Best TV Production Schools
Read about three well-ranked schools with TV production programs, and find out what degrees you could earn at each school. Get info on what you should look for in a school with a strong TV production program.
What Should I Look for in a Top TV Production School?
Top schools will offer hands-on opportunities to produce work and make contacts with industry professionals. As a student in a top school, you might intern or study in media centers like New York and Los Angeles. Schools might sponsor festivals, award programs or campus and community media outlets. Pre- and post-production facilities should be available.
What Are Three Top TV Production Schools?
Boston University (BU) in Boston, MA
BU tied for 42nd as a national university and ranked 46th in global universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2019 (www.usnews.com). BU's College of Communication offers a bachelor's degree in film and TV with a concentration in television production; a master's degree in television production is also available. In these programs, you'll take courses in production management, film editing, and screenwriting. Undergraduate and graduate students can spend a semester interning in Los Angeles. Graduates of BU include high-level production executives for Bravo, NBC Universal, and Comcast.
You could participate in BU's Hothouse Productions, a student-run class producing commercially-competitive short films and public service announcements. BU sponsors the Redstone Film Festival, a film and TV awards competition with New York and Hollywood connections. BU also operates the Communication Research Center, where the uses and social impacts of television are studied. Degree options include:
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Film and Television
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Television
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Media Ventures
- Master of Science (M.S.) in Media Ventures /Master of Business Administration
- Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Film and Television Studies
University of California in Los Angeles (UCLA), CA
According to U.S. News & World Report, UCLA was ranked 19th amongst national universities and 13th for global universities in 2019. U.S. News & World Report also ranked UCLA's graduate school 5th in the multimedia/visual communications category in 2015. UCLA graduates have received awards from numerous organizations, including the Producers Guild of America, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the American Film Institute.
You'll complete two years of general studies before applying to the bachelor's program in film, television and digital media.. You could participate in UCLA's Undergraduate Summer Institute in Motion Picture Producing, which includes internship opportunities. As a graduate student, you could pursue an MFA in Production/Directing.
You could also earn an MFA through the Producers Program; this program is designed for creative professionals interested in executive or production careers. The production and directing program curriculum includes courses in TV production. Your graduate thesis could be a TV production up to 30 minutes long.
UCLA's Film & Television Archive features over 220,000 films as well as TV programs. You'll have access to three TV studios and three sound stages. Facilities for props, costuming, screening, editing, digital media, new media, scoring, and production screening are available for student use. Possible degrees include:
- Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Film and Television
- Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A) Producers Program
- Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Production/Directing
University of Texas (UT) in Austin, TX
UT tied for 49th among national universities and 36th for global universities, according to U.S. News & World Report in 2019. UT's Radio, Television and Film Department offers a radio-television-film bachelor's degree. In this program, you'll take courses in media studies, screenwriting and production. You might write a senior honors thesis paper or pursue school-sponsored internship opportunities with TV stations or media production units in Austin as well as Los Angeles.
A master's degree in film and media production is offered, requiring production of at least four films using traditional and alternative techniques. You'll receive instruction in digital production and post-production technologies. You could enroll in a media studies master's program with a focus on film and TV. Other options include a dual master's programs in radio-television-film and public affairs or business.
UT sponsors Texas Student Media, the operator of Texas Student Television. Production facilities are available at the Jesse H. Jones Communication Center. The following degrees are available:
- Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Radio-Television-Film
- Master of Fine Arts (MFA) in Film and Media Production
- Master of Arts (M.A.) in Media Studies
- Master of Arts (M.A.) in Radio-Television-Film/Master of Business Administration
- Master of Arts (M.A.) in Radio-Television-Film/Master of Public Affairs
- Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Media Studies
Ten Top TV Production Schools
|College/University||Institution Type||Location||Estimated Graduate In-State Tuition*|
|Carnegie Mellon University||4-year, Private||Pittsburgh, PA||$44,000|
|Rhode Island School of Design||4-year, Private||Providence, RI||$51,000|
|New School--Parsons School of Design||4-year, Private||New York, NY||$46,000|
|University of Southern California||4-year, Private||Los Angeles, CA||$45,000|
|New York University||4-year, Private||New York, NY||$45,000|
|Rochester Institute of Technology||4-year, Private||Rochester, NY||$46,000|
|School of the Art Institute of Chicago||4-year, Private||Chicago, IL||$50,000|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||4-year, Private||Troy, NY||$55,000|
|Maryland Institute College of Art||4-year, Private||Baltimore, MD||$48,000|
|Virginia Commonwealth University||4-year, Public||Richmond, VA||$14,000|
*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education