Best Film Schools In New York

Nobody wakes up to become a great filmmaker. It takes great training, commitment, and practice in the best film schools, especially in New York; for you to succeed in the world of film making.

New York is the central hub for filmmaking and home to some of the best film studios in the world. The list of best film schools here will help you become sound in the film industry.

The best film schools in New York do not only offer an excellent education, but the location places students in one of the busiest film industries in the world. Truly, film schools are designed to teach you the fundamentals of film.

Over the past couple of years, film schools have been leveling up, building virtual reality labs, green screen studios, and stocking up on 3D stereoscopic cameras.

Here, we answer some questions and provide reviews to help you choose which film school in New York is best for you.

Why Film Making?

Film making has always been an essential part of our society. It is more than just a term. Filmmaking is a great and interesting field of study that ranges from acting, scriptwriting, cinematography, photography, film directing, editing, and marketing.

In fact, film making is a form of art used to imitate, exaggerate, and enlarge life’s countless experiences. It helps to expose certain things that are happening around us.

That is why it is known as a visual medium that entertains the viewers and, in some cases, educates them. You can relate to this if you are a movie lover like me.

Generally, films can influence our attitudes, lifestyles, and values. For instance, movies that come as documentaries inform and enlighten us. 

It is important to note that beyond acting, film making also involves photography, video and sound editing, scriptwriting, music, etc. All these make a video great and appealing to the eyes. A filmmaker is responsible for every aspect of film production.

So, if you want a career related to the film industry, the best educational preparation you can undertake is going to film school.

Is film school important? Why?

Getting a film-making degree will help you combine the theoretical and technical skills needed in careers in the creative industries. Generally, getting a film degree is an added advantage if you are in a bid to further a career in film production.

Film school students gain invaluable experience in directing and shooting their own films. They also serve as integral crew members on other students’ films.

In their numerous projects, students take on roles such as director, cinematographer, writer, and editor. Therefore, they experience first-hand what being a part of film production is like. In this case, we can say that experience is a fantastic teacher.

This hands-on experience in writing, directing, shooting, and editing is a large part of what makes film school interesting for so many students.

It is vital to note that careers within the film industry are competitive. Therefore, you would need determination to succeed in the niche.

What do you learn in film school?

First, you have to understand that film schools often offer a variety of degree programs. So, while applying to a film school, you should consider the kind of program you are going for. These programs range from Bachelor’s degree, Master;s degree and conservatory programs.

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Notwithstanding, students also get hands-on experience by learning from people actively working in film and television. Also, they have the opportunity to work on their film projects.

Courses taken in film schools include:

  • producing,
  • directing,
  • art direction,
  • cinematography,
  • screenwriting,
  • postproduction work and sound.

Film school students can earn undergraduate and graduate degrees in film, cinema studies, media studies or cinema production.

Here’s what you can do with a Film Making Degree

A film making degree helps you to learn about the film industry, its history, and its place in modern society. Also, it helps you to understand the formal elements of cinema.

After you acquire a degree from a film school, what next?

Well, the following listed roles are some of what you may become with your film-making degree.

  • Broadcast presenter.
  • Film director.
  • Location manager.
  • Photographer
  • Program researcher.
  • Television camera operator.
  • Television/film/video producer.
  • Television production coordinator.

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Also, you can work in various areas within the media industry, such as:

  • advertising, Public Relations, and marketing companies
  • organizations involved in the festival and cultural event management
  • cultural and heritage organizations engaged in film preservation, curating and archiving
  • multimedia authoring and digital design companies
  • further education and higher education institutions (for teaching and academic research roles).

For how long does it take to get a Film Making Degree?

Generally, it takes about 4 years to get a degree from a film making school. Notwithstanding, you must understand that after you have left the film school, your training doesn’t end there.

Continuous practice makes perfect. It is not enough to learn film making if you have no plan for further practice. For instance, a film school cannot specialize in sci-fi movies or indie dramas; you must do that yourself.

Therefore, it is not about how long you spend in a film school, but how well you perform afterwards.

What is the cost of film school?

Usually, attending film school is very expensive. One may worry about why it costs so much to attend a film school. Now, this is why: film schools are not like conventional schools. Film schools have their special kinds of equipment that they use in filmmaking.

Attending a film school costs around $20,000 to $70,000 per year. So on average, you can expect to pay up to $200,000 to complete your bachelor’s program in filmmaking.

In your ambition to become a filmmaker, one of the things that might be of great threat and challenge to you is the cost of attending a film school.

Well, the cost of a film school in New York depends on the specific institution you choose. Tuition isn’t the only cost you face when entering a film school. 

In addition, you should know that the cost of a film school in New York depends on whether it is a public or a private film school. 

Apparently, cost should play an important role when you are searching for a school. However, you shouldn’t limit your options to just the lowest-priced schools. In some cases, the most expensive schools could be your best option.

You should also consider applying for scholarships or other financial aids for dental students. This can play an essential role in helping you choose the right school for yourself. Also, it helps you save costs.

How Easy Is It To Get Into A Film school?

Even though every film school in New York has different acceptance rates, a film school is not difficult to get into.

However, while you consider getting into an easy film school, also think about your career upon graduation.

What Are The Admission Requirements Of Film Schools In New York?

Truly, to secure admission to any film school in Newyork, you must satisfy a variety of requirements. However, these requirements can vary depending on the school.

So, you should visit the website of each film school to know their respective admission requirements.

Meeting these admission requirements can help you secure your spot in any film school in Newyork:

  • Completed online application form
  • CV/Resume
  • Personal statement (up to 750 words) – more guidance is available in the online application system
  • An original script for a short film about three minutes in length
  • Education certificates (degree-level qualifications only)
  • Two references
  • A passport-sized photo
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Ranking Criteria

It is important to note that your school choice will depend on many factors. Therefore, to effectively rank the easiest schools in the world, we used the following factors.

Accreditation:

Knowing if a school is accredited or not is very important. This is because, without a school’s accreditation, the certificate you get from that school will have no market value. Thus, making your years spent in studying to become a waste.

Reputation

The reputation of a school is a very important factor to be considered. By this, we are talking about how real people (and employers!) view the university.

Your university’s reputation affects you and your career more than you might think.

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It comprises the school’s history, location, academic success, physical conditions, and so on.

Acceptance rate 

At first glance, you will think that schools with low acceptance rates are the most desirable due to their superior reputations and highly competitive admissions. However3, there are many benefits to attending a university with a higher acceptance rate.

For one thing, schools with high acceptance rates are easier to get into. 

Student to Faculty Ratio

The student to faculty ratio is often used to measure the number of teaching resources a college or university offers students. 

Best film and photography schools in New York

As a home to major film studios worldwide, there are quite a handful of great film schools in New York. However, we have helped you carefully select the best film schools in New York.

Here’s a list of the best film and photography schools in New York:

#1. Barnard College

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Acceptance rate: 14%

SAT/ACT score: 1330-1500/30-33

Barnard College is a highly rated private women’s college affiliated with Columbia University. Barnard’s admission is quite competitive, as the acceptance rate is 14%. No wonder it is the best film school in New York. However, you can attend this prestigious college.

The film, video, and photography is one of the majors in the visual & performing arts program at Barnard College.

The ACT scores range from 30-33. At the same time, the SAT scores range from 1330-1500. The SAT/ACT scores are considered but not required by Barnard College.

The student to faculty ratio at Barnard College is 10 to 1. This is good news for students who want to interact more personally with their teachers.

The overall average net price of Barnard College is $26,681. For more information on how to apply, visit the school’s website below.

Visit school

#2. New York University

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Acceptance rate: 20%

SAT/ACT score: 1310-1510/29-34

The New York University is one of the most influential accredited universities in the world. With an acceptance rate of 20%, NYU is quite competitive.

Also, the student-faculty ratio at New York University is 9:1. To apply, your high school GPA is required. According to our ranking factors, NYU is the second-best film school in New York.

The overall average net price of New York University is $39,935. For more information on how to apply, visit the school’s website below.

Visit school

#3. Hamilton College

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Acceptance rate: 21%

SAT/ACT score: 1350-1510/31-34

Hamilton College is one of the highly regarded liberal arts institutions in the world. It is quite competitive, with an acceptance rate of 21%.

The overall average net price of Hamilton College is $27,809. Meanwhile, the studentfaculty ratio at Hamilton College is 9:1. Applying with your high school GPA is necessary.

For more information on how to apply, visit the school’s website below.

Visit school

#4. Vassar College

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education

Acceptance rate: 25%

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SAT/ACT score: 1370-1510/31-33

Admission into Vassar College is competitive as the acceptance rate is 25%. The student-faculty ratio is 8:1. Applying with your high school GPA is crucial.

The overall average net price of Vassar College is $25,211. For more information on how to apply, visit the school’s website below.

Visit school

#5. University Of Rochester

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

Acceptance rate: 29%

SAT/ACT score: 1320-1500/30-34

 Admissions are competitive as the Rochester acceptance rate is 29%. Note, the University of Rochester is a highly rated private university in New York.

According to our ranking factors, Rochester is one of the best film schools in New York. A high school GPA is neither required nor recommended.

The overall average net price of the University Of Rochester is $35,452. For more information on how to apply, visit the school’s website below.

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#6. CUNY Hunter College

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

Acceptance rate: 36%

SAT score: 1150-1330

Hunter College film school is an above-average public college, accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

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The net price of CUNY Hunter College is $4,332/ year. For more information on how to apply, visit the school’s website below.

Visit school

#7. Binghamton University, SUNY.

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

Acceptance rate: 40%

SAT score: 1310-1440/28-32

Binghamton University is a highly rated public university in Vestal, New York. At Binghamton, admission into the film and photography school is fairly competitive, as the acceptance rate is 40%.

The overall average net price of Binghamton University, SUNY is $16,440. For more information on how to apply, visit the school’s website below.

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#8. SUNY New Paltz

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education. 

Acceptance rate: 41%

SAT score: 1090-1270/24-29

Admissions into the SUNY New Paltz film school is fairly competitive, with an acceptance rate of 41%. In addition to this, your high school GPA is a basic admission requirement.

It is an above-average public college located in New Paltz, New York. 

The overall average net price of SUNY New Paltz is $14,882. For more information on how to apply, visit the school’s website below.

It will guide you on how to apply and the number of programs you will be taking.

Visit school

#9. CUNY Brooklyn College

Accreditation: Middle States Commission on Higher Education.

Acceptance rate: 44%

SAT score: 1060-1240

The CUNY Brooklyn College is an above-average public college in Brooklyn, New York. With a 44% acceptance rate, the school is said to be fairly competitive.

To attend CUNY Brooklyn College, your high school GPA is required. The overall average net price of CUNY Brooklyn College is $18,302.

The school’s website below will guide you on how to apply and the number of programs you will be taking.

Visit school

Find the other best film schools in New York here:

Kindly visit these schools using the given official site links to learn more about their programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is attending a film school worth with?

Yes, film school is worth it. It gives you the well-rounded education and foundation to succeed in the film industry. Also, you’ll take coursework in directing, producing, screenwriting, and acting.

What is the cost of attending a film school?

Yes, but it is worth the practical training you will receive. Attending a film school costs around $20,000 to $70,000 per year. So, on average, you can expect to pay up to $200,000 to complete your bachelor’s program in filmmaking.

How much do Producers and directors make?

According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, the average annual wage for producers and directors was $71,680 as of 2025.

What is the requirements for attending a Film school?

Meeting these admission requirements can help you secure your spot in any film school in New York:
Completed online application form
CV/Resume
Personal statement (up to 750 words) – more guidance is available in the online application system
An original script for a short film about three minutes in length
Education certificates (degree-level qualifications only)
Two references
A passport-sized photo

Conclusion

If you want to find the best film school in New York, there are factors to consider. They include accreditation, acceptance, graduation, and student to faculty rates.

Also, note that the time, focus, and energy you put into film school will determine your success in the entertainment industry.

The list of best film schools in New York that we listed above will aid you in choosing the best that fits your dream.

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