Best Online Master’s in Film Programs 2021
Updated August 24, 2022
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Students who love telling stories, immersing themselves in movies, and binge–watching television series may find themselves drawn to the film industry. With a master’s degree in film, these learners can turn their passions or hobbies into careers as directors, producers, editors, and writers. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects each of these careers to grow at least as quickly as the average profession.
Online Master’s in Film Degree Program Ranking Guidelines
We selected the degree programs based on the quality of program and range of courses provided, as well as school awards, rankings, and reputation.
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The Best Online Master’s in Film Degree Programs
Choosing an Online Master’s in Film Program
Students should consider their career path and then seek out film programs that will teach them correlating skills.
For example, some film programs focus on narrative, requiring students to complete courses in film history, current trends in cinema, classic theory, and storytelling. Some universities offer creative tracks for students who want to work in specific areas of film such as directing or producing. Other programs offer concentrations in editing and cinematography, allowing students to work with industry–standard programs and equipment. Finally, some schools focus on theoretical aspects of cinema, considering, for instance, the psychology and consumption behind filmmaking (these graduates often go on to earn doctoral degrees).
Regardless of which career path students pursue, they will likely need to complete internships or thesis projects.Return to the top
What Else Can I Expect from an Online Master’s in Film Program?
The content offered within online master’s in film degrees frequently depends on faculty and current events. In other words, professors may design courses that cover cultural moments and technologies in film so that students can stay up to date. That said, most programs offer some of the following common courses.
Curriculum for an Online Master’s Degree in Film
- Research for Film and Television
- To make movies and television as believable as possible, writers and directors must conduct plenty of research before film production begins. These courses shows students how to find credible sources and organize their findings.
- History of American Motion Pictures
- These classes teach students the history of the film industry. Professors may cover the invention of the camera and storytelling trends.
- Film Theory
- Among other fields of study, these interdisciplinary classes combine philosophy, technology, and psychology to understand film.
- Narrative Studies
- These classes teach degree candidates to craft compelling narratives from the idea stage to final production.
- To earn an online master’s degree in film, a student may have to complete a thesis project. The classes for these projects may span semesters or years.
Online Master’s in Film Careers
A master’s degree in film studies, along with one’s interests and expertise, can lead to various career paths: those who love storytelling may become scriptwriters; those who enjoy overseeing projects may become directors or producers; those who are detailed may become editors.
- Film and Video Editor
- These professionals work in offices with the latest film editing technology. They piece together a director's takes to create cohesive stories. Most films require large teams of editors, with each working on a specific piece of the end product. A master's degree sets candidates apart in this competitive field.
- Median Annual Salary: $58,210
- Projected Growth Rate: 13%
- Producer or Director
- Both of these careers require professionals to oversee projects from screenplay to final product. Directors and producers often work side by side, with the former managing the creative side and the latter managing the financial side. Master's degrees give graduates the insight and skills they need to oversee such large projects without losing sight of the stories.
- Median Annual Salary: $71,620
- Projected Growth Rate: 12%
- Before any film or television show can go into production, it needs a compelling script. These professionals create characters, develop stories, and write it down in the widely recognized format for film. While writers do not need diplomas to sell their scripts, master's degrees provide learners with the tools they need to excel.
- Median Annual Salary: $61,820
- Projected Growth Rate: 8%
Source: Bureau of Labor StatisticsReturn to the top
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