Cinema Production Degrees

Producers are the people behind the scenes responsible for making film and sound clips into full-length movies. Explore undergraduate and graduate degree programs in film production, and read about the typical courses you'd take as a film student. Get more info on job options for cinema producers, and check the career outlook and salary potential. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Is a Cinema Production Degree Right for Me?

If you are serious about a career as a producer, then a cinema production degree is right for you. In a cinema degree program you will learn the basics of making films, as well as more advanced techniques. You will also learn about the history of cinema production and the importance of cinema in society. If you would like to study cinema production, several degrees are available to you.

Area of Interest Cinema production
Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees
Common Courses Cinematography, lighting, European films, sound editing, film and society
Mean Salary (2018) $89,840* (for all producers and directors)
Job Outlook (2018-28)5% growth* (for all producers and directors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Degrees Can I Earn?

If you are interested in cinema production but are not ready to commit to a 4-year degree program, you can begin by earning a 2-year associate's degree. An associate's degree will provide you with basic training in cinema production techniques, and it will prepare you for a 4-year program. However, if you are serious about cinema production, you may be interested in earning a bachelor's degree in a 4-year program. The bachelor's degree program goes into more detail about the techniques of cinematic production than an associate's degree program.

If you want to continue on to graduate school, you have several paths available. If you wish to continue learning advanced techniques of making films, you can enter a fine arts master's program that focuses on production. Alternatively, if you find that you are interested in researching film and its influences on society, you can enter a master's or doctoral program that focuses on research. A fine arts graduate program is best if you want to work as a producer, while a research graduate program is best if you want to be a teacher or researcher.

What Classes Will I Take?

The classes that you take will vary based on the school you attend and the degree that you are trying to achieve. However, you will learn about a couple of basic areas in most programs. One area that you will study is the history of cinema and cinematic production. Some example courses in this area include:

  • Pre-World War II film making
  • Film and society
  • European films

While learning about the history of films and filmmaking is important, your major focus in a cinema production program will be on film making techniques. As a producer, you will be required to edit and integrate visual and audio clips using a variety of technologies in order to make a complete film. Some classes where you will learn these techniques include:

  • Cinematography
  • Color correction
  • Sound editing
  • Lighting

In addition to taking courses, you may also work on independent projects during your time in a program, with the possibility of producing your own film or short film. You should also be aware that some for-profit schools may offer online degree options.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

The field of cinematic production is a competitive one, and employment is typically on a job-to-job basis. This leads to a wide range of potential yearly salaries. According to a May 2018 Bureau for Labor Statistics report (, the middle half of directors and producers had annual salaries that ranged from $48,520 to $110,350, with the average annual salary being $89,840. Having a degree in cinematic production does not guarantee that you will get a job, but it puts you at a competitive advantage because you will be up-to-date on the latest technology and techniques. You will also gain critical hands-on experience that will make you an attractive choice as a potential producer for a film.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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