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Bachelor’s Degree Program in Film Overview

Majors Overview April 20, 2015

Get information about bachelor’s degree programs in film and their educational requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Film

Students enrolled in a four-year undergraduate degree program in film are provided with a broad grasp of general cinematic theories and tools as well as film production techniques.

Coursework in these programs is a combination of practical and classroom instruction, and further experience is available for students via optional or required internships. Applicants may need previous film experience or a portfolio for admittance to a film degree program.

Educational Requirements

Students enrolled in creative and hands-on undergraduate degree programs in film are typically required to complete general education courses in communication, English, and mathematics before they graduate. Submission of a portfolio of work experience, such as short films, may be required of high school graduates before they can begin core coursework in some programs.


Coursework combines classroom lectures and hands-on studio experiences, wherein students can develop skills in film production, screenwriting, and cinematography film editing.

The curriculum is often devised to provide students with a background of the history of a variety of film genres, in addition to training on the creative elements and technical aspects of movie-making. In most programs, participation in a work–study experience or internship is encouraged; such experiences could involve putting students on the set of a documentary, television show, or the actual movie, among other features. Core coursework may include topic areas such as the following:

•Film editing
•Stylistic studies of the moving image
•Film genres
•Theater production
•History of American motion pictures
•Experimental film
•Video production
•Directing the camera

Career Choices

Graduates from the program may choose from various entry-level career options in the entertainment field. They may also pursue freelance work or choose from potential job options such as:

•Director of photography
•Production assistant
•Assistant director
•Production coordinator

Continuing Education Choices

Those who complete an undergraduate program in film may seek continuing education by earning a master’s degree in a more specialized aspect of the industry, such as screenwriting, producing, or cinematography. In two-year programs, hands-on experience is often provided to graduate students, and connections to the industry are provided to faculty. Ph.D. students seeking university-level teaching careers may also avail programs in film studies and cinematography.

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