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Degree in Directing

Consider your degree options in the field of directing, which can involve working with film, stage or TV productions. Review the sorts of classes you would take as a student, and get info on the employment outlook for directors.

What Can I Learn in a Directing Degree Program?

A directing degree program prepares students for a professional career as a television or film director. There are a number of degrees available to you ranging from an associate's to a doctorate degree. Each level of degree has specific entry requirements, such as a live acting audition or an example of a script you have directed.

As you progress through the levels of study, your training will go into more depth, with the main focus always being to provide you with the knowledge and skills to become a competitive job candidate. Due to the practical nature of this profession and the interaction needed, fully online degree programs are rare. Instead, you may consider individual cinematography or theatre courses for a portion of your training.

Degree Levels Associate's, bachelor's, master's, and doctoral degrees
Common Courses Design, speech, directing, acting, production
Other Requirements Graduation requirements vary by institution and program; most schools require candidates to complete a film-making project
Key Career Skills Clear communication, critical thinking, analytical ability, multitasking, social nuance
Median Salary (2018)$71,680 (for producers and directors)*
Job Outlook (2016-26)12% growth (for all producers and directors)*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Classes Could I Take?

In order to become an effective director, you'll first need to learn about being a good actor. Therefore, you may take classes such as:

  • Acting
  • Movement
  • Speech

Other classes could focus on the skills that are unique and vital to directors. Examples of these classes include:

  • Directing
  • Stage management
  • Design
  • Production

In addition to lecture classes, practical classes such as labs in camera work, digital production and television directing are typically included.

What Are the Degree Requirements?

Because of the hands-on learning required in a director degree program, the requirements for earning your degree may be varied. Depending on the level of degree you're pursuing, you may be required to complete one or multiple projects. These projects may include directing a play, producing a single camera project and producing a multiple camera project.

What Can I Do With My Degree?

Once you have earned a degree, you'll most likely look for employment as a television or film director. There are several director positions available, such as assistant or executive director, depending on the scale of the production you're working on. As a director, you'll be responsible for a variety of tasks that go into making a television or film production. These duties may include choreographing the work of the cast, interpreting scripts and auditioning cast members.

Employment is usually on a job-to-job basis and can be very competitive. Earning a degree in directing could put you at an advantage over those in the field without a degree, but gaining experience is also extremely important, and you should take as many opportunities as you can to do so.