PhD in Film Production

A graduate degree in film production can provide you with the practical and theoretical knowledge you'll need to create your own cinematic productions. Read on to learn what degree programs are available, what courses are included, whether the degree programs are offered online and what the employment outlook is for this field. Schools offering Digital Cinematography degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Can I Get a Ph.D. in Film Production?

While you can get a Ph.D. in Film Studies, most schools don't offer doctoral programs in film production. The highest-level degree you'll encounter is a master's degree in film and television production, which is offered by many schools. These degree programs combine theory and craftsmanship in a series of courses that typically culminate in the presentation of a film as your final project. To be considered for admission to a master's program in film production, most schools will require you to have a bachelor's degree in media studies, film or video production, and some will ask you to submit a reel or short film along with your application.

Master's Admission Requirements Bachelor's degree in related field, reel submission
Common CoursesCinematography, videography, digital media, film theory
Online Availability Courses offered online but not full degree programs
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)9%* (for producers and directors)

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Courses Will I Take?

Most of your master's curriculum can be tailored toward your personal interests and the style of films you're interested in producing. A great deal of your time in a master's program in film production will actually be spent working on the film that will be presented as your final creative project. However, there are also some required courses that you'll need to complete during your first year in the program. These courses are likely to include cinematography, videography and film theory. Your electives can focus on any number of areas, including producing documentaries or working with digital media.

Can I Complete this Degree Online?

Although some schools offer online film courses, you won't be able to complete an entire master's degree in film production online. If you're interested in taking some graduate-level film courses online before you enroll in a degree program, you'll find that several schools offer the required classes that you'll need in a master's program, including cinematography and film theory. Just make sure your school will accept the credits you'll earn from an online course.

What is the Career Outlook for a Filmmaker?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicted a 9% increase in job opportunities for film producers and directors in the decade spanning 2014 to 2024 ( Producers and directors for film, TV and other performing arts industries earned a mean annual salary of $89,670, according to May 2015 BLS data.

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