Which Chicago Schools Have Film Degree Programs?

Learn about film programs in the Chicago, Illinois area. Get information about degrees available and admission and program requirements to make an informed decision about your education. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

If you're interested in film schools in the Chicago area, this article will highlight some important details regarding program lengths, tuition costs, and student populations. Keep reading to learn more about both graduate and undergraduate programs.

What You Need to Know

In the city of Chicago, you'll can find bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree film programs. If you want to pursue a bachelor's degree, film programs are available at 4-year, public and private schools, while master's and doctoral programs are offered at 4-year, private institutions only.

The bachelor's degree programs in film will typically require 4 years of full-time study. You'll likely need to commit 2-years to completing a master's program in film in Chicago, and the doctoral program available will require 4-6 years of full-time study to earn the degree.

Film Bachelor's Degree Programs in Chicago

Columbia College - Chicago

Columbia College - Chicago's film and video program includes a 4-course sequence covering film production, aesthetics and history. During this time, you'll create two short films that will be critiqued by your peers. The remaining coursework focuses on topics in your concentration area and can include lighting, editing, directing, screenwriting, world cinema and film producing. You could also develop your own curriculum if one of the available fields of study doesn't suit your career goals.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Film and Video
  • Field of Study Options: Computer animation, traditional animation, post-production, screenwriting, producing, documentary, critical studies, directing, cinematography and audio
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $24,344 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Requirements: Essay, letter of recommendation
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 9,003 undergraduate and 437 graduate students

University of Chicago

Located on the south side of Chicago, this university offers a cinema and media studies program at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. As a student in the bachelor's degree program, you can learn about film styles and techniques as well as the social contexts in which films are made. Topics of study include early cinema, new media, experimental film and performance theory. A research paper is required for graduation; film or video productions might also be accepted.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Media Studies
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $51,351 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma
  • Requirements: SAT or ACT scores, 2 teacher recommendations, midyear progress report
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 5,738 undergraduate and 9,359 graduate students

University of Illinois at Chicago

The University of Illinois at Chicago's Bachelor of Arts in Moving Image program includes introductory courses that allow you to explore the basics of drawing, graphic design and photography. After your first year of study, the school will review your portfolio to determine if you're eligible to pursue coursework in the moving image major. In these courses, you might screen movies, study experimental filmmaking, work with animation and develop your production skills.

  • Program Name: Bachelor of Arts in Moving Image
  • Program Length: 4 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,664 per year for in-state; $26,520 per year for out-of-state (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: High school diploma or GED
  • Requirements: SAT or ACT scores, personal statement
  • School Type: 4-year, public; 16,718 undergraduate and 11,251 graduate students

Film Master's Degree Programs in Chicago

Columbia College - Chicago

Columbia College - Chicago's 52-credit-hour screen directing program includes courses in directing, film production and cinema studies. You'll also get to make your own films, participate in workshops and complete internships. Additionally, you might take advantage of the school's post-production equipment, sound stages and studios or work alongside students in the creative producing MFA program.

  • Program Name: Master of Fine Arts in Screen Directing
  • Program Length: 2 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $25,388 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Requirements: Personal essay; resume; 2 letters of recommendation; work samples; brief statement of thesis ideas
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 9,003 undergraduate and 437 graduate students

DePaul University

DePaul University's graduate program can provide you with experience working in the post-production phases of filmmaking. For example, you can learn how to edit sound, integrate video with special effects and create digital imagery. Other topics of discussion include cinematography, lighting and directing.

  • Program Name: Master of Science in Cinema Production
  • Program Length: 2 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $18,330 per year (2015-2016)
  • Requirements: Bachelor's degree with a minimum GPA of 2.5; 5 prerequisite digital cinema courses
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 16,153 undergraduate students and 7,646 graduate students

Film Ph.D. Degree Programs in Chicago

University of Chicago

The University of Chicago's Ph.D. program is for students interested in academic careers in cinema and media studies. Requirements include the completion of 16 courses and a dissertation. Teaching assistantships are also available, and some core requirements might be waived if you've already taken comparable courses in an undergraduate or graduate degree program.

  • Program Name: Ph.D. in Cinema and Media Studies
  • Program Length: 4-6 years, full-time
  • Tuition and Fees: $52,713 per year (2015-2016)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree
  • Requirements: GRE scores; 3 letters of recommendation; writing sample; statement of purpose
  • School Type: 4-year, private not-for-profit; 5,738 undergraduate and 9,359 graduate students

This article has summarized four schools in the Chicago area with film degrees: the University of Illinois at Chicago offers students a bachelor's degree, Columbia College - Chicago and the University of Chicago have master's and doctorate degrees, respectively, and DePaul University offers a master's degree.

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:
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