University of Southern California school of Cinematic Arts was recently ranked by The Hollywood Reporter as the second best film school in the United States.
Choosing to go to college or a university is probably one of the most influential decisions anyone has to make in their lifetime. But, at the School of Cinematic Arts at University of Southern California argue that they believe students find the combination of factors at their university make their school experiences of the best ever.
USC boasts that each of their faculty members has been or is currently working professionally. As directors, editors, writers, producers, sound designers, lighting artists, animators and in many other roles, they constitute the power behind everything from box-office blockbusters, to independent films, to broadcast and cable television hits, to interactive games and other new media. Likewise, professors and researchers in the Critical Studies Division advance society’s understanding of the creation and cultural impact of film, television and interactive media.
It is important to note that USC School of Cinematic Arts is the richest film school in the world (alum George Lucas contributed $175 million, and alum Robert Zemeckis has given a bundle, too), USC probably has more graduates working in the industry than any other school and has the greatest support from the industry itself, with 10,000-plus alums who routinely donate millions for state-of-the-art facilities — and notable support from non-graduate Steven Spielberg (THR).
About The Bryan Singer Division of Critical Studies
“Our program is engaged with the critical examination of mass media, popular culture, and the art, craft and industries of film, television, and interactive media. We explore their social, political, economic and aesthetic impact both at home and abroad. We study the language and pleasures of moving visual images and sounds and the ways they are used by various reception communities to understand themselves in relation to the rest of the world.”
About the John C. Hench Division of Animation and Digital Arts
“As an international and multi-cultural program, the John C. Hench Division of Animation & Digital Arts has incorporated into its curriculum a theoretical and critical approach to the development and research of digital art forms as well as a historical understanding of how traditional media, drawing, painting, sculpture, video and installation art have transposed or been incorporated into animation or art in motion.”
About the Interactive Media Division
“The Interactive Media Division in the USC School of Cinematic Arts is a vibrant community of students and faculty dedicated to providing leadership in the education, creation, study and research of interactive media and digital arts. Students emerge as thought leaders, fluent in many forms of media, with the sophistication to design and create innovative experiences that expand the state of interactive art and play. The multidisciplinary faculty – composed of artists, industry professionals, and researchers – creates digital media scholarship, media art, games, and experiences that integrate and impact the world at large.”
Film and TV Production
Cinema is the pre-eminent art form of our time; it has an enormous impact on our world, with the power to change consciousness and shape world culture, and the Division of Film & Television Production plunges students into the entire creative process. Here, students learn all aspects of the art of storytelling and develop the ability to take audiences on emotional journeys using a wide array of cinematic skills. During their time here, our outstanding women and men learn to access this unique power by working in many forms, from traditional large-screen films to those designed for the smallest cell phone screen, to television in multiple formats.
The Peter Stark Producing Program
The Peter Stark Producing Program believes in the primacy of ideas and imagination. A producer is a creative originator, an entrepreneurial self-starter, whose initiating talent is recognizing ideas that have merit creatively and/or commercially.
The mission of the Peter Stark Program is to expose students to the full spectrum of the entertainment business, thereby enabling them to refine and define their individual career goals. Our curriculum is designed to give our students the practical skills and knowledge by which they can accomplish their creative goals with integrity to their own values.
About the Writing for Screen & Television Program
USC’s School of Cinematic Arts Writing for Screen & Television Division is the most respected program of its kind in the country. Out of thousands of applicants each year, only 26 undergraduate students and 32 graduate students are admitted for their respective degrees. Our writers come from all over the world, and many are already accomplished playwrights and prose writers before they begin their training in screenwriting.
TUITION $42,000 (plus room and board)
DEGREES Critical studies, B.A., M.A., MFA and Ph.D. programs in everything from film and TV to animation and digital arts
NOTABLE ALUMNI George Lucas (Star Wars), Ron Howard (A Beautiful Mind), Jon Landau (Avatar)
“USC is run in many ways like a studio. The challenges that were given to us had to do with the realities of the industry and financing, and I think those were important lessons to learn.” — Lee Unkrich, director, Toy Story 3