The 10 Best Film Schools in Los Angeles

3. Chapman University Dodge College of Film and Media Arts

Chapman University
Bobak Ha’Eri, Chapman Schmid Gate, CC BY 3.0

Part of Chapman University in Orange, CA, the Dodge College of Film and Media Arts serves approximately 1,465 students, including 256 in the graduate program. 

The school offers several points of interest for future filmmakers. At the 76,000 sq. ft. Marion Knott Studios, students have access to a working production studio, which includes two sounds stages, cinematography and directing insert stage, a television and broadcast journalism high-definition stage and control room, a foley stage, and more. Students can practice using state-of-the-art equipment, such as a Spirit 4K Datacine. 

The 18,000 sq. ft. Digital Media Arts Center is a working, industry-standard studio, which combines “hang-out spaces” with classrooms and laboratories. These labs include a 32-workstation dual-monitor digital arts computer lab with 22″ HD Cintiq drawing surface and ergotron extension arm, a 25-workstation digital arts computer lab with 22” HD Cintiq drawing surface and ergotron extension arm with 2d animation light-box drawing station, ten private digital arts suites, large-format scanners, and 2d animation down-shooters for traditional hand-drawn animation.


2. University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts 

University of Southern California
Joe Mabel, USC School of Cinematic Arts, CC BY-SA 3.0

Founded in 1929, the University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts is the oldest film school in the country and one of the most respected. CNTV offers not only programs in film production screenwriting, and other common issues, but also the Peter Stark Producing program and the Business of Entertainment programs. These classes teach students the critical art of selling and marketing films and television shows. 

With such a unique program, it comes as no surprise that CNTV is highly selective, offering admission to only 2% of the applicants it receives. But those who do make it into the program get to learn their trade in the shadow of some of the greatest names in Hollywood. In CNTV’s School of Cinematic Arts Complex, students stage productions on the 20th Century Fox Soundstage, screen 3D presentations in the George Lucas and Steven Spielberg Buildings, and learn advanced special effects in the Robert Zemeckis Center for Digital Arts. 


1. UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television

UCLA School of Theater, Film and Television
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons

As indicated by its placement on the top of this list, the UCLA School of Theater, Film, and Television is one of the best film schools in the world. UCLA TFT regularly falls in the top five of national rankings, including those from U.S. News & World Report and The Hollywood Reporter

In addition to a faculty consisting of some of the best in the business, including, UCLA TFT features resources such as the Geffen Playhouse, home to award-winning productions of American Buffalo and Miss Julie. The school also houses the unique UCLA Film & Television Archive, the world’s most extensive university-based collection, with over 220,000 motion picture and television titles and 27 million feet of newsreel footage. In keeping with its student-centered focus, UCLA TFT offers admission to only 4% of its applicants, allowing for a faculty-to-student ratio of 1:5.

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