RI||34%|
|10||*University of North Carolina School of the Arts||Winston-Salem, NC||54%|
|11||*Laguna College of Art & Design||Laguna Beach, CA||39%|
|12||University of Michigan – Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||29%|
|13||Vassar College||Poughkeepsie, NY||27%|
|14||University of California – Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||17%|
|15||Emory University||Atlanta, GA||25%|
|16||*School of Visual Arts||New York, NY||74%|
|17||Carleton College||Northfield, MN||23%|
|18||Emerson College||Boston, MA||48%|
|19||University of Miami||Coral Gables, FL||38%|
|20||Chapman University||Orange, CA||54%|
|21||American University||Washington, DC||26%|
|22||*College for Creative Studies||Detroit, MI||47%|
|23||*Art Center College of Design||Pasadena, CA||69%|
|24||*Nossi College of Art||Madison, TN||51%|
|25||*Minneapolis College of Art & Design||Minneapolis, MN||65%|
Schools with (*) are exclusively film schools or art schools.
Is the Acceptance Rate Accurate?
Just like music schools, some of these film schools tend to accept more students, such as School of Visual Arts in New York and Art Center College of Design in California. These schools have great film programs and, as a result of high enrollment, tend to have higher acceptance rates than usual.
On the other hand, some schools have low acceptance rates because they are competitive schools in general, not particularly because their film programs are hard to get in. USC (#1), NYU (#2), Penn (#3) and UCLA (#5) have low acceptance rates for this reason.
How Are Schools Ranked?
Visit https://www.niche.com/colleges/search/best-colleges-for-film/ if you want to know how these schools are ranked. Obviously, any ranking doesn’t tell the whole story. Just because a school is 2 or 3 spots below another doesn’t mean it’s worse. Keep in mind what you’re looking for in a school: The technical courses? Instructors? Which aspect of the film industry? Or perhaps, are you more interested in performing than behind-the-scene production? Look into the programs offered in each school and find your best fit!